State of the art

Letters to the Boston editor, December 7, 2007
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  December 5, 2007

Regarding “Promise Deferred,” the new ICA is a multidisciplinary institution committed to the performing and media arts as well as the visual arts, as committed to audiences as it is to artists, and as open to teens and families as it is to critics. With a first-year program that has included artists diverse in discipline, experience, medium, and geography, I am hard pressed to find any evidence to support Greg Cook’s pervasive negativity, except personal opinion, to which he is certainly entitled. We are striving to build and serve a range of constituents and citizens, and we will continue to work toward that goal. Who knows, even Greg Cook may find himself included.

Jill Medvedow
Director, the Institute of Contemporary Art
Boston

Truth betrayed?
Rob Nelson’s interview with Todd Haynes includes a playful reference to a comment that Bob Dylan apparently made during a legendary performance in England in 1966: “Play fuckin’ loud!” (The remark, in response to an audience member’s heckling “Judas!” has also been reported in some circles to be “Get fuckin’ loud!”)

Some of us, though, still subscribe to a different and, for my money, more logical interpretation, which I first encountered in Paul Cable’s excellent 1978 work, Bob Dylan: His Unreleased Recordings:

Audience member: “Judas!”

Dylan: “I don’t believe you. You’re a liar . . . a fucking liar!” At which point, The Band launches into an absolutely incendiary performance of “Like a Rolling Stone.” Why would he need to say “play loud?” Weren’t they already playing extremely loud?

The video is inconclusive (you can check it out for yourself at YouTube, under “Bob Dylan Judas”). As Bob himself is unlikely to ever weigh in on the topic, we’ll probably never know for sure.

Rich Feinberg
West Roxbury

It’s not easy . . .
Regarding your Green Issue, in which the eco-quiz asks, “How Green Are You?”, I would be much greener if the City of Boston didn’t get in the way.

Since my teenage years, I have been what some call a “trash picker.” I have recycled tons of furniture, books, dishes, and appliances by finding them in the trash and holding occasional yard sales. When the yard sale is over, much of what I don’t sell is neatly put in front of my home with a sign that reads “Free.” Usually, within a few days, most of these items are taken by kindred souls. But after a recent yard sale, the city ticketed me for putting out my trash too soon. I routinely pick up litter in my neighborhood and volunteer for neighborhood clean-ups. No matter, I was out $50 for recycling.

Likewise, not too long ago, while running on Hyde Park’s Reservation Road, I piled up debris, tires, TV sets, etc. As I was engaged in this act of “greenness,” a city pick-up truck drove by. I flagged down the driver and asked if I could load the trash in the back of the pick-up. Instead of praising me, the man radioed the police, accused me of dumping, and said that he saw me carrying the debris from a local auto-body shop.

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