Our bad

Letters to the Boston editor, May 30, 2008
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  May 28, 2008

As the Curator in Chief of the Museum of Bad Art (MOBA), I would like to thank Ian Sands and the Boston Phoenix for the article about the opening of our new gallery in the Somerville Theatre, and the celebration of the release of our book Museum of Bad Art: Masterworks. I feel obliged to correct a factual error; we do not refer to the new gallery as MOBA-2 but MOBA-Somerville. And while it is true that the occasional sounds and odors from the nearby men’s room are part of the MOBA-Dedham ambiance, that is definitely not the case at MOBA-Somerville. The Museum of Fine Arts, the Louvre, and many other respectable museums also have restroom facilities and gallery space on the same floor level, with no cross-contamination.

Michael Frank
Curator in Chief, Museum of Bad Art

Don’t be touchy
Dear Mitch Krpata,

You have incurred a six-month ban on use of the word “touchstone.” Reason: thoughtless misuse of word. Relevant rule: a touchstone is something used to test whether something else is genuine. It is not a milestone, a keystone, a capstone, a catalyst, or an inspiration. Subsequent misuse of this word may incur a two-year or lifetime ban.

Sincerely,
Keith Ammann
Cambridge

Music to our ears
With the Berlioz as well as James Levine’s magnificent May 10 performance of the Brahms Third Symphony, not to mention his other-worldly Mahler Ninth, it should be clear to critics that Levine has put Boston back onto the world stage. The Boston Symphony, to this listener, has surpassed the Berlin Philharmonic, at least in its current state.

Marc Widershien
Boston

Good forecast
“Presidential Tote Board” is a great column. Steven Stark is way out ahead of the curve, as usual, in forecasting an Obama-McCain race state-by-state. Of course, lots will change between now and November 4. My fondest hope is that John McCain and Barack Obama run an aboveboard, issues-oriented campaign. They present a stark (no pun intended) choice to the American people and, perhaps as never before, the American people need to begin to make some important decisions about the challenges facing us. It should be a fascinating presidential race.

Vic Sholis
Glenview, Illinois

Monkey love
Bravo for such an insightful article. I am a dedicated fan of Chimp Eden. The only thing I can add to your comments is that not only is Eugene Cussons talented and committed, he has the foresight and knowledge to hire top-notch staff — Philip the director, Jessica the behaviorist, and all the others working to rehabilitate and support the chimps. I can’t imagine what it must be like for Eugene and the team to accept that, “after all they’ve done for them,” the chimp group basically says, “Thanks, you can go now.” Success . . . and sadness.

Jan Page
Eden Prairie, Minnesota

Steam for sale
I’m so glad Steampunk is finally getting the attention it deserves. It’s annoying, though, is that a lot of times the crafts are prohibitively expensive to those who wish to buy them. I’d make them myself if I had the tools and space to actually make stuff. Thankfully, there seems to be people selling their wares on sites like etsy.com and buysteampunk.com for reasonable prices. I wish some big companies would start incorporating these designs into their products . . . there’s definitely a market for it.

Michael Shostack
Chicago, Illinois

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