Count Down

War and preach: Regarding C.J. Janovy’s “Count This” (Kansas City Strip, February 6): Thanks. It really made me feel good to know that there are actually more naïve, peace-at-any-cost individuals in Kansas City than the Star originally reported.

I respect the freedom any American has to dissent and, like any thinking person, abhor the idea of war. War should only be a last resort when all other avenues to a peaceful solution have failed and when the alternative could be worse. Remember Hitler. Iraq’s unwillingness to disarm after twelve years of negotiations and inspections and its past use and continuing development of chemical and biological weapons make it too urgent and dangerous a threat to our own well-being to ignore.

That was the conclusion the Clinton administration came to five years ago when they called for regime change by force after the first round of inspections failed. Since then, we have learned Iraq is sympathetic to and supportive of terrorist organizations, including al Queda, which was responsible for 9/11. Unfortunately, President Bush is being criticized by the anti-war movement for having the resolve to counter a threat to our national security which was first recognized by the Clinton administration but never dealt with effectively. If anything, the threat has become even greater over the past five years given the events of 9/11.

Jerry Magliano


Building Crock

St. Loogie’s: I read Ben Paynter’s “Growing Pains” (February 6). St. Luke’s and the developers: Pooie on you.

It’s like they go from one neighborhood to another. Helping the neighborhood in its preservation. Want to commit in working with the neighborhood. Want to help revitalize the neighborhood. Want to complement the existing properties. Want to put residential in character. (What the hell does that mean?) This is what the developers always say while in the process of tearing down houses to build more new apartment buildings.

Good luck, Plaza/Westport Neighborhood Association.

Howard Carson

Kansas City, Missouri

Voice of Reason

Declaration of independence: I just finished reading Deb Hipp’s “Independence Days” (January 30). I enjoyed it very much. I would like to know if there is any way that I could get in touch with Kristy and Samantha. I would very much like to see if they need some volunteers or help with Veronica’s Voice.

I, too, work in the adult entertainment business. I was never involved with drugs. I did what I needed to do to keep a roof over my head and my two children after my divorce. I have since gotten married and no longer am involved in that. However, I would like to offer my time if needed.

Name Withheld Upon Request

Editor’s note: Readers can contact Veronica’s Voice at 816-728-0004 or 913-940-0505.

Chalk Mark

We are family: Regarding Joe Miller’s “La Familia” (January 23): As a recent graduate of Alta Vista Charter School, I would like to say that Alta Vista was possibly one of the best schools I have gone to. The teachers there care about their students and want them to succeed.

I believe that at a smaller school, you get a better education for the simple fact the teachers are able to focus on you and help you with your problems. Alta Vista isn’t a normal high school where you can just leave and not have anyone know that you’re gone — they actually care if you graduate. The teachers I had there would work with me until I got how to do whatever it was that I was having problems with. If it weren’t for Alta Vista, I don’t know if I would have graduated on time.

The people at that school believe in their students and want them to achieve their dreams. They helped me with mine, and for that I want to thank them. They let their students know that they can go to college and become whatever it is that they want. That is what is unique about that school — they care; they want their students to go to college and help them with it; and most of all, they teach the students. Where else would you find a school like Alta Vista where you get one-on-one teaching? I know I didn’t find it in the Kansas City, Missouri, School District. I found it at Alta Vista.

Patricia Moreno

Kansas City, Missouri

Park and Ride

Riding in cars with boys: Regarding Bruce Rushton’s “Head Cases” (January 2): Heterosexuals have been having sex in cars almost since they were invented. They also have their own cruising grounds. They are called “lovers’ lanes.” I never see cover stories relating to this or hear of arrests of lewd conduct.

And on another note, it is not just closeted gay men who have problems with their sexuality who cruise in public places. You will find that many of them are very out and open gay men. Why do we do it? Quite simply, because it’s fun and exciting. If straight men had the opportunity to find anonymous sex with women in public parks, the city would be paralyzed with a traffic jam.

Colin Brownlee

Vancouver, British Columbia

Garter Snakes

Pyro maniac: In the prairie blandness of Kansas City’s entertainment scene, it’s foreboding to realize the Pitch‘s ever-expanding objective is to feed into its morose decay. Each week seems to thicken the tripe that has become newfound and staple-setting in this lost city. The overexaggerated cover story on the Burly-Q show and the subsequent drooling display of affection two weeks later (for the Pyro travesty) was biased and jejune news reporting (Gina Kaufmann’s “Pasties on Parade!” December 26).

Burly-Q is a rehashed trend already bought, used and abused elsewhere with far better credentials than this one. The production was lacking so many vital components — it came off as a matinee show of junior high. Prolonged gasps, horrid sound placement and disdain for cohesiveness made me wonder if this is the best KC is going to get. We already know the Midwest, in general, has always been on the fourteenth minute of any trend’s fifteen minutes of fame, but this production was a half-hour ago and yet not only was it deemed newsworthy, but so astonishing to waste nine pages of paper.

The Pitch has gone by the wayside of subcorporate America, but one would hope a weekly publication would give some more than the Disney-owned Star. Alas, they are becoming one in the same. For that, I am disheartened. My guess is that Kansas City finds comfort in the dullest bowels of inventiveness, and is a lost cause.

C. S. Gephard


Falling stars: The grand scope of things is that there is no scope — what a poorly organized shindig “Oh My Stars & Garters!” turned out to be. Poor leadership skills still remain as KC’s greatest fault.

Obviously the strangely overhyped story on Burly-Q brought in more than maximum capacity to the ill-equipped Pyro Room. The PA was in a horrible position, the sound was not retro-flecked as intended but just straight low-crap-flecked. The MC was more annoying in a cringeful way than a tongue-in-cheek manner. What a bad choice of venues where tables should have been removed that were “reserved” for friends of the Burly-Qs in front of an exceptionally low stage that warranted NO sight for patrons anywhere behind about six people deep.

Organizational skills are imperative for any stage manager. It seemed this show didn’t even have one. There were many times when absolutely nothing was occurring onstage. Tremendously long pauses made people ask their neighbors if the show was over. This was a good sign to those who came to see more than an amateur production to turn around and walk out. The naïve masses remained, eager to swallow more reproduced slop so many other cities have done successfully for years. As we read in the horribly lengthy hype, this is B-Q’s third show. The first time at anything you learn, the second time you make mistakes, the third time you correct those mistakes. Three times a failure, and you are sadly out of the game. Those dull stars and dingy garters were a pitiful production of something that could still have only wished to have been worthy of the best copycat.

Stacia Bizal


Ball Buster

Lucy cannon: I’m a regular cover-to-cover Pitch reader, and I love your local news stories and commentary. However, in his review of Loving Lucy (“Too Much Love,” January 30), Steve Walker’s complaints were spurious, mean-spirited and cranky.

Walker writes, “The core … should be occupied by more than a vague approximation of the celebrity.” This line is printed right next to a huge photo of actress Missy Koonce who, frankly, couldn’t look more the part. His contention that her performance was less than a “well-drawn impersonation” is equally absurd, although admittedly my only credential is having seen Lucille Ball on TV. Oh wait — that’s what the play is about, so maybe I am qualified. He further questions the wisdom of including “picayune details” about Lucy’s life, never mind that a biography excluding those details is about as interesting as an obituary. Walker asks if the intention was to create a work where the actress doesn’t have to play the subject. Then he answers his rhetorical question, making the whole thing read like a half-assed seventh-grade theme paper — equal parts superficial, arrogant and silly.

Sure, Medea it ain’t. But it was seamlessly and professionally presented. The set was effective. Folks laughed when they were supposed to. The action didn’t rely on gimmicks but occasionally referenced classic moments from her TV show, like a play about a TV actress might properly be expected to do. Koonce’s Sisyphean task of carrying a one-woman show was appreciated with a standing ovation the night I was there.

Even sneering fault-finding and nitpicking can pass for legitimate criticism when it’s clever. That review wasn’t.

Maureen Lawlor

Kansas City, Missouri

Bar Code

Bottoms up: I couldn’t agree more with Jen Chen’s column on Mi Cocina (“Basement Instincts,” January 23). The basement bar was a total waste of time; it was filled with pretentious cokeheads and drunks.

My friend referred me to her column, and I find her in-your-face, no-holds-barred writing quite interesting. Keep up the great work!

Sung Bea Kim


Jen & juice: I have become a big fan of Jen Chen’s work. Her “Night Ranger” rants and musings are consistently smart, funny and accurate. The line mocking “man tribes in Dockers trying to pick up while pretending to be sophisticated oenophiles” is the funniest line I’ve read in ages (“Choc-o-riffic!” December 19).

I can’t wait until she makes it to Harpo’s on a Tuesday night — the result should be editorial comic genius.

Brent Scholz

Kansas City, Missouri

Shine On

Fan-tastic: Thank you so much for Andrew Miller’s “Shine Off” (January 23). Very touching. He’s a gifted writer, and the fans of Shiner really appreciate it.

Rob Deshazer

DeKalb, Illinois

Hit List

For the record: Nice year-end list, but hip-hop doesn’t seem like it’s in as much trouble as Andrew Miller implies (“Year in Music 2002,” December 26). Along with those he included in his top 100 are Missy Elliott’s awesome Under Construction (which should have made that top 100!), Common’s record, and Quality by Talib Kweli, plus Roots, RJD2, DJ Shadow, and more.

And Kweli and Jay-Z do indeed get some profane digs in at that ass Bill O’Reilly, as Miller rightfully called for in his article.

Mac McCaughan

Chapel Hill, North Carolina