No beef: I wish to voice my thanks to Allie Johnson for sourcing our publication and our daily Web news site in her article about Creekstone Farms (“Mad Cowboys,” March 25).
We have been the original reporting source for literally hundreds of Creekstone news stories, yet, as far as we can determine, only the Pitch and The New York Times have sourced us.
How sad that I feel compelled to bring to a publication — and its readers — attention that Ms. Johnson has done nothing more than her job in crediting the source of original information contained in the rather compelling story she crafted. But if the experience of covering the Creekstone saga has taught our staff anything, it is that apparently there are many more lazy or ethically challenged reporters working than I could ever have feared.
Daniel J. Yovich, Executive Editor
Meat Marketing & Technology
Athlete’s foot: Regarding Ben Paynter’s “Dancing With Myself” (March 18): I really enjoy Dance Dance Revolution; it is excellent exercise, and I also use it as therapy for my knee, which was broken two years ago. But a lot of people (such as myself) have stopped playing as much as they used to, if they are even still playing at all.
Do you know why that is? It’s because of some people who believe that they own the game. They don’t want any newbies (new players). I think that’s what keeps the game going. But people turn it into more than a dancing contest and try to see how well they can put someone down.
In my opinion, Wayne Giles is the worst of them. The funny thing is that I knew him before DDR ever came around, and we were friends. I suppose he grew up and turned cold. I don’t have enough space to go into details here, but I will tell you that he and his little friends were pretty cruel to a friend of mine awhile back — as cruel as you can get. I discussed it with him, and he felt absolutely no remorse for the terrible things he had said and done (because Dev is almighty, all powerful and answers to no one).
I just personally thought I would let Paynter know that I am sure that his article is causing a lot of hero worship, but Giles is far from a hero. All of his followers don’t even know how to tie their shoes without his permission, and it’s really sad. Thank you for your time.
Kansas City, Missouri
Game over: Did Ben Paynter ever happen to think how this would affect the rest of the DDRers in the KC area? This article is completely and entirely bashing every single DDRer around here. We’re not all a bunch of creeps. Not saying Wayne, Libs (Daniel) or John or anyone else mentioned is, but that’s the way he made it seem.
Paynter made us all seem like a bunch of nubs who are all scammers and/or jerk-offs. Wayne isn’t a giant pervert like he made him seem, either. He’s actually an incredibly decent and cool guy.
Next time, think about how things will affect the others in the area.
Name Withheld Upon Request
Square dance: My name is Wayne Giles. I was recently featured in an article called “Dancing With Myself.” I am writing to try and clarify a certain image that has been associated with Dance Dance Revolution players in the Kansas City metropolitan area.
I am NOT trying to redeem myself, nor trying to debate the statements made about myself or my actions. My actions were the results of my own poor decisions, and I have to live with the consequences of my actions. Though there were some statements in the article that were not correct, these were the result of misunderstandings in the interview process, and I believe it to be nitpicking to try and list these errors.
The main comment that caught my attention that caused me to write this letter is a comment made on page 18: “Each person waiting in line to play comes from a similar caste: computer geek, choirboy, bottom rung of the high school hierarchy.”
First of all, I was also described as being under this same stereotype, on page 14: “At Truman High School … he’d been invisible to the letter-jacketed mainstream.” It should be noted that I had a varsity letter in Industrial Technology and was well-accepted by the members of my high school. I was not invisible to the so-called “popular” kids; I was their friend.
To further break the stereotype, let me give an example of a good friend of mine. Caleb True, an 18-year-old from Overland Park, is a well-known person in the DDR community. He was the “leader” of the drama department at Blue Valley West High School and was a well-recognized face there. He has been working at a Sonic in Overland Park for the past year and has recently moved out on his own. His roommate, also a DDR player, is a former state wrestler from Eudora High School. These (and many others) were not interviewed for the article, though they break the social stereotype that the writer illustrated.
I could give more examples of how the stereotype is completely inaccurate, but I think my point has been expressed well enough.
When I was approached by the writer, I was told that he wished to write an article that showed how the DDR community interacts with one another and is more of a subculture than one would think. The article construed that all KC DDR players are liars, thieves and con artists, more relative to a mob. I wholeheartedly disagree, and I (and others) see our group of friends as more of a parallel to a youth church group or a Scout troop: not making anyone in the group feel singled out, making sure that everyone is a part of the community and showing that we treat each other like a family, because for some, it’s the most family we ever had.
Though I am not personally pleased with the direction the article took, I do not hold any ill will against the writers, photographers or editors of the Pitch.
Wayne Giles (Devilon)
Song of joy: Thank you for devoting a recent cover to Richie Restivo (Andrew Miller’s “Rude Boy, Dead Man,” March 4). Being a few years his senior and not involved in any music scene, I’d like to add a few words about him — not as a “rude boy” or dead man, but as a kid I knew.
That said, I now find words inadequate in describing Richie’s generosity, sympathy and loyalty. Memories of his love of life and kind heart should inspire his many, many surviving friends to maximize each day’s potential and to be true to one another.
Some young souls are too good for this earth, and Richie’s is one of them.
Kansas City, Missouri
On bass: I’m currently in New York at school, but I originally hail from Kansas City. In fact, I was in the original line up for the Uprights, playing bass, and I just wanted to thank Andrew Miller for his article. It illustrated beautifully so much of what I wish the rest of the world could have seen in Richie.
For some of us still trying to come to terms with his death, Miller’s article is a brilliant tribute, in many respects, to the beautiful memory we all still hold dear. Thank you.
New York City
Church and great: Thank you for getting it! Annie Zaleski’s “Protestant Principles” (March 11) is a solid write-up on a brilliant band that exists and flourishes beneath the radar.
The Church have made uncompromising music for two decades, and her article captured their ethic as well as one can in a few column inches. I was very happy to learn that they were stopping in Kansas City on this tour. In the past, I have had to travel to see them. I’m hoping that the paper will cover the show itself. They are an incredible live band — so incredible that I am hosting several guests traveling from other parts of the country to see the band.
If you are interested in the close-knit, worldwide online following that has helped sustain the fanbase, check out www.hotelwomb.com, where I have posted a link to Zaleski’s article.
Goin’ to praiseland: I wanted to comment on the interview done with Marty Willson-Piper of the Church. First off, I think it’s fantastic that the Pitch even gave a thought to the Church. Many kudos.
Fact is, the Church has been ahead of the curve (as stated in the article), with its whole career being mimicked by bands like Radiohead. Thom Yorke even said in an interview that he waits to see what Marty and the gang are doing before they begin writing. With that said, great interview!
Edison, New Jersey