I saw the Friday night performance of The Fantasticks at Countryside as well, and I disagree with Mr. Schulz's opinion. (See "Truth in Advertising," River Cities' Reader Issue 639, June 27-July 3, 2007.) I thought the show moved dreadfully slowly with many awkward pauses; the friend I attended the show with actually fell asleep a couple of times.

The production's simple design and staging could have allowed the relationships between the actors to shine. Instead, due to a complete lack of energy, it just seemed dull and lifeless.

CCT and Mr. Myatt should be commended on their willingness to tackle such a challenge. In my opinion, however, it simply didn't make for an enjoyable evening.



Via the River Cities' Reader Web site



Much Ado About Nothing

This is much ado about nothing. (See "Butt Out," River Cities' Reader Issue 638, June 20-26, 2007.) Illinois bars should not be worried about this because they are all going to be nonsmoking. This puts them at no real risk to lose the smoking customers, because none of the other bars will be offering smoke-filled entertainment. Front Street Brewery went out on a limb and decided to go smoke-free without the guarantee people would not go elsewhere, and it worked out for them. I'm sure FSB would have loved to have the security that the Illinois bars will have. As for going over to the Iowa side in order to smoke, I don't think there is much of a worry there. Newsflash: People don't like to cross the river if it is not needed. If they are crossing the river already, then this will probably not change their habits. I am very happy that I will soon be able to go to RIBCO, the area's best music venue, without having to smell the place in my house the next day. This will definitely get me over to more shows. Get a cold one ready for me, John. I'll see you soon.



Via the River Cities' Reader Web site



Are We Children?

While I think it is a good idea that businesses can make the decision whether to go smoke-free or not, I think that it is a bad idea to have the government put in place a statewide ban. Are we children? Do we need the government to watch and regulate our every move? As a free-thinking adult, I find such behavior by the state of Illinois reprehensible. I've always thought America was the land of the free and that we had the freedom to choose. Seems that isn't so anymore. That's too bad.

Secondly, a lot of the science put up by the anti-smoking folks is flawed. It's bad science. They have taken science, and like many people do with religion, they have bent it to suit their prejudices. We are supposed to trust the people who tell us what they want us to believe, simply because they have an agenda? They add that "it's for the children," and we are supposed to toe the line automatically because they have invoked the innocence of America's children as being in danger? How many times have the various government organizations come out to say that X is unhealthy for you, only to have them recant the same rhetoric a few years later? Science is a tool, and like any tool, it can be used to promote the political agendas of the powerful. This is a fact, and we as Americans need to become as science-literate as we are knowledgeable about other less important things, like how long Paris Hilton sat in jail.

I'm not saying that smoking is good for you, but the amount of secondhand smoke a nonsmoker is exposed to is minuscule compared to what smokers ingest. The high numbers of deaths reported as caused by secondhand smoke to nonsmokers seems a bit alarmist to me. Are they sure that other factors arent't involved? Look at the carcinogens that are spewed out of your car's tailpipe, and there are a lot of folks who walk, jog, run, and bike on the bike paths that run parallel to the busy roadways. Are they sure that the exhaust that these people are inhaling is not just as harmful as tobacco smoke? Will they ban cars and buses next? [...]

Do your own research, people. Just don't sit there and accept everything that you are told. Your freedom may depend on it someday.

Here is a link to check out concerning how science is manipulated to fit the anti-smoking agenda: (http://www.smokingaloud.com/corrupt.html). [...]



Via the River Cities' Reader Web site



The Art of Overselling

In response to Bruce Carter's review of The Floating World exhibit at the Figge (see "Startling, Fleeting Moments," River Cities' Reader Issue 637, June 13-19, 2007), I would just like to say that it was severely oversold. While it was interesting to read about how this type of art is made, where it comes from, and why it's important, the art itself is nothing much to sing praises about. The colors are dull, the shapes are unbalanced and distorted, and often the entire composition is washed out and uninteresting. It's clear that this is a very distinct style of a certain time and place - so distinct that every painting looks very similar to the next, thus making these "moments" neither startling nor fleeting. While it's a nice addition to the permanent display at the Figge, I would say that unless someone is a connoisseur of Japanese art and culture, it's not worth a special trip to the museum.


Sara Jones




Paul Unfairly Excluded

I am disappointed with the Iowa Presidential Candidates Forum sponsored by Iowans for Tax Relief and the Iowa Christian Alliance.

For some reason they have excluded Dr. Ron Paul, the taxpayer's best friend in Congress. No one has fought harder for tax relief, tax reform, spending restraint, and honest fiscal policy.

You would think the Christian Alliance would want to hear from an OB-GYN who introduced legislation to recognize that human life begins at conception (HR 1658) and that the Constitution should be interpreted as it was written (HR 776).

For years, Iowans for Tax Relief has been Iowa's leading advocate for restraining government spending. The Iowa Christian Alliance urges more political involvement by the believers in the Prince of Peace. I was a member of both organizations when I attended college in Iowa in the early 1990s, and I appreciate their work. Surely their presidential forum wouldn't exclude Dr. Paul because he wants to end the expensive and bloody Iraq war? How does silence advance their cause?


Brian Heyer

Greenville, Wisconsin

Support the River Cities' Reader

The QCA’s Only Free Press Can Really Use Your Support


"We're the River Cities' Reader, and we've kept the Quad Cities' only independently owned newspaper alive and free since 1993. Now we find our ability to continue providing all the features you love in serious jeopardy without the financial support of our readers.

So please help the Reader keep going with your one-time, monthly, or annual support. With your financial support the Reader can continue providing uncensored, non-scripted, and independent journalism alongside the Quad Cities' area's most comprehensive cultural coverage." - Todd McGreevy, Publisher