We were not going to take it anymore, but we did: When I was a student at St. Louis University in 1999, encouraging people to protest Father Lawrence Biondi, I hoped that the faculty would go for the gold and knock him on his ass. That didn't happen. So we thought (some probably also prayed) that the tyrant would finally realize that the size of "his" university doesn't matter as much as what you do with it. Eddie Silva had it right when he described the essence of SLU ["Father Knows Best," August 14]. Most of us who graduated have a weird sense of investment in that place -- because we loved it and still do. I know I loved it there. However, part of the reason I loved it so much was probably the most important thing my experiences could have given me -- a sense of personal development from speaking my mind and "fighting the man." It seemed futile at the time, but for those of us involved, we took back our school, our home and community, if only for a couple of hours of Twisted Sister in the quad.
Wisdom from a capitalist tool: After reading the piece that Eddie Silva wrote concerning Father Biondi, I was reminded of something Malcolm Forbes wrote years ago when addressing rifts between management and staff. Forbes simply stated: "The boss is." Perhaps that's a concept that the present staff at SLU should bear in mind.
Richard H. Gerding
Have you met our employees? Life's got some harsh realities in store for these people [former employees of the Downtown Courtesy Corps]. I strongly suggest chalking this experience up to a lesson learned. To be successful in the career world, it is essential to have the basic communication skills and self-confidence to articulate a point of view to a superior. They went about things in an unprofessional, juvenile way; it blew up in their faces, and now, with the help of the Riverfront Times, they are out for revenge [Mike Seely, "Timed Out," August 14]. Despite the support and sympathy from the RFT, I'm sure the publication wouldn't even consider hiring someone with such a poor work ethic.
Wait till you read Speedloader! A friend in your locale brought your writer Jill Posey-Smith's column to my attention, and I have seldom read such a breathtaking example of full-tilt narcissism in print ["Planet Asia," August 14]. She exists to belittle, to make herself feel superior and to tread on the honest efforts of those she deems lesser -- doubtless all the rest of humanity. It is surprising to me that you give her a platform from which to spout her misanthropic vitriol.
Santa Barbara, California
Let's send her to Guantanamo Bay: I choose to read the restaurant-review section of your paper out of my own interest in St. Louis restaurants, not because I find Jill Posey-Smith's opinions on what people wear intriguing or even interesting. She spends more time rambling on about useless stuff, like how hip and cool she thinks she and her friends are. If she is that interested in writing about things other than restaurants, maybe she should write a different column. Then someone might actually care about what she thinks of people's clothing. Come to think of it, why the hell does she even live in St. Louis? The way she reviews restaurants, the readers know everything she hates in this town (but not what she likes, especially in restaurants, because I don't think she has ever written anything nice about anything but her friends or herself).
Climb down from your elitist pulpit: I happened to look over the restaurant review for the first time, and I was appalled. The second half of the piece addressed legitimate concerns, but the first half of the article was a pure example of culinary and societal snobbery. Jill Posey-Smith's commentary about the "flaccid old man wearing gym shorts," and her five-paragraph essay on Midwestern culture's bland taste for food fall clearly outside her responsibility as a restaurant critic. One reader last week suggested that she be employed as a movie critic as well, but I don't think I can possibly stand reading how everyone should see art films that our puny Midwestern brains can't possibly understand. Perhaps for that she can open with a discussion about what dimwits went to see the new Austin Powers flick. I like a little life in a critical piece, but the journalism is faulty. The purpose is to inform, not entertain. Perhaps she should remember that someone's livelihood depends on her elitist criticism.
Mom's already proud: Your work this week [Jim Nesbitt, "Dixie Chicken," August 14] harshly regarding the racial fragmentation of St. Louis is much improved over your personal and meaningless tirade of a few weeks ago. Congratulations. I am greatly reassured to find the RFT printing socially relevant commentary. It's also wonderful to see you writing with grit and not using the word "fuck." Call your mother and tell her she should be proud of you.
via the Internet