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Week of January 5, 2006

What a windfall for us yokels to have an individual of his keen wit among us.

Don't Call Us Yokels
Arrivederci, Peter! I have to take issue with what reader Peter Cabrera said last week in his response to "Pray the Gay Away" [December 22]. Peter turned up his (until recently) Californian nose at us "local yokels" and can't wait to finish his Ph.D. at Washington University so he can "get back to the real world."

Well, Peter, I don't know what kind of LA fairy tale you've been living in, but dealing with hatemongers like Pastor Jim Venice is the real world, not shopping for Prada on Rodeo Drive. While we blue-collar Midwesterners eke out livings in our meth-filled trailers, we take pleasure in knowing that your elitist view of us is no different than Pastor Venice's close-minded view of homosexuals. Mmmmm. That's delicious irony.
Aaron C. Wright
St. Louis

And don't let the door hit you on the way out! It is pity indeed that Peter Cabrera's academic record did not allow him to pursue his extended education in his home state. What a windfall for us "yokels" to have an individual of his keen wit and even-handed nature among us to point out our collective shortcomings. As everyone knows, California is the pinnacle of man's evolution and there are certainly no ignorant halfwits who call that slice of utopia home.

I wish Cabrera swift success in achieving his Ph.D. The world can't wait an extra minute for a man of his far-reaching insights to be unleashed from the insulated confines of academia.
Barbara Givens
St. Louis

Critique the Critique
Give his love to Rose: I'm sick of the puling sourballs who crack on Rose Martelli because she dares to not acclaim every local restaurant a culinary Mount Olympus [Letters, December 8]. Naturally most of a critic's comments are ultimately subjective in nature. An objective critique is virtually a contradiction in terms and would probably read like the prose found on a toothpaste tube. Her musings and witty descriptions are partly what make Ms. Martelli's reviews interesting, informative and entertaining. If you want to read restaurant "reviews" by a tireless cheerleader for every mouthful of hash in town, then you don't really want honest opinions, you want to read soft-headed PR for all those attempting to hack it in a tough industry.

A critic's role is not to provide constant approval, and applause from one who applauds everything is meaningless.
Christian Saller
St. Louis

Down in Front
Gary just wants to sit down: Regarding Dean C. Minderman's November 30 blurb about Victor Wooten: It was a great show, but that's not what I'm writing about. My complaint is about how Mississippi Nights ripped everyone off by having the show at all. They made everyone stand to watch. Their reason was that they could not afford him unless they removed the chairs. Well, all that means is that your club is too small for those events, so leave it to the clubs where people can go enjoy the show. This was a jazz show with 80 percent of the crowd being 40 or older, not a bunch of young kids and adults going to Pop's for a rock concert. If they would have said on the tickets that everyone would stand, they would have had no one there but the 200 or so younger ones.

My hope is that the new casino will tear down Mississippi Nights; it has owners that do not care about their customers. Victor was at VooDoo Lounge and was great and you had seating. Mississippi Nights should have to refund money to people they ripped off on this event.
Gary Welch
House Springs

Glory Daze
The way we were: I enjoyed Randall Roberts' article on Laclede's Landing ["Laclede's Lament," November 23]. It made me feel nostalgic and kind of sad at the same time. I am 46 years old and had the opportunity to experience the Landing at its height in the 1980s. Every Friday night there was no discussion — my friends and I were going to the Landing. You could park your car in one spot all night and go to ten different bars without having to get back in your car. Depending on what type of music you were in the mood for or what type of crowd you felt like partying with, the Landing gave you so many choices within walking distance of each other. And you didn't mind the walking, because it was a party on the street as well.

I have great memories of going to Mississippi Nights to see a band called Ferrari that played their own original music. Or All American, which we referred to as the Hair Bar. Every guy in there looked like they were in an '80s metal band. Then if you were in the mood to dance and rub elbows with the "real people," there was Talayna's. No matter which bar you went into, the music was loud and the place was packed. Packed with people not only from St. Louis, but people visiting from other states and countries who heard the Landing was the place to go to party. It's sad that the Landing has lost its vitality. It was such a landmark for St. Louis. All of the bands brought so much talent and versatility to the area.

The twenty- and thirtysomethings who frequent the clubs — we called them "the bars" in the '80s — don't know what they missed.
Bobbette Bequette
St. Peters

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