October 2006

By - Oct 1st, 2006 02:52 pm
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LEFTY: THINK FOR YOURSELF.
I opened the August 2006 issue of VITAL hoping to find some interesting cultural happenings when I stumbled upon “The Distraction in Iraq” by Lefty McTighe. The article reinforced my view of Milwaukee as a bastion of the predictably ordinary. It’s as if Lefty sits in front of his TV watching ABC News then runs to his computer to regurgitate whatever claptrap dribbles out of Stone Phillips’ mouth.

Claims like Iran “founded Hezbollah” which is the “same radical terror group responsible for today’s crisis” lack any historical truth or critical analysis. “Iran now stands on the brink of developing its own nuclear arsenal” and “North Korea is learning to deliver nukes to the U.S. mainland” sound like the word-for- word fear mongering that Tony Snow dishes out to help buoy the administration. The basic premise of the article, that Bush has bungled the WAR ON TERROR!, is based on the absurd premise that the war on terror actually exists outside of the Network News.

My legal advice is that VITAL Source stop plagiarizing Wall Street Journal articles and attributing them to Lefty McTighe. My business advice is that VITAL Source should consider providing its readers with some fresh perspectives to distinguish itself from other run of the mill Miltown rags. Finally, although I still harbor hope that McTighe’s nickname refers to the hand he favors, I fear he believes it represents his politics. If my fears are correct, I would like to suggest that he change his name to “Hum Drum” or perhaps “Middle of the Road” or “Off the Mark” McTighe.

Aron Corbett
Riverwest

BICKERSTAFF BITES THE HAND THAT FEEDS HIM.
I am writing in regards to the head-scratchingly obnoxious tone of Russ Bickerstaff’s contributions to your September cover story (“Thespians, Troubadours, yadda yadda…” ). Now, I will fully admit up-front that I have never been a fan of Mr. Bickerstaff’s writing style, which includes his pre-VITAL Source work, finding it to be generally pretentious – and occasionally even backhanded and snide – in nature. However, I felt I had to comment on two points in the article in question.

First, his reference to the upcoming original comedy, “Dracula vs. the Nazis,” I found to be especially petty and uncalled-for:

“It’s a fascinating premise for a comedy and should prove to be a really interesting show if [Michael] Neville’s script is competent enough to deliver on it.”

Now, as one of the actors involved in that play, I certainly can’t claim to be unbiased, and only time will tell if the show delivers enough to satisfy Mr. Bickerstaff’s discerning palette. But as an alleged writer himself, you’d think he’d extend a little common courtesy toward his fellow local scribes rather than tossing out such cheap barbs.

My second point concerns his entire section condemning Broadway musicals as evidently being far worse than all the plagues of biblical Egypt combined. This piece of work is so outlandishly nasty that I almost want to believe he must have had to make a recent and unplanned trip to the ER to remove a tongue embedded firmly in his cheek. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you! If Mr. Bickerstaff has no use or appreciation for musical theatre of any kind – theatre which makes up a sizable percentage of the performing arts productions in the Milwaukee area – perhaps he ought to find himself another line of work.

In closing, though I sincerely appreciate the efforts on behalf of VITAL Source to review plays that might not otherwise be covered by local media outlets, I’d have to say that I would prefer they not be reviewed at all if this is the kind of small-minded treatment one can expect. Thank you for taking the time to hear my thoughts on the matter.

Matthew J. Patten

EDITORS: PLEASE EDIT.
I’m a fan of your magazine. I’m offering constructive criticism because there were a couple of things in the most recent issue [September 2006] that bugged me.

First, you used the wrong form of “poring” twice. Once in the “Editor’s Blog” and again in “Slightly Crunchy Parent.”

My other beef was with “We the People.” The content of this piece was thought-provoking, but the writing needs editing. If it weren’t for my proofreading hobby, I would have quit reading after the first two garbled paragraphs. Editor: Please edit!

Now I’m starting to feel like I’ve been hard on you. Honestly, I like the magazine! My concern is that grammatical errors take away from your credibility and the enjoyment of your readers.

Dinah Edelstein

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