June 2008 Letters to the Editor
Comments from readers regarding the last issue of Minnesota Monthly
Aces in April
Beth Hawkins’s “110 Minutes” was a piece of superb journalism. Not only was it well constructed and well written, the emotional impact was gripping. The article left me wanting more.
I also appreciated Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl’s feature article, “No-Guilt Fish.” The information on the state of our aquatic food supply is alarming. Thankfully, there are local alternatives such as MinAqua and Star Prairie farms, as mentioned in the article.
Keeping the Faith
The article “Fate of the Faithful” (May) describes the St. Stephen’s Sunday worshippers the way a sportswriter would comment on an NFL game while watching it on TV. It is uninformed and disrespectful. I have worshipped with this community on a regular basis for more than 30 years, and if it were similar to the article’s characterization, I would have abandoned it long ago.
The individuals who form this community are well-informed, conscience-driven, committed Catholics who are dedicated to social justice and the principle of inclusion. Our form of worship may be unorthodox, but it is authentic.
After reading “Fate of the Faithful” carefully, I feel that it is well balanced. I thought your grasp of the purpose and work of the Second Vatican Council was very balanced and your description of the treatment of progressive parishes pointed out the archdiocesan fear of variations, even minor, in liturgical and pastoral practice in parishes.
Even though the subject can be a depressing one, it ended with the feeling of hope. I want to express my respect for a writer who not only had the courage to write this story, but also the ability to write it so well!
I read with interest and growing dismay your assertions that jazz is “too damn hard—hard to understand, hard to appreciate…even hard to find,” and that it only happens at the Dakota, the Artists’ Quarter, and now, Orchestra Hall (“Hot Summer Nights”).
The Twin Cities has a thriving jazz community with many artists performing in several places pretty much any night of the week. The Dakota and the Artists’ Quarter are primary venues, of course, but we also have the Northrop Jazz Season, jazz at the Walker, and concerts at MacPhail.
Finding jazz isn’t hard. Understanding, appreciating, and loving jazz comes with experiencing it.
In your May issue, you stated there was a “problem with jazz” (“Hot Summer Nights”). Like any art form, jazz can be understood on many levels, from pure enjoyment of the melody and rhythm, to a deep understanding of chord progressions and improvisational theory. You said it was hard to appreciate and love. Any harder than acid rock, hip-hop, or modern classical experiments? To each his own. But complaining that jazz is hard to find in the Twin Cities beyond the Dakota and Artists’ Quarter is like saying jazz is hard to find in Greenwich Village beyond the Village Vanguard and Blue Note. Jazz is available here seven nights a week to anyone with open eyes and ears.
The photo on page 87 of our May issue (“Hot Summer Nights”) was taken at the Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant, but lacked a credit for the location. We regret this omission.
The calculations in “Black Gold” (Talk, May) stated that Triple Espresso produced a laugh every four minutes. The correct figure should be four laughs per one minute, or 520 per show and 1.6 million during its Minneapolis run. Who’s laughing now?
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