Next time, read the review before you go: Many thanks to Luke Thompson for calling it like it is, in regard to the film Stuck on You ["Farrelly Mediocre," December 10]. When it wasn't horrifyingly unfunny, it was a total bore.
Back in the Day
A bong-nosed poop has his say: I would like to express my disappointment with Scene and with the lack of music information that was its staple as far back as the '70s. I have decided to stop picking up the mag, which used to profile many different albums, releases, and concert reviews (which, in imagination, had you seated in the front row).
I'm a lifelong Clevelander and a rock 'n' roller from the '70s; Scene, along with Zeppelin, was a top-notch topic of conversation, both on the radio and in study hall. I am ashamed to admit that over the last six months I have asked myself, "Why the hell am I picking this up?"
I can assure you that I am not stuck in a time warp, but the last straw was seeing a marvelous David Bowie show on January 7, only to pick up a Scene on the 8th containing politics, music by Who Cares?, and classifieds that pay Scene's bills!
I hope Scene can accept this as a constructive complaint, rather than as bitching by a bong-nosed poop! Let's pick it up. You were once on top.
The Rust Belt Rocks
Support your local rivetheads: Just a note to say thanks for the CD review of PlanetKillSwitch ["Regional Beat," January 7]. Scene is always good to the little guys who are trying hard to be the big guys. We appreciate it.
Computer glitches are just the beginning: In response to "Broken Record" [January 7]: I worked with William Isaac in the past. I knew him as hard-working and dedicated. I work with individuals involved in the criminal-justice system, so the problems Jimi Izrael brought to light are nothing new to me.
It is a shame when someone who isn't a felon gets classified as one. An even greater shame is that no one seems to own up to helping him.
Depriving a man of the ability to work steers him in a dangerous direction. In Isaac's case, I am sure he will persevere. For the thousands of individuals convicted of crimes who try to get their lives together, but due to state laws will be deprived of the ability to return to work, the outlook isn't quite so clear. In times when an addict is treated like a terrorist, the concept of "a second chance" is nonexistent.
We need to remember that all men are innocent until proven guilty and that once they complete their sentence, they need to be allowed to continue with their lives. We are all only one bad decision away from sitting next to William Isaac.
Michael E. Moguel
Shamed Into Change
It took public watchdogs to save Fido: Aina Hunter and Scene are to be applauded for the October 22 article, "House of Horrors," concerning the Summit County Animal Shelter. This story served as a catalyst for positive change. The facts presented were used by several humane groups to put pressure on Summit County officials, and ultimately the director of the shelter was fired.
While these are positive developments, it is unfortunate that it takes public embarrassment, in addition to grassroots efforts by citizenry, to force taxpayer-funded public servants to do their jobs correctly.
Chapter and Verse
Fan sings prof's praises: Aina Hunter's article "Poetry Man" [January 14] is one of the most biased and error-filled pieces of reporting I have read in a long time. It appears that her technique was to gather quotes and opinions, highlight those few that were sensational against Dr. Chandler, and downplay or cast suspicion on those that were supportive.
It is obvious that Dr. Chandler's popularity in the university community and the national literary community is due to his outstanding achievements. He put CSU on the map, in both poetry and creative writing. In addition to almost single-handedly creating, administering, and promoting (i.e., "directing") these programs, he has taught classes in the English department for 20-plus years as well as editing journals and publishing a collection of his own short stories. He has richly earned the affection and accolades of students, colleagues, and prominent authors who have come out in his support.
Consider some facts that were ignored or downplayed by Hunter. It is true that he described himself as "associate professor" and "director/co-director" in his Fulbright Fellowship application, rather than by the technically accurate terms "adjunct associate professor" and "administrator." But the university has also described him as "associate professor" in its course catalog and has referred to him as "director" in correspondence and in conversation.
Perhaps he has been guilty of "self-promotion." But the university has been equally guilty of promoting him with higher-prestige titles when it suited their purposes. It was the university's lack of precision in his title that led him to use the more prestigious variants in his application. By the way, Dr. Chandler's Fulbright application was successful.
Hunter dismisses his statement that he "does not care about titles" as "disingenuous," because he spent 10 years lobbying for a title upgrade. Anyone who has worked with Dr. Chandler knows that he doesn't care about titles. Why, then, would he lobby for a title upgrade? Upgrading his title would have required the university to pay him a salary more in line with what his contributions justify. CSU's resistance to this change has been due purely to budget constraints. Perhaps the university's reversal of his dismissal and move to upgrade his status is not so mysterious after all: They realized that they were probably looking at a huge age-discrimination lawsuit.
Hunter characterizes Dr. Chandler's academic accomplishments as being "in short supply," pointing out that he has published just one book, Benediction, which wasn't even a best-seller. Does Hunter imagine that academic merit is measured by number of copies sold? She further belittles the literary awards he has won as being from "something called Reflections," of which he and his wife compose the editorial staff. The name of the journal is not Reflections; it is Dialogue. Neal Chandler and his wife, Rebecca, did not become the editors of Dialogue until 1999, a full ten years after the literary awards referred to. [Editor's note: Chandler was listed as a contributing editor at the time of the awards. ] Neither Dr. Chandler nor his wife had any voice in picking the winners of the awards he won.
Hunter also belittles Chandler's academic credentials because his Ph.D. is in German, not English. Did Hunter compare Dr. Chandler's record with those of his colleagues in the English department who do have titles and tenure? How many of them have published any books? How many have edited academic or literary journals? How many have gained national recognition? How many have been awarded Fulbright Fellowships?
What Hunter failed to disclose was the origin of the flimsy campaign against Dr. Chandler. Chandler's "misrepresentations" were brought to light by a faculty member who is incensed that Chandler is heading this highly prestigious program. The whole flap boils down to professional jealousy. The university was overwhelmed by the level of support Chandler received. It is hardly the mystery Hunter portrays.
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