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Naked Truth 

Letters published April 28, 2004

Naked Truth
Fundies are neither religious nor right:
Aina Hunter's article concerning various chain stores and their policies regarding photo finishing ["Nipple-Free Zone," April 14] didn't come a minute too soon. I was on my way to Walgreens to process photos I had been asked to take of a friend in a recent Easter passion play. If these stores are considering simply bare-chested men as "pornography" and confiscating people's negatives, what would they make of a virtually naked man being beaten and flogged by guys in gladiator costumes?

It just goes to show that the religious right is neither religious nor right when fundamentalist hate groups like the American Family Association can intimidate retailers into considering images of the crucifixion obscene because the nipples of the man dying aren't sufficiently covered.

As a naturist and an artist who occasionally creates photographs of nudes, I am grateful to be warned away from photo processors who randomly destroy their customers' negatives. As a lifelong Christian, I think we all need to stand up to these fundamentalist prudes and say, "God knows what my penis looks like, and He isn't afraid of it -- or of what I like to do with it. So grow up, and stop assigning your neurotic insecurities to Him!"

Scene has done a great service to those of us who would like to retain our photos of friends at the beach or family picnics, much less the local Pride festival. I would, however, have appreciated reading a response from photo finishers who do not behave in this manner. It would have benefited not only honest and responsible businesses, but readers as well.

Miles Doane
Cleveland Heights

Hands off the bunny shots: I want to thank Aina Hunter for her article on photo processing by Walgreens and other chains. I was about to take a one-time-use camera to Walgreens. It contained pictures from the 50th Playboy Anniversary Tour. I shudder to think what might happen when the developer sees women in bunny suits.

I can understand that a store would not want to develop and print what it deems lewd. However, it should make the customer aware of this policy up front. That way, the customer would be given the choice to search for a developer who is more accommodating. Walgreens stepped over the line when it confiscated the negative. Not wanting to print a suggestive negative is one thing. Confiscating someone's property is another.

Professional photographers have sued and won over this issue. The problem is that the amateur photographer is unaware [of the possibility of confiscation] and the developer has trashed the evidence.

Don Pavlovich
Shaker Heights

It's Been Real
The supposed biker speaks:
When you start talking crap about me, when you obviously don't know what the hell you're talking about, it's time for me to step in and set a couple things straight ["Hype Dream," March 10].

You wrote: "Action News has also generated buzz for both the salacious and the strange. 'Tattoo Gypsy' was supposedly a biker who offered a populist-if-profane commentary on current events, before the bit ran out of gas."

First of all, numb nut, there is no supposedly about it. I have been riding Harleys since before you were born. And if you're not quite sure about whether I'm actually a biker or not, feel free to come on down to my studio. I can see if your ass cheeks will work as a parking place for the front wheel of my bike.

By the way, the Reality Check segments never ran out of gas. I was in Florida for Daytona Bike Week, and with my full-time job as a tattoo artist, there just wasn't time. I'm Tattoo Gypsy, and that's your reality check, punk.

Tattoo Gypsy

Paid to Suck
Crappy criticism is the real curse:
Annie Zaleski's review of Blondie's new album, The Curse of Blondie, is appalling [Playback, April 7]! She obviously did not listen to the CD. Blondie's biggest curse is that writers like you give one of the ultimate pop-rock bands of our time bad reviews, even if it doesn't deserve it.

Blondie has always been good. They have had numerous hits and musical changes. However, Blondie has always managed to keep its classic pop sound, yet each song is different from the other. I feel this is Blondie at its very best since Eat to the Beat. They have come a long way as musicians. Zaleski's review sucked!

I know that it is a matter of opinion, but what really sucks is that her opinion is a lousy one, and it gets to be printed and read by others. It clouds an otherwise wonderful piece of music.

Robert Buescher

Film-Flam Man
Another critic bites:
Please fire Mr. Wilonsky for "Messin' With Texas" [April 7]. It seems that he cannot write a movie review without giving away the ending.

Short of firing him, please edit his reviews, so that moviegoers will be allowed to learn a movie's twists in the theater.

Short of editing his work, please direct Mr. Wilonsky to proof it. Quote: "Truth really be told, there is nothing new here." Quote: "Every film made about the fall of the Alamo ends with the slaughter . . . Not this time . . . An Alamo with a happy ending -- now, that is revolutionary."

Is the market for movie critics really that slim? If so, get this guy under a tighter grip, and give us some reviews that follow a few basic guidelines.

John Ferguson

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