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A & E
Weekend Feedback, 5/9/03

Friday, May 09, 2003

Posing for Playboy is not women's studies
Regarding the snippet in the Flash column, "Third Time a Charm" (April 30):

Give me a break! There is no one who majored in women's studies that would ever pose for Playboy Magazine. Oh, yes. Let me qualify that: Sarah Kozer of Hunker is not going to be objectified since she is only going to pose for the June issue of Playboy if there is no full-frontal nudity. Get a life!

I am a resident of Westmoreland County, have worked at a local college for 18 years, and have been an Equalitist all of my life. There is no women's program at any college/university that advocates exploitation of women, and condones objectification by posing for Playboy magazine or being a contestant on "Joe Millionaire."

How desperate for fame can you get? But then again this is the way it is. Sarah wants to be a big fish in a little pond since Hunker's population is 328.

Look up the word mensch in the dictionary, Sarah, since money from posing for Playboy cannot buy the qualities of a mensch.


Advice on 'Dear Cat'
I have yet to figure out why the Post-Gazette allocates precious column space to the "Dear Cat" feature. Is she aiming to be entertaining or informative?

Catherine Specter's writing lacks the common sense and courtesy of the venerable Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren, two classy women who were in touch with their readers. Specter's recent comparison of a girlfriend who chose not to shave her legs as a "yeti" is just one of many failed attempts to appear hip and witty. Instead, Specter comes across as an elitist former prom queen who doesn't quite realize the rest of the world has moved beyond her retro-1950s values about relationships and social interaction. Is it a stroke of irony that she's on the comic page? Her column lacks the pure entertainment value of a "Beetle Bailey" strip or the biting social commentary of "The Boondocks." Even "Hagar the Horrible" has more wisdom to offer modern readers than Specter.

Please find another advice columnist. Trailblazers like Ann and Abby set a high standard for readers of many generations. At 32 years of age, I'd much rather turn to the archived advice of the grand dames than waste another moment perusing the incoherent musings of Specter.


What a Circus
So according to William W. O'Donnell, "The Family Circus: Life in the Bubble" (Feedback, May 2) along with Sen. Rick Santorum, is now part of that "bigoted" cabal of "middle class Christians" who want to oppress gays.

Give me a break!

I can think of better reasons to criticize "The Family Circus", i.e. its tendency to be maudlin, the kids on the strip being cloyingly cute, its lame attempts at humor etc., but to accuse it, as Mr. O'Donnell does, of gay bashing is blatantly insulting!

According to Mr. O'Donnell, "The Family Circus" protects its "viewers from the harsh realities of life on the funny pages" and that "viewing life through the prism of a bubble distorts reality." May I remind Mr. O'Donnell that viewing life through the prism of a " 'Boondocks' (or any other politically correct) point of view" is also a distortion of reality.

I think Mr. O'Donnell owes the readers of "the Family Circus" and its creator Bil Keane an apology.


Not our problem
I wish to rebuke the letter of last week "Family Circus: Life in a Bubble" by William W. O'Donnell. First of all Mr. O'Donnell, there is nothing wrong with "The Family Circus" cartoon; it is enjoyable reading the ups and downs of life through a child's eyes.

But let's get to my total and utter disgust of your letter. Why is it when you gay types want to make a point you attempt to associate yourselves with black people or something connected with blacks -- your "we must look at life from a 'Boondocks' point of view." Oh, really Mr. O'Donnell, and just how did you arrive at this reasoning? For too long whites tend to associate any and everything low, dirty, inappropriate, disgusting and questionable with blacks and it is no different with you gay types.

Let me set the record straight. As a proud black female who believes in holding up standards, morals, decency and standing on ceremony, I'd rather those of you who believe in the gay lifestyle not give yourself a comfort level by categorizing yourselves with the black people. It is not appreciated by me. You are free to live as you like; and Mr. O'Donnell, I am also free and free enough to say I resent blacks being used as an example by you gay types when you wish to make a point, whatever that point may be.

And Mr. O'Donnell as for your "cutesy, white Christian argument" with reference to Sen. Santorum's recent comments; you would be surprised how many cutesy BLACK Christians who feel the exact same way.


The liberal slant
Give me a break. This isn't about "Family Circus" or middle-class Christians, but instead about perpetuating the (dare I say) LIBERAL media's misrepresentation of Sen. Santorum. I suppose Mr. O'Donnell only reads "Boondocks" and only watches "Will & Grace" because they agree with his personal view of what life should be like. Sorry. The rest of us revel in escapism from time to time, even when reading the "funnies." I personally enjoy watching Disney movies and "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" with my children. I enjoy their innocence and love of life. That's what I enjoy about "Family Circus." But that wasn't really your point, was it?

Your point was to continue the idiocy. If you really knew what you were talking about, you'd know that his comments were directly related to a Supreme Court case involving privacy and whether or not adults have the right to do whatever they choose because they are hidden behind closed doors. If privacy is the only criteria you use for making something right, then you have to be willing to accept literally everything -- bigamy, polygamy, incest, etc.

His statement was not "bigoted" and does in fact come from a "clear vision" of what many constitutional scholars and the majority of Americans believe that some things should not be permitted even if they are hidden from the outside world.

Like you, Mr. O'Donnell, I welcome his honesty. I'm proud that he represents me and my values. I'm glad he stands up for what he believes and doesn't back down. You and yours would have everyone who doesn't agree with your personal views silenced by screaming "intolerant, bigot, homophobe!" Truth be told, it is you who are intolerant of anyone who doesn't agree. Us "cutesy, middle-class Christians" have just as much right as you to express our views and stand up for what we believe.

Now if you'll excuse me, I want to finish reading the funnies before the children turn on "Sesame Street."


Burying the good news
Unless I am missing something, your coverage of the Spring Hat Luncheon for the benefit of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy (Seen, May 5) had just one sentence in the second paragraph about a most newsworthy announcement.

I am referring to the fact that the Eden Hall Foundation gave the Conservancy $5 million to launch a capital campaign. This piece of very good news deserved much more attention with a headline or even a separate article. The gift gives a significant boost to a relatively new nonprofit organization that is dedicated to filling the gap between needs and dollars for one of Pittsburgh's precious assets, the city parks.

This is not to take anything away from the coverage of the luncheon, which is a very worthy endeavor taken on by a wonderful group of volunteers who care about the city parks. I and many others commend them and thank them for their contributions and their efforts to improve these facilities. Let's just not bury the good news, something that is not easy to come by in our fine city of late.


Send letters, along with your real name, address, neighborhood and daytime phone number to Feedback:

E-mail: letters@post-gazette.com.

Fax: 412-263-1313.

Mail: Feedback, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.

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