Gallery Owner: Complaining About Reviews Is Not the Tucson Way

To any disgruntled artist and/or gallery: Welcome to Tucson. I don't know how long you've been in town ("An Artist Takes Umbrage With One of the Southwest's Top Arts Writers," Mailbag, Jan. 10, and "Dislocation and Separation," Visual Arts, Dec. 13, 2007) but it is not considered kosher here to blame your misfortunes, including pans in the local press, on others. The "Tucson way" is to take the blows as they fall (or as my grandma used to say, "Let the tortilla chips fall where they may").

I am only one of the many longtime career art workers in Tucson who have the highest respect for the devotion and intellectual honesty paid my industry by the tireless Margaret Regan. Lucky are those who are on the receiving end of one of her reviews, good, bad or ugly.

Mike Dominguez
Davis Dominguez Gallery

When Discussing Art Opinions, Don't Play the Race Card

To Tanya Alvarez: It is obvious that you are not an Anglo art critic, so how dare you criticize Margaret Regan's criticism of your Latina/Chicana art? How on Earth can you, an artist, hope to understand the historical and social background of an Anglo woman who works as a journalist? Don't you understand how much trouble she must have getting published in a world filled with paternalistic Tom Danehys overly concerned with their column inches? You have no idea! And it's silly of you to believe you do.

Clearly, I shouldn't be commenting on your letter, because I'm a man of Northeastern-European descent. But maybe it's male privilege that causes me to call your implied suggestion that critics should not feel free to criticize the art of other ethnicities nothing other than a big, steaming pile of shit.

Jon Meade

Crackdown on Farmers' Markets Due to Influence by Big Grocers

I was a little surprised at the question the authors had about the sudden pressure on farmers' markets (" Pima County Health Department Unjustly Cracking Down on Farmers' Markets," Mailbag, Jan. 3). Lots of people are having money troubles, and farmers' markets cut business at the big food stores, so they put pressure on the farmers' sales outlets via the city and the county. What else is new?

Stuart A. Hoenig

Mental Illness Is a Dangerous Thing to Joke About

I found Catherine O'Sullivan's Dec. 27, 2007, article utterly humorless and devoid of literary value. But comedy is subjective, and an unfunny article is not necessarily grounds for a letter to the editor.

Catherine O'Sullivan is a journalist; therefore, your article should be factually correct. That the article is misleading is inexcusable and, moreover, unfair to the 5.7 million American adults who have bipolar disorder, and their families and friends.

You assert that, "Bipolar disorder has arrived." False. It is one of the oldest known illnesses, with records dating back to the second century. "Manic-depressive psychosis" was coined in the late 1800s by Emil Kraepelin, one of the fathers of modern psychiatry. In 1980, the term bipolar disorder replaced manic-depressive disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association.

Moreover, you misled your readers by highlighting drugs typically prescribed for depression--Prozac, Celexa and Effexor--in a column about the caché of bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder generally is treated with mood stabilizers, including the "gold standard" lithium, and anticonvulsants like Depakote and Zyprexa. You recently may have seen ads for the extended-release versions of some of these drugs in popular magazines, but all three have been approved for the treatment of bipolar disorder or its symptoms since at least 2000 (lithium, 1980; Depakote, 1995; Zyprexa, 2000).

People suffering from mental illness face enough prejudice and discrimination without inaccurately being labeled "stark-raving mad," "crazy," "seriously deranged" and "nuts." Some 25 percent of people with bipolar disorder attempt suicide at some point in their lives. Mental illness is no laughing matter.

Pami Keenan

Let's Hope Legislators Learn About Our Lame Auto-Insurance Laws

One of Tom Danehy's wants (Jan. 10) is: "I'd like to see every member of the Arizona State Senate and House, while driving to the opening session of the Legislature, get crashed into by people who are text-messaging while driving." Thankfully, he doesn't want anybody to get hurt, and neither do I.

The only thing I'd like to add is that none of those text-messagers have insurance. Then maybe, just maybe, the Legislature will fix the joke that they call Arizona's auto-insurance laws.

Peter Van Keuren

Considering Mitt Romney's Beliefs, His Religion Must Be Considered

I'm afraid Tom Danehy's future might include several more questions about the religion of Mitt Romney--and every other presidential candidate (Jan. 10). "Wasn't this battle fought nearly 50 years ago when John F. Kennedy ran for president?" he asks. Well, yes and no.

In 1960, Kennedy famously assured Protestants that he firmly believed in the constitutional separation of church and state. He won that battle, and for nearly two decades, a presidential candidate's religion (including that of Mitt's daddy in 1968) was a mere factoid on par with his place of birth and favorite color. But then came the rabid religious right, allied with the neoconservative movement, and suddenly every candidate is expected to disgorge all the details of his or her faith, and how it would guide White House policy.

But the winning weapon Kennedy used, Romney disdains. What Romney recently said is: "Freedom requires religion, just as religion requires freedom." Never mind that this is absurd--ever hear of Europe? He is not fighting JFK's battle, but retreating from it. JFK won the battle by politely saying that his religion was not relevant to this discussion. Romney capitulates by saying, in effect, "Yes, my religion as a candidate is relevant, and you should vote for me, because it's really not much different than yours." Romney and the far-right, evangelical neocons want not to separate church and state, but to integrate them, à la the mullahs of Iran.

Grant Winston

Due to Her Irresponsibility, Miriam Aviles de Reyes Needed to Go!

Tucson Police officers did the right thing in trying to deport Miriam Aviles de Reyes ("Undocumented Drama," Currents, Jan. 10).

Her family was driving around Tucson with no liability insurance. She was not being responsible toward the citizens of Arizona. She, like many before her, could get into an accident and cause damage and harm to her family and others, not to mention property damage. If she were at fault, all she would have to do is disappear into the underground culture that protects her, and her victims will have to suffer from her irresponsibility.

I understand that state legislators are enacting a law that does away with the issue of awarding Arizona birth certificates to babies born to undocumented persons. Hoorah! Finally, someone in the Legislature is trying do something.

Maybe someday, we will not have to worry about problems like Miriam Aviles de Reyes and her family.

J.E. Barbee


In "Buddha in the Rock" (Visual Arts, Dec. 27, 2007), an article on the Sky Island Alliance's Art in Wilderness project, the music for a Cantrell Maryott song was wrongly attributed to Kevin Pakulis. Maryott wrote the song, while Pakulis produced it. We apologize for the error.
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