Naturally, City would defend its position on the mammary cover and story ("Mammary Monologues," November 27). You're probably all gloating and saying "See? The readers complain but it gets their attention, and they read it! That's what counts!"
Well, sorry, but other things count, too. That cover showed a complete lack of taste. And City showed a complete lack of class. I thought you had more 'couth.' Anyway... who wants to read about private body parts and women's angst? Are they really all that interesting? What next? Men's privates? Lordy, I hope not!
Politics is a lot more fun! (And I don't mean sexual politics!)
Berthe Santirocco, Kevin Drive, Penfield
While I realize that City is not really a "family paper" and was never meant to be, I was disgusted at seeing women's bare breasts on the front cover of your November 27 issue. I thought this was really in poor taste.
Kevin P. Yost, Middle Road, Henrietta
Bravo! Your editorial and artistic courage to print that cover for Jennifer Loviglio's story clearly illustrates the constrained, conservative, and pathetic Victorian attitudes that prevail in this community.
Upon returning from a recent visit to New York City, I realized that just 370 miles away, culture accelerates with the times but remains trapped here in a hopeless state of complacency. Rochester doesn't embrace anything contemporary or original. If we continue to focus our attentions on trivial prejudices, our city and its culture (or what's left of it) will continue to decay --- just as it's been doing for the last 30 years.
Move forward, City News!
Jim Cappellino, Averill Avenue, Rochester
Bravo for the article "The Mammary Monologues" (even if it was a rip-off The Vagina Monologues). It was a sensitively written, honest account of the thoughts and feelings of many different women about their many different experiences with their breasts.
That some people wrote you to express offense and some stores refused to carry the issue boggles my mind. I appreciate Mary Anna Towler's response ("Why We Ran That Cover," December 11); how telling it is that stores will carry mags with pictures of scantily clad woman in sexually suggestive poses, but are afraid of scaring the public with an article that discusses women's bodies with candor and respect.
Grow up, Wegmans!
Jill L. Scheltz, Gates
"Mammary Monologues" is seriously misleading on the subject of breast-cancer survivors and their feelings about their bodies after breast reconstruction.
Loviglio tells us about one woman who had reconstructive surgery and who loves her "breasts," as they are bigger than before, and another who has tough "boobs," hard as rocks, that will be perky when she is 90 years old. Her article seems flip and naive, at best, and women deserve better information on this issue.
Breast reconstruction is a miracle of modern surgery, it is a boost to self-esteem, and of course, the patient lives. Breast reconstruction is not the same as breast augmentation in healthy women. Reconstructive surgery is a solution to breast removal; it results in a "breast mound," a constructed approximation of a breast.
Most women experience emotional side effects for years, because even with the reconstruction, they are permanently disfigured. Many are not be thrilled with rock-hard breast implants, as is the woman cited in Loviglio's article.
Those of us who are older, with loving companions and children, may have a better support system than do the women who are single, and/or younger. My own reconstruction, two years ago, resulted in a 'breast solution" that is far from perfect. It is stiff, pulls hard at my underarm, is somewhat pectoral in contour, crisscrossed with ugly scars, and is as numb as a doorknob. Yet it is a good solution; it gives me comfort, and I am 48 years old, well along in life.
When the process started, I did believe I would have beautiful new breasts. For me, the best information came from talking to other women who had been through it. Thank goodness for their honesty.
Catherine Kirby, Long Meadow Circle, Pittsford
I'm writing to protest Jon Popick's crude and vulgar language in his movie reviews.
As we all should know, language can be beautiful, provocative, evocative, pertinent, thought provoking, and intelligent. It need not be adolescent when one is an adult, presumably writing for an adult audience.
Many of the movies he reviews play at the Little Theatre; in my 16 years of attending movies there, I have yet to see 13-year-old boys, who might see Popick's language as "cool."
How about cleaning up his act? If not Popick, how about the editor?
Pat Heney, Manhattan Square, Rochester
I loved Frank De Blase's article on the Blasters; I will be sure to forward it to Dave and the guys ("A Fan Is Born --- Again," November 27).
I thought I'd get to read a lot of interesting rock criticism at this job, but it's surprising how little of it is out there --- how many music writers just copy out of the bio and then add at the end that this song rocks, and that song doesn't, and that's the end. So I definitely appreciate commentary that really says something substantive about the music.
Lindsey Westbrook, HighTone Records Publicity, Oakland, California
I pick up City each week not only for your editorials, but for the music listings as well. Recent issues have seen a drastic and rather annoying change in the listings. Not only has the section apparently been downgraded in size, but the new style of the listings makes it somewhat difficult for readers to select what they would like to see.
Individuals choose their musical outings based on the style of music first, then the band or artist playing, the date of the show, and the cost. Where the artist is playing is irrelevant. I (or "we") will go wherever the artist is.
I have always been under the impression that as the alternative press in Rochester, City has striven to present an un-biased attitude free of pressure from advertisers, politicians, and other media. However, the only reason I see for the changes in the music listings is as a benefit to the clubs themselves.
The new listings make one wonder whether City is caving in to their vested interests. I know that this cannot be the case; nonetheless, I would appreciate your consideration of my remarks.
Louis Richards, Rising Place, Rochester
Editor Mary Anna Towler's response:We made the recent change because some club-goers on our staff were convinced that it would make the listings more useful to readers. The clubs' preference had nothing to do with our decision. In years of publishing music listings, we've arranged them both ways: some years by venue, other years by type of music. Some readers we've talked with prefer one, some the other.
You're right: The current arrangement takes up slightly less space. That does give us room for additional features. However, saving space isn't the principal issue. Reader usage is.
And we do urge readers to sound off on this. Which best helps you find out what's going on: listing events by type of music or by venue? Do you look to see what's going on at your favorite club? Do you search for specific types of performances? Do you search for specific performers?
E-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or put your comments in an envelope and send them to: The Mail, City Newspaper, 250 North Goodman Street, Rochester 14607.