I found Chad Oliveiri's snide rundown of Blac Ocean ("Short Takes," June 25) offensive and disturbing.
Good art always has a perspective. But when such art has Christianity as its foundation, that perspective is often discredited out of hand. If Mr. Oliveiri was truly familiar with art, he would realize that all quality art will offend someone. Apparently he is unable to see past his own prejudice to weigh the music on its own merits.
Blac Ocean has played in the Rochester area for several years --- and has apparently released more than one CD. Yet this is the first time I recall reading about the band in City. When the first coverage I see in City is so negative and focuses so strongly on one aspect of Blac Ocean's songwriting (their faith), it makes me suspect that City's coverage of local music excludes some artists on the basis of their religious conviction. If this is true, it is little more than blacklisting.
One would think this kind of thing would be out of place in a newspaper that seems to cultivate a reputation for open-mindedness. I am disappointed with City for allowing this kind of bare-faced prejudice.
By the way, it's too bad you didn't make a big deal about the X show at the Continental before the event. Their roots-rock approach to punk remains relevant to the underground scene despite the 20-odd intervening years. If I had known about the show, I would have been there.
Thanks for the coverage anyway. It's better to hear about this stuff after the fact than not to hear about it at all.
Andrew R. DeLapp, Bryan Street, Rochester
Chad Oliveiri responds: This is not the first time City Newspaper has written about Blac Ocean. We have previewed the band's shows before, and we have also published an in-depth profile of the group. As for X, we agree. That show should have been listed. We're often forced to eliminate out-of-town shows from our listings due to space constraints.
Regarding the downtown transit center: I am so tired of Mr. Nojay and his half-message of cooperation. The best way to get everybody behind a plan is to have the best plan. One can't say cooperation is needed because their half-baked plan doesn't get support.
Raymond Zahn, Sperry Drive, Henrietta
"Bring them on!" Is that what Bush calls "diplomacy?" I sure wish our unelected president would stop playing the role of "macho cowboy" and become "presidential."
Since he was appointed president:
• The national surplus has turned into a deficit.
• Although billions were spent on intelligence, the 9/11 tragedy occurred. Bush said he "didn't know." Dammit, it's his job to know! I haven't heard any president since Harry Truman step up to the plate, accept responsibility, and say, "The buck stops here."
• Afghanistan was invaded and the Taliban dispersed, and we still haven't brought Osama Bin Laden back and "strung him up." We are more susceptible to terrorism than we ever were. Al Qaeda is still a threat. Afghanistan has essentially been abandoned. There are insufficient forces there to police it and help rebuild it.
• Our unelected president said his primary job is to "protect" us. And he said that Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction" were a threat to us and arrogantly told our allies that they were either "with us or against us." Then, when they didn't go along with his plan to invade, he claimed that "diplomacy didn't work" and went ahead and invaded. The American and the few British troops are called "Coalition Forces"; what coalition?
We haven't found those weapons of mass destruction. Saddam is still at large. Our unelected president declared the war over on May 1, but our boys are still getting killed and wounded. Iraq is a shambles, but the administration refuses to admit it's a "quagmire." If it isn't a quagmire, what is it?
So where are we after more than two years of Bush? The US has lost troops in two preemptive invasions. We have killed and wounded thousands of innocent civilians, women and children included.
We have spent billions of dollars of our tax money to kill and destroy while our country has been steadily going downhill. Our education system is in bad shape. Several states are on the brink of bankruptcy. There are still millions of people with no health insurance. Senior citizens on limited incomes have to choose between buying food or medicines. (That new prescription bill in Congress is a farce.)
Unemployment is still growing. Most of our former allies are fed up with us. We have lost a large chunk of our civil rights.
Who am I to criticize? I'm a United States citizen and am exercising my right to speak out. I'm a combat infantry veteran who served in both Europe and the Pacific in WWII. I am patriotic; have been all my life. I see this country going to hell in a hand basket, and I think it's time for a change!
Frank Bellomo, Bay Village Drive, Irondequoit