Letters to the Editor

Goodbye to the Grandeur

The lucky people who have seen Delusions of Grandeur, the comic Barbershop quartet, know what a harmonious and hilarious event their performances have been.

After 14 years of entertaining, both here and abroad (including the annual Valentine's concerts at our elementary schools), their long run is ending.

At the end of August, Delusions is heading to Russia for an invitational performance tour. Then, one of their members is leaving the valley to pursue a career opportunity.

There aren't enough thanks for Al Robins (baritone, musical arranger, choreographer, chief comedian and bottle washer), Tom Walker, Dave Deller, Aaron Logsden and Jan Harrell (business manager) for gifting our ears and funnybones and hearts, for so long. Even though Delusions of Grandeur is saying, "goodbye," we can take some solace in knowing that the truly grand four will always be deluded in one way or another.

Thank you, times a million to the four plus one.

Jill Rothman

Iraq wants U.S. gone

The President of Iraq has stated quite unequivocally that the U.S. can leave Iraq any time it wants, and that he perceives U.S. presence exacerbates the terror and violence problems. But, of course, that is precisely what the administration wants.

How much more blood, maiming, and death is necessary so that Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush can avoid impeachment?

How many more billions have to get poured down the rathole so that Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush can avoid reopening the 9/11 investigation, with a fair examination of their complicity?

Aaron Corbet

'Corrie' protest is disturbing

It was disturbing to learn from a story in the Ashland Daily Tidings that Peter Alzado, executive director of Oregon Stage Works, whose artistic energy and dedication I have long admired, was considering canceling the production of "My name is Rachel Corrie."

This is the controversial story of a young woman who was killed by an Israeli army bulldozer, while protesting the destruction of a Palestinian home. Although Alzado, according to reports, was originally anxious to present the play, he seems to be changing his mind after a number of e-mailed protests and threats of boycotting and picketing by a small group of fringe Jewish activists.

His final decision, he states, will not be influenced by threats and that his ambivalence in going ahead with the production stems from conflicting reports that claim Corrie died protecting Palestinian terrorists. He adds, that because he cannot determine the truth and the play would be "politically provocative," he now has second thoughts.

His position raises a number of questions. How will he determine what he considers to be the truth. And more to the point, what is the so-called "truth," which is obviously open to interpretation to do with the presentation of the play?

Provocative art and political advocacy abounds in theater, film, etc. In my view, what is of real concern are the core issues of freedom of speech and artistic expression. I would suggest that those values are far more precious than the sensitivities of a segment of the theater going public.

Additionally, the specter of censorship and coercion, which appear to play a part in this matter, are of real concern. I sympathize with the bind that Alzado finds himself in but hope that he sees his way clear to make the right decision.

Jim Sears

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