Thanks so much for your general survey of what's being heard from pulpits around Atlanta (cover story, "Any given Sunday," Dec. 15). As a nonreligious person, you could say I took it on faith that I wasn't missing much by not attending church. My faith has been reaffirmed.
-- Jim Philips, Atlanta
In the story "Any given Sunday," Senior Pastor David C. Cooper of Mount Paran stated Holocaust statistics that struck me as incorrect, and indeed were when I researched the information. He told the congregation in his sermon that "Six million Jews died. But did you know that of all the concentration camps, the Jews only constituted 40 percent? The other 60 percent were non-Jewish in those death camps." After checking a plethora of information, I found, as I had thought, that 90 percent of all those murdered in Nazi death camps were Jews. The real question is where did this pastor get his information? Or was it concocted by him? I am curious to know if his point was to lessen his congregation's sympathies for Jewish victims, or to question the credibility of Holocaust historians.
-- Joel Handelman, Marietta
I haven't had service like this ever (Food & Drink, "Island onto itself," Dec. 15)!!! The best Greek food in Atlanta by far.
-- Darrell Ford, via atlanta.creativeloafing.com
What really depresses me the most about Atlantic Station (Word, "Atlantic Station-ization," Dec. 1) is what I would call the "amusement park Art Deco" that is the dominant style of the architecture. All the buildings look cheaply built, and I fear they're really going to wear badly -- and quickly. Particularly the stucco exteriors already look to be melting and crumbling, and the brick buildings look almost ugly enough to be institutional architecture.
The fact that the folks who designed this place chose to appoint it with so many clumsy, half-hearted attempts at decoration that all pull from the basest stylistic clichés of Art Deco shows that they had no imagination AT ALL in trying to give a face to this place.
Art Deco had a very particular historical context -- the utopian fervor of the Machine Age, and also the mob mentality of fascism. For this style to be exhumed at present by developers is a nauseating, ugly gesture that both reflects a critically missed opportunity to create a real sense of place in favor of a nod to something that is safe, received and utterly irrelevant.
The buildings of Atlantic Station add nothing to the city's community life. They are sideshow attractions that are meant to pull in money and, after a short time, disappear. In the long run, I fear that this kind of development will fail because people won't want to stick around in such an ugly, phony-looking environment. If the intention was to create a community where people live, work and play, I think the developers shot themselves in the foot by building a place that is more likely to make someone want to flee.
-- Michael Saunders, via atlanta.creativeloafing.com
Mike Holsomback (Arts, "Don't look back," Dec. 15) has been a friend and mentor to me and many others for several years. He allows his students and his own work to go where they will with gentle nudges to keep them out of the ditch. He enjoys complex surfaces and layering, always reminding us that the most important thing about a painting is the paint. It is a treat for all of us to see Mike's unique vision and method of expression be celebrated by others.
-- Holt Westbrook, via atlanta.creativeloafing.com
More than gay
Myself a film critic for several university press mags and newspapers, I had the immense pleasure of reviewing this film (Flicks, "Lonesome cowboys," Dec. 15) two weeks ago. I had previously read the short story. The film is "art in motion," and the fact that it was so taken from the pages to celluloid with seeming ease is testament to Ang Lee, Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana's gifted hands. That being said, to call this story a "gay cowboy" flick minimizes the true depth of this tale. The story has a much larger narrative -- it is the story of longing for love and acceptance and never obtaining that love or acceptance. It is a universal desire and that's why the story resonates. The story, though, is only enhanced by the powerful performances of the actors. They were all amazing, but Ledger was breathtaking. His performance stayed with me long after the film ended. One is forced to acknowledge that longing -- love has no boundaries -- within itself is political dynamite. But when this story unfolds -- on the wide-screen -- before your eyes, your heart cannot help but receive it. This is truly phenomenal work -- and the testament will not only be in the accolades this film receives but in the national dialogue that is generated!
-- Lonie Haynes, Atlanta, via atlanta.creativeloafing.com
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