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A Nose for the Bar

A Nose for the Bar

In the article about Greg Thompkins and John Dierker (“Brothers in Horns,” Music, Nov. 27), you mentioned that the Marble Bar was across the street from the Jazz Closet. Well, technically you are correct, but the two places were separated by a block.

I spent many Saturday nights in the Jazz Closet in the 1980s, seeing Gary Bartz and others perform. The Jazz Closet was on the south side of West Franklin Street, between Park Avenue and Howard Street. The Marble Bar was in an old hotel, and it was located on the north side of West Franklin Street, between Eutaw Street and Howard Street.

I went into the Marble Bar once, very briefly. The place was musty-smelling.

Anthony Watkins


Porn Polemics

I am writing to urge you to reject pornographic advertising such as that of The Millstream Inn and Nightshift/McDoogals in the Nov. 20 edition of City Paper and Ritz Cabaret in the Oct. 23 edition.

This recent advertising has depicted sexual images of women accompanied by phrases such as “No Cover” on a picture of a roll of duct tape positioned over the female genitalia of a mostly nude model, and black “x” marks over the model’s nipples and black tape over part of her mid-section, with the phrase, “Black Friday/Black Tape Party.” It has also included pictures of female models’ buttocks with headlines such as “Check Out Our Sweet Ass Specials.”

These advertising images are inappropriate to and disrespectful of much of the general readership of a paper such as City Paper. As pornographic images, these images also help perpetuate much harm that is done to women, as well as men.

The incursion of porn into popular and mainstream culture and the negative impact of porn on women’s and men’s physical and mental health have been thoroughly documented in Gail Dines’ book Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality. Dines identifies many reasons for concern about porn, for example, extreme violence and abuse of women associated with production of such porn, and constant exposure to porn in our society resulting in the hypersexualizing of women, where women are expected to dress and carry themselves sexually day-in and day-out, with little value given to their (non-sexual) skills and brains.

The presence of porn in popular and mainstream culture contributed to these problems. We need a City Paper that not only provides information about local news and events, including events showcasing women’s artistic and literary talents, but that also shows respect for women’s non-sexual accomplishments in its advertising. I urge City Paper to reject pornographic advertising.

M. Sarros


Homeless Hustle

I read with a shaking head the article “Gimme Shelter” (Feature, Nov. 13), and I want to thank the proficient writer, Edward Ericson Jr., for his excellent article about the homeless people on our streets, and the photographer, J.M. Giordano, especially for the photo of the homeless liberator and advocate Tony Simmons.

I was amazed to learn that as many as 4,000 (more or less) people might be experiencing homelessness in Baltimore City, including the growing number of elderly women who are homelessness survivors.

As an Afrocentric feminist, I want to speak my piece on the matter. In my opinion, these religious organizations that are supposed to be providing services to help the poor and homeless people are a bunch of corrupt (dishonest) organizations hiding behind the Christian image of Jesus Christ.

These religious institutions, like Daily Bread, Catholic Charities, and the Salvation Army, are herding the poor and homeless people around, place to place, with no intention to end the cycle of their poverty. They are trickery hustlers, using the image of Jesus Christ to make the people living in poverty believe they are in business to take care of the needs of those living the life of poverty. Their hidden agenda is really to put money in their bank accounts, since the business of poverty is moneymaking, to keep the poor in poverty for evermore.

The sad fact is that many of these religious institutions hire a lot of “assumed” educated black folks to work for them, who front a concern for the poor. The same employed black folks working for these religious institutions to supposedly help the poor are one step themselves from living in poverty. They wear the mask of success only.

Many of these black workers (my opinion) are the most condescending acting black workers, who treat poor black folk, and all poor folk, with disgraceful conduct. These “new black slaves” working for these religious institutions for the poor are just another extension of the slave system in America.

Larnell Custis Butler


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