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Giving Woods the Agri-business

I don’t read this paper often, but now there’s certainly a sour taste in my mouth.

I was horrified to read Baynard Woods’ “review” of Sue Spaid’s new book (“Culture and Agriculture,” Books, Jan. 16). The review stunk of the worst kind of internet “journalism.” where writers feel no need to justify their claims and find it adequate to slam something that they are clearly prejudiced against and have little understanding of in the first place. Reading the statement “the art sucks” was a new low for me, and I’m surprised that the City Paper stands for such garbage. If the writer was only slightly informed, he’d know that ecological aesthetics, or eco-art, has been around for 50 years and there are stacks of books written on the subject. Spaid’s book is simply pointing to the latest branch on the eco-art tree—focusing on the agricultural component. The book is not out of left field, to be regarded as trash, but an important contribution to this line of work. Spaid has offered plenty of defense for this work being taken seriously. Woods apparently needs no justification or defense for his views. It was quite obvious as well that he did little more than flip through the book before offering his misinformed and lowbrow opinion. I don’t read this paper often, but now there’s certainly a sour taste in my mouth about the standards of journalism at work here.

Mark Cooley

Warrenton, VA

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