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To Know Suffering

To the Editor:

She haunts me still, that fragile, tiny infant girl featured in the photo essay on Iraq [“See No Evil,” June 20]. Praise to the Metroland editorial staff for the courage to select this piece to appear alongside summer frippery.

As we head to the beach and the baseball park, gather in red, white and blue celebration of the revolutionary, radical humanistic ideals this country does, can, should represent to our planetary brothers, we need to be made to pause and ponder how to work together to make impossible national policy which purposely, callously, systematically perpetrates such human suffering in our name.

Thank you, Metroland, for doing what responsible media should do: disturbing us. Perhaps the next step might be to call a local symposium to generate a ground swell, true patriots’ “NO!”

Maureen Baillargeon Aumand

With Obedience and Conformity From All

To the Editor:

As a liberal, the Rev. Jo Page is concerned that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance doesn’t “enhance citizenship” or prove “real national loyalty” [Reckonings, July 11]—she accepts these statist goals. She’s wrong, though. The loyal citizen, such as Ms. Page, obeys the state without question. In a very real sense, then, the more meaningless or moronic the message, the more its regular recitation teaches the lesson that unthinking obedience and conformity are good, or at least prudent. So it doesn’t really matter that many schoolchildren not only don’t understand the words, they don’t quite know what they are.

That may be the only lesson the schools are fully competent to teach.

Bob Black

I Remember 1981

To the Editor:

Thoroughly enjoyed Stephen Leon’s article about the Montreal Expos and the year that never was [Sports, July 25], but it seems that your “Je me souviens” headline might have to be amended to read “J’ai oublie.” When I read it, I thought for sure you were talking about 1981, not 1994. I am a diehard Expos fan, and that was the year that truly and forever broke the faithful’s hearts. I remember as if it were yesterday driving from Albany up to Castleston, Vt., on a cloudy and cool late October day, my radio tuned to the playoff game between the Dodgers and the Expos that would decide the National League pennant.

That year was also a strike season, and because the Expos (overall record of 60-48) won the second half of the abbreviated season, they qualified for the playoffs. In the first round they knocked off the Phillies, which set up the National League Championship series with L.A. The first game, in L.A., was won by the Dodgers, 5-1. The second game in L.A. was taken by the Expos, Ray Burris hurling a masterpiece to defeat one of the game’s best, Fernando Valenzuela. The third game, at Stade Olympique, drew over 54,000 and saw another Expo victory, 4-1.

Now “les ’spos” were a game away from the World Series, with the home edge. The fourth game, however, saw a Dodger blowout, 7-1. Which set up that game I was listening to in my new Chevy Cavalier, driving up the Northway from Albany back to my teaching job at Castleston State. It was 1-1 in the ninth when Rick Monday clocked one that dashed our hopes, probably forever. The Expos went down like gentlemen in the bottom of the inning, and that was that. “C’est la vie,” say the old folks, but for a day or two in October 1981, we did believe that “it just goes to show, you never can tell.”

Steve Swartz

The Art of Best Of

To the Editor:

Your Best Of issue [July 18] had just one category for fine arts (Best Museum). Yikes!

It’s bad enough that the public, our friends and our families take us entirely for granted. But now you? To help alleviate the shame, please allow me to make a few modest suggestions:

Best Artist—fill in the blank with your personal favorite (mine is Willie Marlowe).

Best Gallery (Old)—Canajoharie Library.

Best Gallery (New)—Mandeville Gallery (Union College).

Best Gallery (Revived)—Albany Center Galleries.

Best Critic—Timothy Cahill.

Best Group Show—Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region (at AIHA).

Best Retrospective—Bob Blood at Schenectady Museum.

There—I feel much better now. Thanks!

David Brickman

Metroland welcomes typed, double-spaced letters (computer printouts OK), addressed to the editor. Or you may e-mail them to: Metroland reserves the right to edit letters for length; 300 words is the preferred maximum. You must include your name, address and day and evening telephone numbers. We will not publish letters that cannot be verified, nor those that are illegible, irresponsible or factually inaccurate.

Send to:
Letters, Metroland, 4 Central Ave.,
4th Floor, Albany, NY 12210
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