All Is Forgiven, Ken
Thanks to Mitchell J. Shields for the entertaining exposure of DIFFA's "little problem" ["Oh, Ken! Oh, Aladdin!" May 2]. I was fortunate enough to have seen Jeff Owen's Foam Party before it was taken into custody at DIFFA. The piece is creative, unique and, yes, naughty -- in a lighthearted way. I couldn't ask the dolls for their IDs, but they definitely did not look like children (and I should know, since I teach fifth grade).
The piece may not "fit in" with the other boxes at the DIFFA auction, but not fitting in is what separates the great artists from the wannabes. Maybe DIFFA is just having another "Day Without Art." Maybe they're caving in to the board member with the weak-hearted mother. Maybe they just need to lighten up.
To those at DIFFA who continue to live in fantasyland: don't worry. Elizabeth Hurley took Hugh Grant back. Barbie will forgive Ken.
Jeff Owen may not have been allowed to display his homoerotic Ken-doggy-style-Aladdin doll sculpture at the DIFFA AIDS fundraiser, but he did exhibit monumentally poor taste in trying to. As the final masterstroke of the project, he claimed his victimhood and finagled press coverage out of it.
Maybe Mr. Owen will favor other charities with his work. I can almost see a little tableau with a contorted Chris Reeve, face down in the mud, created for the spinal cord injuries gala. How about hacking the breasts off some Barbie dolls for the Cancer Society? Ha ha ha.
C'mon Jeff, you wry rascal, get busy! We can hardly wait for your next gem. Just think of the publicity!
A Lobster's Fate
I enjoyed Kelley Blewster's review of Morton's of Chicago ["Meat Market," May 2]. I had to smile at the description of the lobster's dubious lot. It seemed to be straight out of a chapter in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
Tim Fleck, are you jacking with me or what? I read in The Insider [May 2] that "perhaps we can look forward to signs promoting ... the Sanus Municipal Golf Course." My client, NYLCare ("the new name for Sanus"), sure will be unhappy to learn that its billboard campaign has had no impact on you. And, hey, what is this about the Vinson & Elkins mini-train? Why no mention of the Susman Godfrey shark exhibit?
Neal S. Manne
Editor's reply: Sorry, but it's really hard to keep up with all the changes in the "health care industry" these days.
Support Your Local Teacher
Michael Berryhill and all the other fantastic staffers at the Press: congrats and many thanks for your terrific, down-to-earth report ["Bitter Lesson," May 9]. As a teacher, I find it reassuring to know we have the Press keeping an eye on grave issues in the Houston area.
In the April 25 story "The Case Against Hurwitz," California Congressman Frank Riggs was misidentified as having once lobbied for Pacific Lumber.
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