Commenters on cltampa.com threw brickbats and bouquets in recent weeks. Get ready to duck.
Last weekend's trolley tour of the Warehouse Arts District (featured in our Jan. 24 Spring Arts Preview) was a big success, attracting so many curious art lovers that there were long lines at the trolley stops. But not everyone appreciated our advance coverage. "i sssssooooooooo tired of hearing ST PETE ART this - ST PETE ART That," commented Markanthony R. Little. "****ALERT***** Project -TAMPA Dirty Canvas - in progress *****paint without permission*****"
Snakes and Schnitt — these are words that go together well — drew friendly fire. Re Scott Harrell's Jan. 17 column, "Snake charmers in the Everglades," Eugene commented, "I am SO glad someone else shares my point on this bogus witch hunt to slaughter snakes— and actually had the balls to publish it." And pltctytc, aka Constant Reader, had this characteristically pithy comment on "Schnitt's snit," by Scott Farrell (Jan. 24): "whiny conceited munchkin narcissist and poor loser who sues with the help of his daddy when his ratings are in the dumper go back to pro wrestling. you’re washed up and an old ugly troll."
Columnists won kudos. "Peter may not have continued on as a 7th grade teacher," wrote Therese Tappouni of Peter Meinke's "The bravery of teachers" (Jan. 31), "but those who were blessed to be his students would escort him anywhere, swords sheathed. Thank you Peter:)." Bill Freitas' Valen-timed Sports Binge ("Wear a cup, Cupid," Feb. 7) got this succinct summation from Harold Valentine: "Pret-ty hi-lar-i-ous."
Commenters disagreed with our reviews of the Naomi Watts tsunami movie, The Impossible ("I truly don’t feel as Philip Booth… that the film is incomplete. This really happened to a family as such. Imagine if such a wave were headed for Florida. We’d be sitting ducks." wrote robbo06) and freeFall's Empty Plate at the Cafe du Grand Boeuf ("I was surprised by the negative review of this play as I found An Empty Plate in the Café du Grand Boeuf quite interesting and enjoyable…Overall, I thought the play provided many layers of humor, symbolism, and thoughtful introspection. I came away from this Cafe fully sated," wrote JustThinking.)
Bill Fisher was unhappy (to put it mildly) with Mitch Perry's Feb. 5 blog post on new airport screening protocols involving the olfactory skills of canines. “What a disgusting example of propaganda in the guise of reporting,” wrote Fisher. “Even the most clueless among us read that GAO reported last week (Actions Needed to Analyze Data and Ensure Canine Teams Are Effectively Utilized GAO-13-239, Jan. 31, 2013) that the canine program is a disaster and needs to be overhauled if not eliminated.”
Torrey Craig weighed in thoughtfully on Crystal Thacker's Feb. 10 post, “Congressman Dennis Ross and State Representative Jamie Grant speak to inspire Young Republicans.” It's a long comment worth reading in its entirety; here are her initial thoughts: "I found the insights this article offered interesting and yet disturbing. I would profoundly disagree with the individual who made this comment, ‘I don’t think that what we believe is wrong. I don’t think that our message is wrong. It’s just the way we package it.’ Their basic problem is not packaging; tweaking your logo will not change the underlying issues.”
Also thoughtful — and this one was a bit of a surprise: The responses of porn star Angela Sommers in Shawn Alff's interview from the Adult Video News awards on Feb. 11. “GREAT Interview!” wrote Rich, to which Shawn replied, "Thanks Rich. I agree, Angela is awesome. I always attempt to capture the true personality of interview subjects like Angela who are too often reduced to sex objects, but I never know if their uniqueness comes through when our conversation is reduced to text and photos. She was by far one of the coolest models I interviewed at the AVNs this year.”
Finally, deserved props to intrepid Gasparilla-goer Chip Weiner, whose photographs from the thick of the parades won praise from Bill Fisher: “As always — great pictures Chip — you captured the flavor and feel of the day — from the Yacht Club to the clean-up. Nice job.” And speaking of photos, you've still got two weeks to enter the CL Visions Photo and Video Contest. Win cash prizes, a photo show at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, screening at Gasparilla International Film Festival, and publication in CL. We're taking entries at cltampa.com/visions through Feb. 28 at 5 p.m.