I love it when people take the time to write me; being called a jackass over the phone is just so fleeting. Although I made sure to save the voice mail suggesting that I "Die! Die! Die!" I treasure nothing so much as a personal attack via snail or e-mail, and 2001 was a banner year for that. Before the clock strikes midnight and it's time to let go of the last 12 months of such offerings, I thought I'd look back and thank the authors of a few of my favorites.
Thank you to the sensitive gentleman just dropping me a line to call me a racist for referring to African-American actor Adrian Lester's brilliant riff on Shakespearean phrasing as "ecstatic jazz" in a review of Peter Brook's The Tragedy of Hamlet.
Thank you to the concerned aesthete who took exception to my calling First Thursday crowds "wine happy" by claiming that "this is further proof of the deterioration in arts coverage in Seattle because each paper employs some good art writers who have to relinquish critical space for writers of drivel." (I should, of course, have said "booze happy," since that's what most of the kids I see have been imbibing before taking in the latest mixed-media rendering of someone's vagina.)
Thank you, most of all, to the grammarian who felt protective toward the Fringe Festival solo piece My Tree and responded thusly, causing me to hug myself several times:
"This is to the jackass who wrote the review for My Tree: PLEASE spare us Seattle Weekly readers some time wasting [sic], because your reviews are thoughtless, careless, and completly [sic] uncalled for. I've seen your reviews before, I've even seen you at the theater. You do not stay for the entire show (had to go get your girlfriend, or something) and you cant [sic] even sit still. The theater community in Seattle is sick of your reviews, and after this one people are starting to loose [sic] respect for the Weekly."
Aside from the obvious glee associated with the notion of people everywhere "loosing" respect, what I find sweet about this letter is the idea that anyone who has read more than one of my articles would presume I had a girlfriend; they must have missed that Judy Garland piece. The whole thing is enough to warm the heart of this writer of drivel right on into the New Year.