Whatever possessed you to devote a front-cover feature story (“What Happened to Our Show?” 2/1) to a television series, The Wire, that has nothing in particular to do with Washington, D.C.? I have a lot of friends who enjoy this series, although I don’t watch television myself. The thing is, if I wanted to read a review of it, I could easily turn to any number of television- or entertainment-oriented publications. I could even understand it if the piece ran in the Baltimore City Paper given that the show is set in Baltimore. I just don’t understand why a television show merits a front-page story in your publication when there are any number of real-life examples of what occurs in the show happening on D.C. streets every day, many of which I would find more interesting to read as well as more appropriate for a local-interest publication. The best stories are always the true ones happening right under people’s noses, and good journalism is about finding those stories, not about a journalist criticizing some other fictional portrayal of journalism. If you want to feature entertainment news on your front cover, I’d rather read about a good unsung local band or someone from Washington trying to get their movie/TV series/etc. produced than a
review of a show that I can already read about in many other publications. All I can think is that you must have had a very slow news week. Better luck next time.
Name of Neighborhood Increasingly Inaccurate
I write with regard to your Feb. 1 Show & Tell article “Bout Pleasant.” It is unfortunate that a handful of latecomers to the issues surrounding ABC licensing in Mount Pleasant have attempted to intimidate our neighborhood in the past year with their single-issue agenda, that live music in our restaurants with no limitation will cure all of our social problems, when our neighborhood faces so many other important, serious problems, such as public safety, the redevelopment of Columbia Heights, and how that is going to affect our economic vitality and the traffic it will bring through our neighborhood.
The group Hear Mount Pleasant argues that Mount Pleasant has absolutely no means or venues to articulate cultural expression. They claim that cultural expression can only happen in establishments that serve alcohol. Anything contrary to that is a ban.
Hear Mount Pleasant argues that D.C. law and regulation should only be enforced upon the non-immigrant business owner. Anything contrary to that is racist and discriminatory.
Hear Mount Pleasant wants the residents of Mount Pleasant to not exercise their rights under the law as to who may file a complaint or protest against an ABC license. Anything contrary to that is secret, harassment, racist, and an attack on immigrant-owned businesses and on our neighborhood “culture.”
Hear Mount Pleasant wants everyone else to operate transparently and be accountable to them. The political history of a community cannot be erased on the whim of a few activists, whether they are recent arrivals or couldn’t be bothered to get involved in earlier times. Hear Mount Pleasant seems to think that any decisions that were made in the past, without their input, are divisive, secret, unlawful, and deny them their rights of expression and freedom of speech.
Our neighborhood is filled with cultural expression. Anyone who lives, works, or walks down the streets of our community will attest to that. The diversity of the cultures present is self-evident. D.C. law does not discriminate against class and race. Nor do ABC voluntary agreements, which must be approved by the ABC Board and found to be in compliance with D.C. law. The Mount Pleasant Neighborhood Alliance has worked with various ABC licensees who wish to provide live music to Mount Pleasant in a way that we feel balances the needs of the businesses with the needs of the community, yet Hear Mount Pleasant says that still isn’t enough.
They HEAR, but they do not LISTEN.
President, Mount Pleasant Neighborhood Alliance
Last week’s capsule review for Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins was written by Jonathan Rosenbaum, not J.R. Jones.