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Though I love living here, the unrelenting stream of letters in high dudgeon against your art critic, Glenn Dixon, confirms the worst things said about D.C., that it is a center of petty middlebrowdom, somehow coexisting with a true center of politics and arts. Is no one amazed that the letter-writers immediately go in for attacking the critic’s “credentials” and psychological makeup? This is the lowest possible tactic. Does it not occur to them to try to thematically defend the art? Perhaps there is no defense, and they know it.

Your critic is doing what one should do: try to save the reader some time and wasted effort. This is what those silly people on Around Town never do. If I took them seriously I’d be running from one mediocre concert to a lukewarm art show followed by some fake-profound theater. There are indeed very fine things happening here, but a certain ruthlessness is required if one’s precious free time isn’t going to be eaten up with dull stuff. Art is not a democracy—artists are not equal. That is the most basic level of art knowledge. I don’t know what Dixon’s “credentials” are, and I don’t care, because at least he’s got the basics.

Dupont Circle