Pining for Rocky, solace in our lives I am a new reader of your mag, and Canadian. To be clear, I am really a new reader of Rocky [Antennae, Downtown Diary] and don’t read much else in NUVO. I wanted — needed — to say that Rocky is, without exaggeration, a fabulous piece, a diamond in the desert. I pass the piece round to all my friends as soon as it’s available and it is the focal point of our conversation for the rest of the week. We refer to Rocky, Ikey, the bumbling J — oh, and who is this new Diana? — the way some people refer to the characters of sitcoms that have run, with great success, for a decade: They are part of our group, members of our gang, woven into the fabric of our lives, and we love them.
But it isn’t just that we are entertained. Any real thinker must ask, “Why are we so attached to this piece? Why do we pine for Rocky’s next installment, as we pine for solace in our lives?” Well, the main reason is the quiet depth of the writing; presented with subtle grace, it is prima facie unnoticeable, though shines through on closer inspection. For this reason, Mr. Williams is, without exaggeration, a genius. Of course, he is a master at dialogue — his words snap like those in classic films such as Sweet Smell of Success. That is the entertaining part. But his overall storyline is reminiscent of the authentically pained lives in a traditional Greek tragedy; his characters live under the barely suggested, but ever-present, heartless hands of anthropomorphic gods who seek nothing but their own amusement. We love Rocky. We love Mr. Williams.
Sign the yellow one I would like to thank David Hoppe for his article “Sign the Yellow One” (Dec. 1-8). I find myself in an interesting position demographically in the current Indianapolis. I am a young professional that the brain drain movement is courting yet I received my K-12 education in IPS, a school district that is a “failure” and only produces failure according to most people and media. Though the school system has its problems, it is more than a collection of institutions housing doomed children. Several artists creating original work in the Indianapolis community have come out of the IPS system in the last decade. Before graduating from Broad Ripple High School in 1995, some of the faces I saw in the hall were Alan Shepard (NUVO 30 under 30), TJ Reynolds (NUVO 30 under 30) and Joshua Strodtman of United States of Mind (2004 NUVO Cultural Vision Award). In 2004 I was given the Governor’s Award for Tomorrow’s Leaders by the Indiana Humanities Council and Theater of Inclusion received a NUVO Cultural Vision Award in 2002.
Not only are all of these individuals working artists creating new works in Indianapolis, but all of us are also engaged with young people, including current IPS students. Each of us recognizes the potential in these students because we were those students. The resources going into retaining creative capital by way of battling brain drain and encouraging local artists to be involved in Cultural Tourism Initiatives are directly related to the 40,084 students attending IPS schools right now.
When someone is deciding whether to sign the yellow petition or the blue petition, they are not only choosing whether to support the schools now but they are also choosing whether to support the individuals that will be shaping our city in the coming years. As a city we struggle with whether to invest in IPS and IPS students; however, in a few years the city might just be begging these same young people not to move away. Sign the yellow one.
President, CEO and creative partner of Theater of Inclusion, Inc. and IPS graduate
Religion is divisive I read the article on God with amusement and dismay (Cover, “Heart of God,” Nov. 24-Dec. 1). When it comes to religion, there has never been — and never will be — “common ground.” Present-day believers like Jeff Krajewski and Ramin Razavi are seriously deluded by thinking that hard-core religionists want to find agreement. The goal of all mainstream religions is to spread — and to eradicate the other religions. Razavi says, “... [we’re] going back to the simple, biblical model of what church is.” Really? Which church? Catholic? Protestant? Mormon? Baptist? In the past, all religions (and churches) have promoted slavery, the subjugation of women, killing homosexuals and endless wars. Don’t believe it? Read the Torah, the Bible (KJV) and the Quran.
Jeff Krajewski says, “Materialism is an enemy because it promotes individuality.” That’s scary. “Materialism” is the idea that this life and this world is all we get — so let’s live well and help others live well, too. One thing we all have in common is our individuality. And as far as the movie The Passion is concerned, if the members of Common Ground promoted that Christian blood-bath, they’ll never find “common ground” with anyone other than evangelical Christians. “Common Ground”? I don’t think so. Religion is the most divisive idea humans have ever cooked-up.
Who He said He was Ms. Partin, you say you’re glad your parents didn’t force their beliefs on you (First Person, “Struggling to Relate,” Nov. 24-Dec. 1). For Christian parents, it is their DUTY to teach their children well about Jesus Christ. I wish my parents had done that for me. For 20 years I chose to reject Christ; I was atheist. I did not turn to Christ because of any stereotypical “religious experience.” When I finally became informed about Jesus’ life and death, the only conclusion I could draw was that He was God made flesh.
By reading historical (and sometime adversarial) accounts of historians I realized they corroborate the Apostles’ testimony. Pharisaical Jews didn’t like Jesus’ teachings of the Law. They claimed he was a sorcerer and one of his “crimes” was healing on a Sabbath. An admission He taught the Word of God, and He healed with supernatural powers. Roman historians noted that Jesus and his Apostles traveled, teaching and healing as they went, and that Jesus was believed to be the Messiah. Jesus is even in the Koran!?! He is mentioned as Isa, Son of Marium and is considered their greatest prophet except for Mohammed.
So collectively, other people described Jesus Christ as a great prophet, a religious teacher with supernatural healing powers, who was worshipped by many people as the Messiah. That sounds exactly like what Christians might say without any mention of His Divinity.
The kicker for me was that most of the Apostles were eventually arrested, many were brutally tortured, yet none renounced their faith. Their captors would have released them had they done so. No one willingly undergoes torture unless it’s for a VERY good reason. The reason was that the Apostles believed Jesus was who He said He was. They traveled with Him and saw His miracles for three years; they should know.