Mike and His Pig
Re "The Whole Hog Project" by Mike Sula, November 13
Thank you, Mike, for taking all of us on this incredible journey with you and your pig. I have a daughter who, last week, decided to become a vegetarian. The other daughter is a confirmed meat eater. I've been talking to her about appreciating where her meat comes from. This series of articles brings it all together.
That's why I don't eat meat.
But I'm glad more people like you are at least seeing part of the process—if not the abuse and sadistic mistreatment that occurs in the factory farms where most Americans get their meat.
I understand the high art cuisine is fascinating and expensive, but this article was very sad.
To think that the only way to save a species is to make demand in the food market. It's so sad that an animal smart enough to recognize its own face in the mirror has to be electrocuted and seared in brown sugar reduction.
Looking at the animal in the marvelous cover photo I don't want to eat it; I want to ask it how to experience inner peace.
Mike Sula's increasingly unpalatable and vile columns are more repulsive than ever evidenced by his November 18 pig slaughter abomination. He had the audacity to state that the people who raise and kill pigs for greed love their pigs. The Reader is an anathema to pacifism and animal rights for headlining a story that glorifies the butchering of intelligent creatures of God as a means to assuage the appetites of fallen bloodthirsty humans that are plunging towards cannibalism.
Brien Comerford, Glenview
We Sang Into the Wind and Made the Rent
Re "Criminalizing Culture" by Miles Raymer, October 23
During my 40 years in the Chicago area folk music scene, rather than deal with these legal criminals, I ignored them and flew beneath their radar. MS has me unable to make music now, but I'd certainly not want to have to put up with this current music scene. We did what we did, like Leadbelly, Cisco, and all the other folksingers who sang each others' songs anytime and anywhere they wished—and put 'em on our albums too. It was all grist for the/our mill—based on sharing. We wrote songs to any tune we damn well wanted to—and it didn't discommode anybody at all. It really was like alchemy: we sang into the wind, and came home with the rent.
Personally, I played for ten years on Mississippi River steamboats, and 22 years in the eight counties' schools through the Chicago arts-in-education agency called Urban Gateways. [Plus] 37 years at the No Exit Coffeehouse to boot. It was a glorious musical time that will, I am afraid, not come again.
As my friend, Jerry Rasmussen says, "In folk music, there is no such thing as a career move!"
Maybe not. But we had a ball and even made a living.
It was never about the money!!
Thanks for including the image of Black Hills in your October 30 gallery listings. However, I was disheartened to see the artist's name printed as "Nicole Allen"—as her name is "Noelle Allen." It's an understandable mistake (my dad called her Nicole for five years before we got married), but if you print corrections for errors like this, I'd appreciate it.