In the wake of all the apparent vitriol levied against both Nick Smith’s piece, “The Young and the Zestless” (Arts, April 5), and the writer himself, I propose that next year’s Young Contemporaries show at the College of Charleston center around the classic, time-honored theme of “Cry Me a Fucking River.”

It could feature versimilitudinous paintings, photography, and sculptures of art students and their friends unable to cope with the reality of submitting their work for public interpretation by observers outside of their comfort zone. (Actually, let’s scratch the sculptures, shall we? Apparently those might not be up to snuff.)

If you don’t agree with a reviewer’s views, fine. But getting pissy in lieu of civilized debate of specifics just underlies that notion that the art in question may not be strong enough to stand on its own without the aid of “a priori” justification such as how well artists “pour themselves” into their work — that’s the stuff of biographies, not art gallery viewings.

Until that show rolls around, I’ll be appreciating more of Nick Smith’s “pretty damn mean” — or what I like to call “honest” and “insightful” — reviews like the one mentioned, which incidentally only publicly questions the success of three out of 12 listed works. Most math majors at CofC can tell a few of the children at the Simons Center that this amounts to only 25 percent.

If that’s still a problem, I suggest they stroll down to MUSC where, no doubt, a resident surgeon is chomping at the bit to perform their first “remove head from ass” operation on said dilettantes.

Nitin Arora


I had the privilege of walking in the Hat Ladies Promenade on Saturday, April 15. The Hat Ladies are a great group of women and they contribute so much of themselves to the community.

I chose to wear a red hat with white accessories to match my beautiful new red dress. Well, I guess that was not the thing to do, as I was “shunned” for it.

In my Christian faith, red stands for the blood of Christ shed on the cross, the white symbolizes the purity of my soul, because he took all my sin away and washed me clean when he died on that cross.

What more appropriate colors to wear on the most holy of all special days? The organizer of the affair was incensed because, in her eyes, the red represents another hat society which she does not wish to be associated with.

I will continue to wear my hats of all colors with pride and dignity (including red when I so choose) all around town, and it’s my prayer that all of those who saw me in the promenade and on the six o’clock news will know why I chose to wear red and white.

The Hat Ladies Promenade will be a treasured and memorable experience in my life.

Margie Carley

N. Charleston


On April 15, I, along with three other people in line #37, enjoyed our stroll in the Hat Ladies Promenade down the streets of Charleston. After having a beautiful day downtown, I was informed the following Tuesday that I had not dressed appropriately for the Hat Ladies Promenade. I had worn a red and pink floral dress with red hat, shoes, purse, gloves, and umbrella. Since I had never heard or been informed by any written rules of the Hat Ladies’ acceptable colors, I felt pleased and well-dressed in my signature red.

All was under control of the promenade organizer until the six o’clock television news came on and a shot of our line, #37, was shown.

I have worn red almost every day for 68 years because it makes me feel energetic and beautiful, and I shall continue to wear red.

Just a fun thought, if you believe in numerology, add 3 plus 7 and you get 10, then add 1 and 0 and you get 1. Interesting.

Last year, your City Paper showed me in bright pink at the Hat Ladies Promenade. You guessed it, the same person didn’t like that outfit either!

June Griggs
N. Charleston

[We called Hat Ladies of Charleston founder and president Archie Burkel, who said these letters represented an internal problem that had already been solved and declined to comment further. —Ed.]

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