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PHANTOM MENACE

Just a response to Scott Renshaw's review of Dreamgirls, ("Mo Betta Motown," Screen, Dec. 20) well, his comment about Gerard Butler's "finger-nail-on-chalkboard" singing. For someone who had never really sang in his life, Mr. Butler did a phenomenal job singing as the Phantom. He hit every note dead on. In fact, I prefer to listen to his renditions of the Phantom's signature songs rather than Michael Crawford's performances. To me and to millions of others, Gerry Butler's performance was wonderful. Just because you do not care for his voice, do you have to be so mean-sprited? Come on, finger-nails-on-chalkboard? Not even near it. Perhaps you should listen to the high-pitched grating sounds that Michael Crawford made!

mdlwoods
Texas

PHANTOM DUEL

I have had the privilege to listen to Michael Crawford and Gerard Butler sing the role of the Phantom. Mr. Crawford's voice was suitable for his role in Hello Dolly, but would not have been able to carry the role of Phantom at that time of his life. For someone who had no prior formal voice training, I think Mr. Butler did extremely well, and carried the role as Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber had envisioned it for the film. Otherwise, why would Sir Andrew have chosen him for the part?

debutlier
New York

LOVE LETTER TO ARLAANA

The food is great (at Arlaana, reviewed Dec. 20), the place is refreshing and elegant and the people ... they really try to make your dining experience one difficult to forget.

Maria Serrano
Daniel Island

BARGE AND IN CHARGE

A solid article ("Barge Over Troubled Water," News, Dec. 13), giving a good balance to both sides of the issue. A few thoughts. This is going to be a compromise of philosophies, no matter how the development of this terminal plays out. For the local coalition, there will be numerous environmental studies that Carolinks will have to satisfy. For Carolinks, they are on the verge of closing on the property and starting the ball rolling.

Comment on specific quotes and the like... Marie Antal's assertion and concern about the threat of invasive species on the lake from shipping. This was the case on the Great Lakes with foreign ships dumping ballast water from overseas in the lakes. This project involves using local barges that do not take on ballast, to ferry the goods. It's very unlikely that invasive species would be a threat.

Oil spills from them are also unlikely, since they are dry cargo barges and don't have tanks of fuel like a ship that could rupture in a collision or grounding. Now, the tugs moving the barges do carry fuel, but the spill risk is the same as the Charleston harbor area, and we don't see very many of any significance. I was a Coast Guard officer here for five years, dealing with the port's activity and maritime industry, so I speak with some experience. Now Buck Travis's comments: "Economic terrorists looking to destroy everything." Please, Buck. Your real estate situational losses will be more than overcome by the gains from employees needing housing locally. Let some blood flow to your brain before you get quoted next time.

   Lastly, I am not pro-Carolinks. I am an avid outdoor sportsman and homeowner who treasures the natural woodlands surrounding my property, and getting out in the "outback," leaving civilization behind. I cringe to see housing developers plow woodlands and fields for more houses. So, I know the fears of locals about noise and congestion. But Orangeburg County needs an economic shot in the arm, and with some careful planning, this project can turn out to not be an evil monster, and bring some needed jobs and prosperity.

   Oh, I believe the barge facet of this will happen. Cost effective, quiet (compared to trucks) and tears up less land than a new rail line would. Why else would Carolinks already have a barge contractor in place? Strive to consider the whole picture on this, Carolina!

realtime
James Island

letters

SOCIETY THE LARGER PROBLEM

I respectfully disagree with Mr. Moredock's premise that the Greek system is the major corrupting force at colleges and universities ("The Greek Way," Views, Dec. 6): it's the "system" itself.

We have become a much less civil society, not only in terms of manners, but morality. The campus Greeks are among the worst examples, but society as a whole tolerates such bad behavior, it's no wonder fraternities are so out of control.

Athletes whine about not being paid enough, take illegal drugs, and assault their girlfriends. Rappers sing about killing police and beating women. Television glorifies adultery and drug use. Hollywood celebrates nudity, sex, violence, and foul language.

The recent flap over the use of the "n-word" is ironic, since movies commonly are filled with the "f-word." The City Paper is full of foul language. Mr. Moredock complained about "sexist b___ s____" in his piece. Listen to a group of College of Charleston coeds talking, and you'd think they were drunken sailors on shore leave. As a society we have come to accept all this as the norm. Is it any wonder that sex crimes, violence, and drug use are so prevalent?

My experiences in a fraternity at Northwestern in the early 1960s were wonderful. We were, and still are, a close group of friends. We were rowdy at times, but none of the women were ever assaulted or raped. We never even swore around women, and never heard them swear.

Banning fraternities doesn't get at the core of the problem. Until we as a society decide we're going to clean up our act, behavior that was once unacceptable will continue to dominate our culture.

Michael Griffith
Johns Island

REASONABLE, NOT RACIST

Why does everything have to be about race? It's getting ridiculous. This is in reference to the guy or girl who cowardly withheld their name from the letter, "No Service, No Smile" (Letters, Dec. 13). He or she ignorantly and obnoxiously claimed that downtown restaurants on the peninsula that won't deliver above Crosstown are hateful, racist bigots. He/she claims that these places won't deliver to their house because he/she has black neighbors. Gimme a break! Did it ever occur to this person that restaurants have "delivery areas"? I live on James Island. I don't cry when Folly Beach or West Ashley restaurants will not deliver to my house. I just call in an order and go pick it up. I certainly don't attack them (anonymously, no less) as hateful, racist bigots or corporate giants that want to ruin this city. It's the people that make this city great and crybabies like you aren't helping. So here's my advice: put down the bong and find a new hobby other than sitting around dreaming up conspiracy theories about restaurants.

Brian Austell
James Island

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