'Woke Opera of Vermont'
[Re "Barn Opera to Get Its Own Actual Barn," July 31]: In your recent article about Barn Opera and its new home, we learn that patrons may be drawn by, among other things, artistic director Joshua Collier's "commitment to contemporizing operatic story lines." Collier, we're told, "will alter scripts to avoid lionizing bigoted or downright oppressive behavior. In a May 2019 performance of Carmen, for example, Collier had Carmen kill her jealous, scorned lover rather than be killed by him, because the artistic director didn't like how the script romanticized the lover's murderous act."
I suppose next they'll stage a performance of Othello in which Othello doesn't kill Desdemona, followed by a Rigoletto in which it really is the Duke of Mantua who is stabbed and stuffed into the bag, and not Rigoletto's daughter. And wait 'til they get hold of Madama Butterfly! Pinkerton will be ambushed and eviscerated by a ninja, and Cio-Cio-San will win a civil suit against his American wife and live happily ever after.
Welcome to Woke Opera of Vermont.
Uninformed and Insensitive
Your recent "Emoji That" comment ["Race to the Bottom," July 24] about an NAACP training in Rutland makes light of a very serious issue that this town continues to struggle with. Since no one from your staff attended the training, how could you possibly know enough to comment on the content or intent of the program?
Racist Neighbor Is Real
[Re Emoji That: "Race to the Bottom," July 24]: Blatant racism is erupting these days all the way from the Oval Office to your neighbor's front porch or the coworker seated next to you. This is not a time to mince words. That racism is unmistakable, especially to those who have been targets of it all of their lives. Each and every day.
I attended the Rutland-area NAACP event "How to Talk to Your Racist Neighbor." I am a white male entering my senior years. I can say that, especially through my work, I've heard more racist remarks in the last three years than in the previous 50. I am personally offended by these remarks. My first reaction to them is anger, but I want to learn more constructive ways to respond, while also recognizing that no matter what I say, some people will not listen.
This event was intended for people like me. It wasn't aimed at that neighbor across the driveway who very clearly is racist. It was about how to deal with such a person.
So, Seven Days? Yes, this was one way to start the conversation among people like me who are forced into situations of having conversations with people who are racist (and homophobic, anti-Semitic, ageist, sexist, prejudiced against people with disabilities, etc.). And we didn't open the floodgates in this "Race to the Bottom." We're fighting to stay in the light.
Perhaps you need to have a conversation with some of us.
Campground Best Seller
I never do this, but I just finished Chelsea Edgar's article "Notes From the Campground" [July 31], and I had to reach out and thank her for being a writer and sharing her talents with the world. We are here visiting the University of Vermont, and I escaped for a quiet cup of coffee before the rest of the family woke up. The people around me think I'm crazy because I keep bursting into laughter. Her writing is seamless in the way it transitions from historical background information to hysterical anecdotal observations. In all honesty, I think a book of her car camping in the least remote spots across the country with many of the nudist camps sprinkled throughout would be a best seller.
[Re Off Message: "With Headquarters in D.C., Sanders Campaign Spends Little in Vermont," July 23]: Attacking Bernie Sanders, Seven Days? Why else bring attention to the obvious — that his campaign would spend little in his home state, where there are very few votes at stake and he has the election in the bag? Please be more up-front with your political endorsements.
Disappointed in Dems
[Re Off Message: "Welch Calls for the Impeachment of Donald Trump," July 18; "Welch Explains His Support for Impeaching Trump," July 23]: What has happened to the Democratic Party as we once knew it?! I had held out hope that at least Rep. Peter Welch and Sen. Patrick Leahy could leave their safety-net cocoons and work across the aisle.
Both Leahy and Welch tarnish their legacies by staying inside the camp of the blame game. The race card game doesn't cut it anymore. I remember when we had George Aiken and Ralph Flanders and how they represented the best in all of us.
Now, Welch and Sanders and Leahy all sink to gutter politics.
Vermont's "super democratic majority" lives in an artificial political bubble that continues to evade serious issues such as meaningful job creation and unsustainable tax burdens. Yes, President Trump can get your blood boiling, but inept intransient representation here for Vermont does the same.
Fact is, our economy is strong, and less government strangulation creates innovation and jobs! We need stronger borders to survive as a nation, and we need and welcome legal immigration while understanding that we need to vet those who enter our country. Those who find only service entry positions in Vermont may someday wake up and know they're being played by our "Three Amigos" representing us in Washington, D.C.
Welch took the low, easy road for political gain.
There is no solid legal ground to impeach Trump, unless hate is your only argument. Pray for fewer Trump tweets, but pray that we unite to face substantive, real issues and work together toward positive compromising solutions.