Your article “Adventures of an Undercover Browser” [November] hit it on the head.
Shame on those salesclerks! Maybe their parents didn’t teach them to never judge a book by its cover. I hope those retailers will wake up and smell the coffee. Too often I’ve had poor service if I am not dressed in my finest—and believe me, I now search out the salespeople who will give their utmost in service, and make it very known to those who don’t when I drop the Amex down.
WALKING THE TALK
While I agree that having car-free areas in Boston is nice [“The End of the Road,” November], how about bringing up the real issue: The pedestrians here are just as bad, if not worse, than the drivers! As a resident of the Financial District, I drive in and out of the city on a daily basis, and each time I encounter pedestrians who cross when they’re not supposed to, walk in the middle of the road, and act as though it’s their right to occupy the middle of a busy street—all this while the light for the traffic is green and the “do not walk” signal is brightly flashing…and none of these people are anywhere near a crosswalk. This causes traffic backups just as much as the bad drivers do!
If cars shouldn’t drive down the middle of the sidewalk, people shouldn’t walk in the middle of the street.
FLAG ON THE PLAY
Ugh…more fodder for the Globe to keep Ron Borges [“Mr. Popularity,” November]. Yeah, yeah, the article was fair and all. But the man does not need any more publicity.
The one thing that the piece absolutely did not capture was Borges’s abject lying. Recent example: Appearing on a TV show, Borges—looking slightly maroon in the face—stated that two books had been written about Bill Belichick, and that Belichick himself had asked for them to be written. A few days later, Michael Holley (author of Patriot Reign) was on WEEI, laughing hysterically at what Borges had said. Absolutely untrue, Holley said.
Borges should have been gone three or four years ago. I’m sure the Boston Globe can find plenty of other writers with insight into the NFL.
I read Jessica Pressler’s article about Sonsie [“Anna Kournikova, Joey McIntyre, and a One-Armed Panhandler Walk into a Bar…,” October] with keen interest, as I was a server there for three and a half years. But I felt she missed the mark entirely. Yes, there are a bunch of crazy regulars, and yes, the servers have been known to rock out. Thing is, both phenomena aren’t specific to Sonsie—work at any restaurant and you’ll find colorful personalities and servers who like to party. That Ms. Pressler doesn’t recognize such a fact makes me think she doesn’t have a lot of restaurant experience.
The reason for Sonsie’s continued success isn’t the cast of characters that frequents the joint, and it isn’t the doors that open onto the Newbury Street cityscape. The place continues to do well because chef Bill Poirier very quietly runs one of the best kitchens in the city. Discussion of Sonsie tends to focus on the scene rather than the food, but Poirier has put together consistently excellent menus for 11 years—something Ms. Pressler might have noticed, had she ever dined there.
Michael T. Fournier
First let me say I love a good joke, and revel in the humor of others. What I never find funny, however, is humor directed at those who are overweight or obese. Which brings me to “Rotundity” [“Critical Mass.,” October], an item singling out a talented child actor on the basis of his being “plump,” and calling him “a (fat) man among boys.”
I am a psychologist specializing in the treatment of obesity, and it is commonly noted in my field that bias against people with obesity is the last remaining acceptable bias in our culture. Your item is striking evidence of just how acceptable it is. I’d be willing to bet your magazine would never run a piece mocking gays and lesbians, people of color, people with disabilities, etc. I could spend hours presenting an analysis of why weight bias is so universally accepted, but the short version is that obesity is perceived by most people (wrongly) to be under an individual’s complete volitional, behavioral control. Even leaving philosophical issues aside, however, making fun of people with weight problems is just plain cruel, and should be as unacceptable as other forms of stigma.
Psychologist, MGH Weight Center
One article in the October issue talks about women needing big breasts, brains, and surgical enhancements [“Just a Little Off the Jowls, Please”]. Five pages later, the suffering of the Holocaust comes alive in a story about a lost generation of composers and their music [“Hearing Ghosts”]. Can we Americans not accept the loss of our youth graciously? When did thankfulness for life, every stage of it, disappear?
FOR THE RECORD
“Get on the Couch, Rover” [November] referred to both the Animal Rescue League and the American Rescue League. Dr. Amy Marder works at the Animal Rescue League in the South End.