To the editor:
Mindie Paget's article (J-W, Sunday) devoted to Lawrence artists jumping on the anti-Washington, or "antiwar," bandwagon was most inspiring. It was not so much for the political views it presented but for the proof it offered that a person can be a successful visual artist even with severe myopia.
Matt Ridgway's desire to use his gift for something "meaningful" is a commendable attitude. Imagine what he might accomplish with clear vision.
For example, he states that in addition to "bullying" other countries the United States is "bullying our own citizenry." When, Mr. Ridgway, have you been the victim of bullying by the elected government of your country?
Please don't confuse bullying with merely having policies that you don't agree with. And if you insist that our government is bullying its citizens as well as citizens of the world, what do you call the acts Saddam Hussein committed against the people of Iraq? Or does myopia prevent you from applying your convictions to issues outside U.S. borders?
Mr. Ridgway said, "I feel like people are very misinformed" and that they are "purposefully kept that way." Other than your feeling, are those statements based on anything real, with evidence to support them?
I love the fact ours is a country where freedom of speech and freedom of expression are not merely tolerated, but cherished. I also love the way an artist can observe and create beauty and detail that others tend to overlook.
I would challenge Mr. Ridgway and all artists with a sincere conviction to let their gifts be used for peace to get in touch with the artists of Iraq for a more realistic perspective on bullying and a less myopic view of world affairs.
Marc Jonathan Haney,