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Just Let Maria Be Maria

By: Serena MacKenzie

Date Posted: 1999-12-10

Ah, let us all preach inexhaustibly of how small-minded people who express their opinions are. Let's reiterate yet AGAIN how people who honestly relate their feelings on a subject are worthless, whiny, unsuccessful, and jealous. Let's ignore the context of the original letter sent by Ms. Bela Amel in November which attacked the presses portrayal of Maria Howell, and not the talent of Maria Howell. I have seen Maria perform on several occassions. She works the crowd and puts on a very good show. Having said that, I, too, disagree with the way the article printed in Japan Update in November was written. It was not written objectively and painted Maria Howell as the second coming of Jesus. We should not be force-fed "Maria Cakes" by a paper which is supposed to relay the facts objectively, suggest to the public to check out a show, and let THE PUBLIC take it from there.

The article was written like a personal review, rather than an article. As far as comparing Maria to Aretha Franklin... I once again agree that the writer overstepped his professional boundaries when he/she treated their own personal opinion as WRITTEN LAW. That's all I'm going to say on that because, as everyone else, I am also entitled to my opinion. As far as Mark Aleshnick's letter goes, which was in response to Ms. Amel's letter, I think he needs to re-read the opinion lettter he so candidly commented on. His letter was much more mean spirited and was an extreme waste of, as he called it, "valuable print space" - BUT! He's got his opinion and is entitled to it, as was Ms. Amel. I don't think that her opinion made her a "crab in a barrel", as Maj. Griffith said.

Besides the fact that she is in NO way alone in her opinions of Maria Howell, she didn't attack the "angel of mercy who flew down to Okinawa to save this small island from lack of entertainment" - she merely stated her opinion in a civilized manner without being viscious. So, I ask you this readers... are we going to beat eachother to death over Maria Howell and our different opinions of her, articles written about her, and how we feel about every aspect of life on Okinawa? Or are we ready to be civil and just accept that the woman is a very talented vocalist, but that she really isn't Aretha Franklin?!?! Just let Maria be Maria and move on.

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