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Re: “Local bearded man attends beard competition, flees in mortal terror

Hi Grayson,

I definitely understand what you're saying here. These are things about which I have thought (and laughed) many times myself. This is definitely not a hate comment I'm making, but I did want to start the rest of my post by saying that I'm a member of the Triangle Beard and Mustache Club. I don't speak officially for the club, but for myself. I've attended 4 beard competitions now, and been in 2, so I feel I've got a bit of a platform to speak from.

I totally get the irony. We pat ourselves and others on the back for something that we have done very little to accomplish. We don't work out or eat right to make our beards better (although if you listen to some international competitors, they will say that personal health is imperative when growing a good beard) and we didn't have to spend hours 'training' to become good at growing our beards (although for certain categories, a considerable amount of time is required on a daily basis to be competitive). So the humor in your article is not lost on me. I lol'd.

All that to say.. We don't hold these competitions because we think the fuzzies on our face should be bowed down to and every one who can't grow a beard should feel inferior (although there is quite a bit of 'cleanshaven shaming' that has taken place by others with beards, and I'm sorry to say that happens) but honestly, we host them because we think it's an absolute blast. We also don't think it's wrong to take pride in something about ourselves. That's not very different from a beauty contestant taking pride in her pretty face, even though she was just born with it (unless she had plastic surgery) Now, I get the amount that needs to be done to get someone ready for a pageant requires way more day in and day out effort, but the concept is there: "Hey, I'm really pretty just because.. Come look at me!" vs "Hey, my beard is really pretty just because.. Come look at it!"

Lastly, we used the proceeds from this event to raise over $2,000 for Raleigh Rescue Mission. I know you're somewhat of an activist, so if you have more of a philosophical problem with the way we raised the money, or with the charity itself, there's not a lot that can be done to help that; but if your problem is with the concept of the competition, I invite you to look at it with a little less cynicism, and see it for the fun event that it was. If you'd like to compete next year, I'll pay your entrance fee and hope that you can come have a good time.

Sincerely,

Micah Berman

45 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Micah Berman on 07/23/2014 at 3:51 PM

Re: “City Councilman wants code to restrict signs in right-of-way

As for City Counsilman Steve Schewel's remark stating that my signs " set a precedent for misuse of the public right-of-way.

I would say that is Not True Sir. I wrote Grace Smith on May 20, 2014 via E-mail and asked her what the rules and requirements were for placing 1st Amendement signs in Downtown Durham so that I would Not violate the ordinance and to ensure that I would be in compliance. I also explained in detail what my signs were going to read.

May 28, 2014 Grace Smith E-mails me with the rules and requirements that I had requested.

1. The signs may only express non-commercial and non-election related speech (any signs related to an election must comply with the posting timeframes associated with election/campaign signs).

2. The signs shall not exceed six square feet per sign in area and are no more than four feet in height.

3. The signs shall be located so as not to obstruct drivers' vision clearances at intersections.

4. The signs must be temporary in nature and not permanently installed.

I followed these 4 simple rules so therefore there was NO misuse of the Public right-of-way.

As for City Counsilman Steve Schewel's remark stating that " I don't think we want that kind of visual pollution in Durham."

What he really ment was " We don't want the Public Corruption in District 14 Exposed."

Here's something to think about... What if the "Signs" were positive messages would the City of Durham spend countless hours and taxpayers money discussing ways to STOP a Citizen for expressing their views through freedom of speech?

10 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by suzukigsxr100 on 07/23/2014 at 2:17 PM

Re: “How McCrory used Valerie Macon to attack 'cultural elites'

I agree with most of your essay , but having personal contact with the Common Core ( as a high school math teacher) leads me to disagree with you on it's origins and strengths.
It's implementation has been confusing , top down , without textbooks and materials and unorganized. The idea ( more rigor) could easily have been added to or re-emphasized to the old material.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by CHHS Tiger on 07/23/2014 at 12:25 PM

Re: “The story behind the heist at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences

Before putting "Eddie" back on display they should take a high resolution 3D scan so that a replacement mold could be created if needed. Maybe the two alleged offenders could make replicas for the museum gift shop as penance.

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Roger Rigby on 07/23/2014 at 12:15 PM

Re: “How McCrory used Valerie Macon to attack 'cultural elites'

Jesus, are you STILL talking about this? Move on already. It's not that important. I'm a liberal fellow, but sometimes this paper is so biased to the point of caricature that it's embarrassing.

4 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by terryboo on 07/23/2014 at 12:01 PM

Re: “Fracking company makes offers in Durham

We also received an offer to buy the mineral rights on our land near Falls Lake in Northeast Durham. I can't imagine that it would be safe for our water supply to frack that close to Falls Lake and the Eno River.

11 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jackie Jenkins Thorpe on 07/23/2014 at 11:51 AM

Re: “The story behind the heist at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences

I don't think anyone should call them "kids". They are 21-year-old adults and should know better! "Kids" lets them off lightly.

16 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by April Kilpatrick on 07/23/2014 at 11:44 AM

Re: “Opinion: McCrory’s mean joke, a poet laureate who’s barely a poet

And why, oh why, Coventry Kessler, did you permit into print "Has Macon ever read a poem by another poet?" Do you think it was in any way justified? Or does it not reveal a mean spirit and a determination to belittle?

8 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Mark Morss on 07/23/2014 at 11:05 AM

Re: “Local bearded man attends beard competition, flees in mortal terror

Nice article, though I'll admit that I had to look up the meaning of two words used in this story. (1) Décolletage - a term originating from 19th century French and; (2) IRL - a term originating from 21st century computer geeks and basement dwellers. Well done, sir. Well done.

10 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by Shocka Kahn on 07/23/2014 at 10:57 AM

Re: “Opinion: McCrory’s mean joke, a poet laureate who’s barely a poet

"But I agree that the quality of Macon's poetry is not the most important part of this story, which is why we dispensed with it in a single blog post."

By "dispensed with it," I assume you mean, let one exceedingly minor poet do a hatchet job on one of Macon's poems? If you read below, you will see that there are some who have more esteem for the reviewed poem than Chris Vitello does.

I really think that the questions that your raise in the remainder of your post, which are of the "what did Nixon know and when did he know it" variety, are peripheral to the central, aesthetic question, does Valerie Macon's verse have any merit? That is the ONLY question that bears on whether Macon deserves recognition or not. Since this question is entirely subjective, it has no definite answer. It was therefore important to consult various qualified critics. I understand your resources are limited, but I think you have committed a grave journalistic error and an act of terrible meanness.

The working assumption seems to be that since Valerie Macon is unrecognized by a coterie of self-regarding North Carolina literary professors and "professional" poets whose annual income on sales of their work would not pay for a new set of tires, her verse is no good. But if we care about POETRY, surely it is the verse itself to which we must turn our attention.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Mark Morss on 07/23/2014 at 10:57 AM

Re: “How McCrory used Valerie Macon to attack 'cultural elites'

Good one Bob. Keep it up.

9 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by wafranklin on 07/23/2014 at 10:31 AM

Re: “The modest, mild origins of perhaps the only complete Merge collection

Can't believe I missed that, David. Thanks for spotting it and letting me know. It's been fixed.

Posted by Grayson Currin, INDY Music Editor on 07/23/2014 at 10:07 AM

Re: “How McCrory used Valerie Macon to attack 'cultural elites'

Try as hard as humanly possible, I just can't muster any indignance or outrage here. If the Republicans are guilty of anything it is being a bit boorish and uncreative. (The foolishness and cowardice is usual and customary and bipartisan.) But here is the real travesty playing out in Raleigh that goes unreported by a conspiratorial and heavily-biased media: McCrory's goofy looking hair. He needs to ask John Edwards where to get his hair cut.

6 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by ProudlyUnaffiliated on 07/23/2014 at 10:07 AM

Re: “The modest, mild origins of perhaps the only complete Merge collection

Great article. One note though: while I like the mental image of Chuck playing guitar, I think you've got the instruments for Jack Cook and Chuck Garrison mixed up.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by sonikrock on 07/23/2014 at 9:28 AM

Re: “Fracking company makes offers in Durham

We do NOT want fracking in NC!!! Keep NC clean & green! Go Green!!!!

18 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Anne Mathis on 07/22/2014 at 10:46 PM

Re: “Opinion: McCrory’s mean joke, a poet laureate who’s barely a poet

Oh don't worry, I know it has to do with adolescent reaction to conventional demands, but it's bad beyond belief anyway. Would the person disliking my posts please explain how Vitello's lines remotely resemble good poetry?

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Mark Morss on 07/22/2014 at 10:02 PM

Re: “Fracking company makes offers in Durham

Fracking ruined North Dakota. It will ruin here and anywhere else it occurs.

14 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Matt Cuskelly on 07/22/2014 at 6:02 PM

Re: “Cocktails meet dessert at Bittersweet in Raleigh

Bittersweet is doing an excellent job in all three of their chosen categories: coffee, cocktails and sweets. Well worth a spot on your regular rotation.

Posted by Fuzzsonic on 07/22/2014 at 4:46 PM

Re: “Opinion: McCrory’s mean joke, a poet laureate who’s barely a poet

Here is a famously powerful use of the imperative mood in poetry:

"Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
"Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
"Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
"Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

"Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
"Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
"Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
"Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

Compared to which, "Explain yourself to this dot • ” and "Fear subjectless verbs" somewhat pale. "Explain yourself to this dot • ” and "Fear subjectless verbs" (it is painful to quote these vacuous expressions twice) are risible even if you have never read Auden; if you have, they are pathetic.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Mark Morss on 07/22/2014 at 4:38 PM

Re: “N.C. State finds buyer for 80,000-acre Hofmann Forest

Many endangered species in that forest will no longer have a home when the corn and houses start a growing. To the board..I say off with your heads!

Posted by Roger Irwin on 07/22/2014 at 12:54 PM

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