The first time I read a piece by him, I loved it. The second time, again, I loved it. Then in the issue of Aug. 13 ("A Cautionary Tale for D.A. Jim Hardin"), he provided the best (and only?) piece related to the Peterson trial that has at all tried to provide a sense of perspective with regard to local history, the politics of sexuality and legal precedent. How often is it that the media does a better job of examining a court case in the greater context of the community in which it occurred than the people conducting the trial? (Actually, don't answer that--I'm pretty sure I'd prefer to remain ignorant.)
It's perspective that he brings to me when I read his work in The Indy, and it's perspective that I so very badly need for any number of reasons. For one thing, I'm in the queer community and we do a piss-poor job of honoring those who hold even a smidgen of wisdom, and for another, I enjoy the paradoxical life of being a student-cum-townie in Chapel Hill, a place drenched in tradition but where a significant percentage of the population turns over every four years.
It simply makes me feel smarter to read Mr. Young's work, and what more could I really ask?
What is wrong with Peter Eichenberger? Michael Peterson is on trial for his life after the death of his wife and 18 months of limbo. This isn't enough? Eichenberger has to print what the man wrote in a sexy e-mail to titillate the voyeur in us? This has nothing to do with justice. Your writer's column reveals more of himself than his subject. He has no idea what happened to Kathleen Peterson or even what happens in court, as he does not bother to come downtown to see. When your reporter produces novels that shine with the brilliance of Peterson's A Time of War or A Bitter Peace, let's hear from him again. Until then, why not print the drawings of Robert Olason and let his partner take a rest? Olason and his drawing pad are in court daily to capture the essence of what is going on there. Eichenberger's inspiration comes only from inside his hate-filled, jealous heart.
Peter Eichenberger is not Hunter S. Thompson, Robert Olason is not Ralph Steadman, and these rambling, obscenity-laced "reports" from the Peterson trial are not gonzo journalism; they are little more than misconceived, self-indulgent trash. The most recent column ("Down Low" Aug. 20) and its accompanying illustration are particularly beyond the pale--callous, prurient, and vulgar. Please return Mr. Eichenberger to his grimy corner at Sadlack's, or wherever it is that you found him.
About a year ago, a friend directed my attention to an article by Peter Eichenberger. I've been reading him faithfully ever since. I find myself compelled to let you know that I think he is doing brilliant work with his coverage of the (local) Peterson case. His information is great, his insights unique, and he brings his typically fresh point of view to every installment. Except for the unavoidable "breaking news" headlines, Mr. Eichenberger's musings have become the only source I care to read regarding the whole bizarre affair.
Peter--thanks for sharing your talent and keep up the good work.
Our Aug. 27 article "A Feast of Fine Art" should have said that PlayMakers Repertory Company, which makes its home at UNC-Chapel Hill, is a professional theater company. In the same issue, the "Buy Local" article should have said that Weaver Street Market's hot-food bar uses a mix of organic and non-organic ingredients.
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