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Sunday letters: New Dali Museum offers priceless promotion for our area

New Dali offers priceless promotion

As your paper wrote, the spectacular new Dali Museum is worthy of all possible local help from the city's Tourist Development Council. Here's why.

I am the co-chairman of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, the advertising agency chosen by Adweek magazine as Agency of the Decade. Full disclosure: I am also a trustee of the Dali.

My experience with clients like Hewlett-Packard, Sprint, Budweiser and the "Got Milk?" campaign has convinced me that advertising and marketing are much more than just paid media — more than billboards, brochures, and print ads. These days, it's about becoming part of the bigger discussion.

The new Dali will make the entire St. Petersburg community part of that bigger discussion. The building of it will lead us to be featured in national magazines, on Facebook and Twitter, and even on national TV. Without a cent being spent in paid media, millions will know about us.

No ad will come anywhere near the simple effect of this iconic building on our waterfront. Dollars to build the new Dali are marketing dollars.

Please keep this in mind when we think of how to spend our tax dollars to fill hotel rooms and stimulate investment.

Jeff Goodby, co-chairman, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco

This, they believe | May 2, Perspective story

Overlooking the ineffable essence of religions

Professor Stephen Prothero contends that the world's religions are often fundamentally at odds, and he is correct in stating that they appear to differ in their particulars. What he fails to address, however, is the fact that the world's major religions do seem to share an esoteric core of mystical tradition that transcends their exoteric distinctions.

For those few who have shared this ineffable experience, religions may have more in common than a careful reading of professor Prothero's piece would lead one to believe. For example, Rudolph Otto, a well-known German Lutheran theologian, undertook in 1932 a scholarly comparison of the writings of Meister Eckhart, a 14th century Dominican mystic, with those of Shankara, an 8th century Indian mystic. Otto found that despite being separated by radically different cultures and six centuries, the respective descriptions by Eckhart and Shankara of their claims to direct communion with God are remarkably similar.

While professor Prothero rightly condemns overly simplistic claims that "all religions are one," then, he also can be faulted for his failure to acknowledge the undeniable transcendental unity found in the mystical traditions of the world's great religions.

Sidney W. Kilgore, Palm Harbor

This, they believe | May 2, Perspective story

Helping humanity

All religions have only one thing in common: humanism. Strip away all the supernatural and myth and all that remains is helping all of us to lead honest, helping, compassionate lives. Thomas Jefferson did just that by paring down the Christian Bible when he wrote The Jefferson Bible.

Francis Prahl, St. Petersburg

Reparations for slavery | May 2, Perspective story

Not a serious idea

There you go again with this silly "reparations for slavery" business.

It makes as much sense as my insisting that I receive compensation for Union soldiers burning down my great-grandmother's plantation home as well as stealing horses and cattle and destroying the cane crop.

Truth be told, descendants of former slaves are probably far better off in many ways than if their ancestors had remained in Africa. So stop it with this silly "reparations" business!

John Hungerford, Palm Harbor

Reparations for slavery | May 2, Perspective story

We owe only fairness

I can't believe anyone discusses this subject with a straight face. We all need to let go of the past and stop the finger-pointing. Here are some facts to consider in this so-called debate:

1: Most of us don't have anyone in their family tree who owned a slave. Yet some advocate taking tax money from us over this issue.

2: Hundreds of thousands of white Union soldiers died to right this horrific wrong. Their families lost husbands, brothers and fathers. I for one consider the debt paid.

3: If this path were followed, it would certainly be with more borrowed money. The government is borrowing huge amounts on top of every tax dollar it takes in now. This is completely unsustainable and must be changed now for the good of all Americans, regardless of race.

4: All we owe African-Americans is what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. asked of us: Judge each person on the content of their character, not the color of their skin. I think most of us try to get up every day and do that.

Claude Hensley, Clearwater

Color him human

I am a racist. I am unabashedly, unassailably, and unashamedly in favor of … the human race. There are no others.

When I was a teen, a guy came to talk with our high school at an assembly. He had traveled the world, lived in many places, met people of many cultures.

He showed us four sheets of paper: red, yellow, black, and white. "Look at your own skin," he told us. "Does it match any of these?"

As we all were shaking our heads, he told us that all people are brown. Some are darker brown. Some are lighter brown. But we all are brown.

I've never forgotten that lesson. To this day, when asked my race, my answer always is "human." There is no other. It is what God, in the beginning, made: the human race … one race … all brown. And God called it "good!"

And I believe that those who care or fuss about which shade of brown it is, are, without exception, bigoted idiots.

Norm Lucas, Tampa

Sunday letters: New Dali Museum offers priceless promotion for our area 05/08/10 [Last modified: Friday, May 7, 2010 6:20pm]
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