The Rip Post                                                                                              

NOTE: I am of the opinion that the majority of concertgoers in L.A. find the new Disney Hall little more than the expensive exercising of Frank Gehry's ego. Here are some letters in response to my critique of Disney Hall in the 9/7 L.A. Times Calendar. ---RR


(Counterpunch, LA Times, 9/8/03)

David Sherr

Dear Mr. Rense,

Bravo to you too, for saying what many of us have thought or said over the
past several years about Disney Hall. You've said it in a far more interesting
and amusing way, which makes it more likely to be read by the powers that
could have stopped the silly thing/might stop the next silly thing from being
built and uglyfying up the landscape.

And thank you for a new word, albeit one we're not likely to use too often.
My husband and I were pretty well educated in the 1950s and 1960s and
virtually never have to check definitions in a dictionary (well, maybe once a year,
kind of like Jack Smith's three permitted annual mistakes). Carminative ants
provokes a powerful mental image!

Pat Brunette

You were right on in your L.A. Times piece this morning, and I salute you for
>adding to the fray on the side of rationality. Swed is just a naive guy
>always overextending to ride the cutting edge, and his comments about acoustics are
>hilarious. Anybody who knows anything about such matters (and I do) realizes
>that it doesn't take millions to sweeten up the sound of a place--if
>needed--and when sweetening it, one must keep in mind whether it is the sound of
>Hindemith or Mozart or Monteverdi. (Or Piston!)
>Furthermore, over the years I have repeatedly heard the Cleveland and Buffalo
>orchestras in their classic home bases (both long-been touted as among the
>best), and the Dorothy Chandler takes second to neither. Those who are making
>the gushy fuss about the new hall are victims of what I call the schizo syndrom
>e: they have replaced musical with social values and a lust for that fictive
>condition called "star status."
>You need not respond to this. I merely wished to thank you for sounding off
>in such a public place!
>William Thomson

Your aricle in mondays Times was really very good,modern building design seems to favor the
>grotesque and Gehry has assumed iconic status of god father.other great ones as Wright,Gaudi
>etc.had some thing to say but I would defy any one gifted enough to figure this out!It is a study in
>lines that would be apt for a power station may be even a prison alto it`s a close run thing with
>the other monster of our time and place the Getty,misplaced,derivative,presentious and what ever else comes to mind .it gives new meaning to old saw that a camel is a horse designed by a committe...
>for governor-Rufus T.Firefly
> Best Wishes
  Neil Abramson

Dear Rip Rense: Boy, I couldn't agree with you more!! Gehry puts Barnum to
>shame ten times over. How in the world could nice Mrs. Disney put her stamp
>of approval (not to mention big bucks) on such an abortian. Talk about the
>emporers clothes!! I remember with pleasure attending opening night at the
>Dorothy Chandler but was not moved to do the same for the silver painted cardboard
>Bill Rambo

Greetings Mr. Rense..Have just discovered your site, and in so doing, have at last found a use for my computer....Your Counterpunch article in today's L.A. Times confirmed my thinking that this metal edifice should have been placed in an auto junkyard off the I-5 in Sylmar...I've always maintained the Los Angeles Theater would have made the finest setting for music and opera, thus saving many dollars...Perhaps even keeping Broadway the great avenue it once was, instead of the cheesy Mercado it has become. My regards to you...James Behm

Hi Rip,
>Congratulations on a fine article this morning in the LAT re the Disney
>Auditorium. About a year and a half ago, I wandered into LA and upon looking at
>this weird structure being built on a corner, said, "What on earth is that
>supposed to be?" "Oh," replied someone, "that is our new concert hall in progess.
>Isn't it beautiful?" I couldn't believe it. What a jumbled, futuristic
>mess. I mourn for the lovely Dorothy Chandler Pavillion.
>Now, all I seem to find are accolades for this great architectural monument
>to music. Accch! Monument to the decline of LA.
>I'll be looking in on your site from time to time. Keep up the good work.
>Regards, Beverly

Greetings, fellow traveller!
>I read with delight your review in this morning's L.A. Times. I have written
>several letters, a couple of which had been published, criticizing the Ghery
>monstrosity. My last one was published on 9/6/03. Regrettably, the editors
>hacked my letters to pieces, and it lost something in the translation. Just in
>case you may be interested, here is a "reprint" of my letter in its entirety:
>I, for one, have been criticizing Disney Hall since they dug the hole in the
>ground.  Why?  Because we didn't need it.  The Dorothy Chandler is a young
>woman at 40.  It is still grand and beautiful, and much more than serviceable. 
>If it would be maintained the way it was in the early years, it could live as
>long as some of the grand halls of Europe.  The sparkling crystal beckoned,
>welcomed you in.  Attending events at the Chandler always was a very special
>If musicologists and audiophiles REALLY felt that acoustically, the Chandler
>needed updating -- that's what they should have spent their money on, not on
>building a single-use building like Disney Hall and leaving the Dorothy
>Chandler to rot.  Perhaps it's the orchestra, not the building that needed changing.
>The building of Disney Hall was an elitist misadventure.  It is just plain
>ugly.  It's design aggressively intrudes into the City's skyline.  It may
>symbolize Ghery's ego deficiencies, but it does nothing to promote tranquility and
>thoughtfulness.  It does not beckon; it repels.
>On more mundane matters:  did the designers consider future maintenance and
>repair requirements of such a structure?  What will it look like after years of
>exposure to air pollution and acide rain?  And, what will it look like after
>the first flock of pigeons flies overhead?
>Stephany Yablow
Dear Rip:
> I am an artist and have some SLIGHT sensibility to design. Your take
>on the subjet I thought was rational and sensible. The concept of some sort of
>bashed up ENORMOUS pile of former restaurant kitchen fixtures run over by
>a train does not feel like a concet hall.
> But the answer as to why and how this came about is simple. If you have
>the Disney relatives, etc. FOOTING THE BILL and THEY LIKE THIS
>MONSTROSITY -- who on earth would argue with them? Let us say the designer
>is a mad man. Who care? THE DISNEY PEOPLE ARE FOOTING THE BILL...
>Who cares if the emperor is naked. SHUT UP ABOUT IT!!!
> You are correct in your judgement. No, we don't need to have a gothic
>building imitating some of the Belgian castles, necessarily, but there ought
>MY God, if he could not be inspired by the music of SO MANY unbelievably
>beautiful sounds WHAT THE HELL IS HE DOING? Contemplating his own navel it seems? "How can I shock everyone with some cockamaimy design that flaunts every rule
>of architecture?" Well, he certainly did it.
> The genius of Frank Lloyd Wright was his devotion to art. True
>architecture is Art...pure and simple.. It is sculpture housing something. As you say, it
>looks more like the sagging cardboard homes of the homeless. What a vivid comparison!!! Go get 'em tiger. Have checked out your website and will visit it more
>Prof. Lou Nitti Jr.
Hi Rip...Have just had an inspiration!...We need to find an artist to
sculpture a giant CAN OPENER (about 30 ft. tall) to place near the Giant Tin Can..It will pull it all together...Regards,

Jim Behm


2002 Rip Rense. All rights reserved.