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Getting the creeps
I braved the throngs at Southpoint Mall's opening day where I went only to shoot photos, only to be detained for having a camera. Since then, I've been fascinated--in the creepiest of possible ways--by their selection of statuary; the life-size painted bronze-age kids which fit into no known anthropological categories.

Well I was an art history majory in college decades ago. I tried to learn to tell art from craft, craft from crap and crap from kitsch. But in the demonic imposition of these Southpoint statues there dwells a school of "creepy" beyond any defining parameters. They keep me home more than the fading political correctness of a boycott.

It's a "creepy" resonated by Walker Percy in calling this current "Post-Modern/Post-Christian Era" the "Theorist/Consumer Era." Assuming he's right (do you have a better notion?), are these then apt and necessary worship icons for our time? These tokens of fleeting emptiness of content and in their ultimate betrayal of what our culture has drilled into us without our even knowing it: A bulk-erasure of a glimpse at innocence, just possibly, as an absolute that has nothing to do with newborns, jury verdicts or Beanie Babies?

So it was with unbridled glee that I read Zippy the Pinhead and Griff's dialogue on "cute" and "innocence" last week [May 14]. I was so giddy that I couldn't start my car on Ninth Street despite others wanting my parking space. I just knew that I couldn't be a responsible driver in that "vengance is mine" state of mind. Zippy & Griff may not have named the beast per se, but, by God, they sure nailed it in about a paragraph.

With a grateful heart to The Independent, with my Visa card as my rosary, I am off to the mall.
Paul W. Murray
Durham

Thanks
We would like to thank the Durham and larger Triangle community for its support of our first benefit MOMart, held May 2 and 3, which raised $4,500 for the Durham Rescue Mission's new women and children's facility.

When we formed our nonprofit organization Just a Few Friends only a little more than three months ago we knew we were a part of a wonderful community, but we really didn't know just how deeply generous and giving it was. The benefit taught us a lot and we would like to thank everyone who made its success possible.

First of all, we would like to thank the artists whose donated works made the whole event possible. From pottery to paintings to textiles to garden baskets, we had beautiful and wonderful pieces donated and we are deeply grateful to the artists who shared so generously.

We would like to salute the Watts-Hillandale and Old West Durham neighborhoods for turning out in big numbers for the event. We offer an extra thanks--en masse, but you know who you are--to the neighbors who suspended their walks and jogs and helped us set up.

We would like to thank Fowler's Gourmet and Whole Foods for their generous and delicious donations, and the Fowler's Gourmet wine department for discerning advice and most excellent assistance. We would like to thank the Durham Garden Center for plant discounts and Foliage Concepts for interior design advice and expertise. And thanks to the Eno River Association for loaning us the outdoor tent.

And finally, we would like to thank our friends and family who donated and/or purchased something, with an extra thanks to family members whose support was daily and means the world to us.

Thanks everyone. We hope to see you next year.
Katherine Bliss
Tammi Brooks
Leslie Frost
Liz Mahanna
Mary Scott Soo

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