King of the Beasts
I know it's difficult for people in the barbecue-centric town of Kansas City to understand that people like Joe Schreibvogel need to be stopped. However, I feel like everyone should take a closer look at individuals like Mr. Schreibvogel. Raising awareness to not abuse exotic animals is something we need to learn how to do at a shopping mall — really? After researching the Web site for G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park myself, there seems to be a lot of neglected lions, tigers and bears in the Midwest. I was unaware. Schreibvogel's organization protests PETA (obviously); however, it supports the Center for Consumer Freedom, which attacks regulations and bans on things like trans-fats. God forbid we outlaw heart disease. Should I also note that they were initially funded by Philip Morris? Hmmm. People like this have an agenda, and I'd prefer they keep it out of "innocent" shopping malls while I'm on the prowl for sales.
Zach Swalley, Kansas City, Missouri
Feature: "There Can Be Only One Foam Sword Fighter," May 17
Foaming at the Mouth
I loved this article. My favorite line was when writer Ben Paynter feels his second hit from Jim Gasser's great sword: "I've just been knighted like a bitch." Too funny.
Sara DeFeo, Kansas City, Missouri
Foam Ranger I'm so happy that the Pitch did a feature story on my favorite barbarian, Jim Gasser. I've known Jim since his first year performing at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival. In fact, I believe it was a mutual friend who encouraged Jim to audition just so he'd have a place to wear his costume and carry around his extensive arsenal of battle gear.
Wherever he went, people mobbed and followed him. He made and gave away probably thousands of barbarian necklaces, which he paid for out of his own pocket.
Those of us who've performed with and known Jim for a while couldn't be happier for his success. Besides being pettable and easy on the eyes, Jim is probably one of the nicest, most upbeat, intelligent, creative and funny people I know. If doing battle with foam weapons on a regular basis helps make Jim the amazing man he is, perhaps we all ought to pick up a broadsword or a Claymore and give one another a few whacks!
Wendy Briggs, Kansas City, Missouri
Wayward Son, May 17
Bands Across Kansas City and Time Warner's KC On Demand channel are offering ways for any local band to put themselves in front of music fans cheaply and, we hope, effectively and in a way that encourages the community to support these bands at live shows and in the record stores. We know there are challenges for all of us who either create or enjoy what we call local music. As a direct result, Time Warner's KC On Demand channel offers all KC-based musicians the opportunity to share their songs for free with the music lovers in Kansas City. Bands can submit videos directly to the KC On Demand channel on DVD-R or mini-DV tape. The only guidelines are that the videos be G or PG and the audio quality listenable. Drop them off at 8221 West 119th Street in Overland Park.
Laura Carlson, Kansas City, Missouri
Correction: Contrary to what we wrote in a Critic's Choice last week about Billy Joe Shaver, there is no evidence to indicate that Shaver had been drinking prior to shooting an acquaintance outside a Texas saloon. We regret the error.