The University Record, April 19, 1993


In defense of the defense of Daedalus

This is a response to Stewart D. Ikeda’s April 12 response to my March 29 letter responding to Les Thurston’s poem about Daedalus.

OK, I agree I may have been a bit shrill, maybe even a little mean spirited, but I’m sick of the attitude that Thurston is encouraging by his poem; that all modern art is trash. Innocence does not excuse irresponsibility. I’m sure Les is a fine old fellow, but he’s really out of his element in the land of art as well as I would be in the realm of physics. Sure, a joke is a joke, but how many Polish jokes have you heard lately? Sometimes a joke is just in poor taste, and Thurston’s “joke” offended many people in the arts community, and I felt moved to a response. I’m sorry you didn’t notice my tongue in my cheek and weren’t able to see my “humorous intention” beyond the value of what I was saying. I guess we all crank and rant a bit, don’t we?

I believe Les would be interested in any response to his work. I’m sure his response would be much less petty and insulting than yours was. Advice to Ikeda: Maybe I am in a cubbyhole, but at least I don’t make jokes about atoms.

Mark Erik Nielsen,
Technician, Museum of Art