Helbig's Vendetta | Letters | Chicago Reader

Helbig's Vendetta 

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After reading what proved to be another sinister attack by Jack Helbig on Paula Killen's work, The State I'm In: A Travelogue, Continued, in the April 22, 1994, Reader, it is apparent that Mr. Helbig cannot conceal his personal vendetta for Ms. Killen. First he begrudges her her "ability to attract press attention" and then goes on to hunt her through the media "grapevine" where Mr. Helbig alleges that he "was not the only media person to be singed by her rage. . . . Hell hath no fury like a Killen panned." Given this scathing introduction, it is obvious that regardless of any embellishment Ms. Killen may have made to her show, she was certain to be damned by Mr. Helbig.

Finally, Mr. Helbig's writing serves as its own epithet. Referring to Ms. Killen's story of her journey to hell, Mr. Helbig opines that such a passage raises "the bullshit quotient to toxic levels." Unfortunately, Mr. Helbig's metaphoric acumen is as limited now as it was at the time of his review of Ms. Killen's Goodman show, wherein he referenced the same profane analogy. In sum, Mr. Helbig's "review" serves as a far greater indictment of his own shortcomings than it does of Ms. Killen's talents.

Maureen Marabon Murphy

N. Hoyne

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