By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
--Dr. Brian J. Albright Los Angeles
I just read your Linux article, and it made absolutely no sense. I'm glad that people on your staff know what Linux is, but write articles about something, not about hard drives that crapped out.
--Orion Williams Jackson, Tennessee
Re: Michael Collins' "Crash and Burn" [March 1218]. Once again the L.A. Weekly promulgates the agenda of its principal source of advertising revenue, the tobacco industry. Now, what are some of the components of a "Prohibition-style surge in crime" arising in the region? The substance is sold legally in packs of 20 doses for just a few dollars; part of the price compensates the states for health damage caused by the substance; an additional fee funds early-childhood-development programs; the substance is banned in places where people who don't use it might be forced to ingest it against their will; federal officials fail to devote time or energy to prosecuting those selling the substance illegally. I don't really understand what all the whining is about. Marijuana smokers would absolutely love for their drug of choice to endure such a "prohibition."
So far, anti-smoking activists have increased the tax on all forms of tobacco and banned smoking in bars. Such actions have caused tavern owners to lose business and employees to lose tips. I'd say the antismoking activists are a small-business owner's worst nightmare.
--Irwin Held Los Angeles
Great article by Michael Collins on cigarette smuggling and theft. Of course, this was predicted by those of us researchers who, despite being strongly antismoking, do not think that the solution lies in higher taxes and other outright punitive actions against smokers.
With higher prices and burdensome restrictions, smokers are turning to one more alternative: They are using smokeless tobacco products to reduce their exposure to health risks, and health Nazis. Our research group here at the University of Alabama at Birmingham has studied this phenomenon; a summary of our studies is available at www.dental.uab.edu/www/oralpath/FSO.html
--Brad Rodu Professor, UAB Department of Pathology Senior Scientist, UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center
Ernest Hardy's review of Cruel Intentions went beyond criticism to name-calling. I realize that most young film actors today are ill-equipped to handle anything even approaching classical technique. However, when a review states that an actor's "natural film setting would be silent gay porn," that begins to sound less like criticism and more like a personal matter. The need to sound witty and clever I accept, but that remark was neither, just malicious. Mediocrity may need to stand on a large pile of dung to feel taller, but this kind of thing is not worthy of Mr. Hardy, nor of your paper.
--Ruben Collazo Los Angeles
F.X. Feeney rightly noted that Stanley Kubrick was a master cinematic technician. Unfortunately, he failed to mention that the director wasn't much of a thinker, moralist or humanist. In the last 27 years of his life, he had great technique and almost nothing to do with it. After the brilliance of Paths of Glory, Lolita, Dr. Strangelove and A Clockwork Orange, Kubrick had the power to make any movie he wanted to, and what did he give us? A heap of mediocrity. He had become obsessed with lighting and color and sound, and lost track of the human heart and soul. He turned into a pathetic version of Hal, the computer from 2001. I don't find this a cause for celebration.
--Dan O'Neil Los Angeles
I have just two questions: Exactly what kind of drugs was F.X. Feeney on when he saw 2001, and where can I get some?
As an independent who voted for Clinton, and as one who watched the Judiciary Committee hearings and the Senate trial almost in toto, I found Harold Meyerson's and Will Rogers' recent articles on James Rogan [February 1218] disingenuous and sneaky. They disparaged just about anything Representative Rogan has ever done, with a parsing and manipulation of words that would make Clinton himself proud. Hard as it might be for these writers to fathom, there are people in America who still believe in right and wrong. From what I've seen, James Rogan is one of them.
I'd like to thank the L.A. Weekly for its recognition of the late Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun ["Last Wishes," March 1218]. Your inclusion of segments of a dissenting opinion that has become fundamental for abolitionists nationwide was both appreciated and moving. I look forward to coverage as challenging and penetrating of California's addiction to state-sanctioned murder. I wish you continued success.
--K. Bandell Norwalk