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
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Regarding your recent endorsement for president: Ralph Nader relentlessly sounds the twin themes that a) corporations have too much power, and b) government today is up for sale to the highest bidder. Both correct, but whence does he think corporations derive such power? Corporate charters, with their insidious exemptions from various liabilities, are a creation of Big Government. Na der’s “solution” has a blind spot: He proposes to vest even more power in the government, which will only give the politicians more favors and influence to peddle. So how does that separate him from Bush and Gore, except in the details?
For all the Green rhetoric about corporate abuse, it is the Libertarians who recognize that the “abuse of power” is but a symptom of the more fundamental problem — namely, the power to abuse. If we reduced the federal government to its actual constitutional functions, as enumerated in the body of that document and clarified by the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, then corporations would no longer be able to buy favors, for the feds wouldn’t have any to sell.
Which is why, incidentally, it is disingenuous for Nader to claim that he doesn’t support the war on drugs. Yes, he does — for he supports the power the government wields in the exercise of such insanities. When you give the feds the power to impose your version of good onto society, you give them the power to impose someone else’s. And their version of good might be your version of evil. A society of truly free minds and free markets could never force that on us; the politicized version that Nader endorses can. And already does, every day.
BEYOND BOOTY CALL
As an aspiring writer and soon-to-be filmmaker, I would like to thank L.A. Weekly for the October 20–26 cover package entitled “Black Film Now.” As a filmgoer, I have to say that black films at times are an embarrassment, because not all African-Americans want their movies to resemble an ass-shaking, thong-showing trashy music video. We still have a very long way to go in understanding what the black communities really want and what is the bottom line.
Loved the roundtable article on black women directors and just wanted to point out one error: Darnell Martin and Cheryl Dunye have both shot second features: Martin’s film Prison Song (I think that’s the name of it) was shot a while ago, and Dunye just wrapped her feature Stranger Inside, right there in L.A. Although it’s true that Martin’s downtime between first and second features was way too long (though pretty normal for any indie filmmakers who are doing challenging material), Dunye spent about three years after the release of Watermelon Woman researching and developing Stranger Inside, and as soon as the script was ready, it went into production.
—Jim McKay New York City
How could Manohla Dargis introduce the “black film issue” without a mention of Marlon (Tongues Untied, Black Is . . . Black Ain’t) Riggs? Is the film editor homophobic, or is it just that tired parochial L.A. attitude of “If it isn’t made here, it’s not worth mentioning”?
—Craig Kepler Minneapolis, Minnesota
I’m so glad that you guys did a feature on black female directors. It seems today that if your film isn’t the commonplace “buffoon” piece, or doesn’t have a slew of rappers in it, it isn’t representative of the black populace (which is not true). Continuing giving directors such as these more media coverage will help tarnish that idea, and perhaps there will be more cinematic features such as Love & Basketball, Daughters of the Dust and Eve’s Bayou. Keep up the good work!
—K. Tyson Minneapolis
Re: “Hardball” [cover story, October 13–19]. During a largely misspent youth, I had the good fortune to be much involved in baseball. John Albert convincingly and movingly shows us how this game can also have a salutary effect on adults.
Here I am sitting 34 miles north of New York City, hating the Yankees and missing Los Angeles. John Albert’s story reminds me of why I love L.A. so much. It’s the people. It’s great to read about someone who lives life with a passion, and a twisted personality. Thanks for publishing it, and thanks for the Web site so I can read it 3,000 miles away.
—Matt Hourihan Briar Cliff Manor, New York ã
Re: John Albert’s “Hardball” story. Keep an eye on this guy. And give him some space. He’s not Henry Rollins, but he’s got the same smell. Great story from a road warrior.