By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
Re: Alan Rich’s “A Sad Symphony With a Happy Ending” [cover story, October 5–11]. Fabulous. Should be printed on fliers and dropped from airplanes. I discovered (classical) music when I was 15 or 16 years old. I’ll be 75 in November. I have followed it, chased it, loved it, drowned myself in it all these years. Like they say about La Bohème, “Not one note too many, not one note too short.” Rich’s
article is, word for word, perfect. Thanks a million.
Enjoyed the Alan Rich article — an in-depth, caring piece. Thanks for clearing the space for this type of comment.
Mr. Rich has done the performing arts quite a disservice by saying, apropos of Andrea Bocelli and others, that “Some thing in the panorama of performance-arts audience passions is drawn to the physical or psychological anomaly that these misguided practitioners embody, and so tickets get sold.” I don’t have a problem with a critic not liking Andrea Bocelli from an artistic/ technical standpoint, but I do have a problem with Rich’s implication that the only reason he is allowed on the stage is because he is blind. I have seen Bocelli in concert many times and have heard him sing unamplified at the Kennedy Center, and in Detroit in Werther, on two occasions. Contrary to opera-house gossip, I have found him to be a breath of fresh air in a stale, boring, same-sounding genre.
DISUNITED, AS EVER
Re: “Divided We Stand” [October 5–11]. Thank you so much, Ella Taylor, for introducing the concept of nuanced critical thinking to our putative allies on the left, who have, with respect to the Middle East, lost the ability to distinguish attack dogs from underdogs. As the events of September 11 reinforce damage to an already struggling economy; as the airlines and other corporate entities position themselves to take advantage of America’s anguish at the expense of their employees and other average citizens; and as support for Israel, in its attempt to survive while surrounded by a sea of sworn enemies, is designated, with pernicious self-righteousness by some, as support for “racism” and as an explanation (if not an excuse) for terrorism, I fear that, once again, perhaps unconsciously and probably slowly, Jewish scapegoating will become defined not as an act of historic bigotry, but as a reasonable posture in the national interest.
Should the time, so often repeated, arrive when Jews are deemed problematic, and when an abandoned Israel has been “driven into the sea,” I have no doubt that the voices of my friends on the left will be raised on behalf of the Jewish oppressed. Perhaps they will even support the creation of a Jewish state.
Ella Taylor qualifies for the title “Last Person With a Brain on the Left.” It’s also becoming very obvious that the left represented by the L.A. Weeklyhas nothing at all to do with mainstream liberalism, the left wing of the Democratic Party or much of anyone or anything else for that matter. If that left could come up with one sound and persuasive argument on how to eliminate terrorism without military action, someone might even listen.
Ella Taylor makes the all-too- familiar assertion that Israel is the “lone practitioner” of democracy and freedom in the Middle East. Yet she fails to acknowledge the fact that those governments in the region “dominated by theocrats and feudal monarchs” have been insidiously propped up and nurtured .by the U.S. — the very practitioner of democracy and freedom — throughout decades. Like the hawks in the Israeli government, Ms. Taylor manages to reveal her disdain for the left, and for the indignant Islamists (of course, in a more elusive and artful fashion).
"This is no time for unity on the left," says Ella Taylor. I shall never understand the moral hypocrisy of left Zionists. I won’t engage any of Ms. Taylor’s arguments except one. She argues that the left’s backlash against Israel when it stole even more Palestinian land in 1967 ignored the fact that Israel was fighting for its life — an argument fraught with much oversimplification and myth. The only Zionists with any claim to moral integrity were the bi-nationalists, who had their Arab counterparts. Unfortunately, they did not win the argument. And so the racist dream of an exclusively Jewish state (a state that Zionists actually claim is democratic) was allowed to go forward, the results of which Palestinians, Israelis and the world in general have suffered so deeply.
It is Israel’s total inability to generate good will among its neighbors, its racist condescension toward the people whose land and culture it brutally stole, that is at the root of so much of the pain in the Middle East. Now more than ever, we need to rid ourselves of the moral hypocrisy inherent in liberal Zionism. I agree with those Palestinians who prefer the honesty of right-wing Zionists. The region has enough hypocrites as it is.—Sandra Necchi
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