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
DON’T KNOCK THE BROCK
Re: Marc Cooper’s book review “Blinded by the Fight” [May 10–16], of David Brock’s Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative. I don’t get it. David Brock delivers an amazing document that corroborates that there was, as Hillary Clinton said, a right-wing conspiracy to bring down her husband’s presidency. Brock writes as a worker in that enterprise. And what is Marc Cooper’s reaction? A major Cokie Roberts hissy fit on the author’s character. But that’s what the book is, Marc — a confession. Brock doesn’t say he is proud of what he did. He is trying to set the record straight. Why would you want to trash that? Did you find any lies in the book? Your review doesn’t raise one substantive issue where Brock might be wrong on the facts. Okay, Brock calls Ann Coulter and the now-sainted Arianna Huffington fag hags. The horror! The horror! The same Ann Coulter who called for liberals to be shot. What’s with you, Marc? Jealous that Brock wrote a best-seller? Or are you still shilling for your fellow Clinton-hater Chris “the Snitch” Hitchens? Is that why you close your nasty little piece with an attack on Sidney Blumenthal?
CHILE CON COJONES
Re: Marc Cooper’s “Their 9/11 and Ours” [May 10–16]. I can only say that Marc Cooper’s efforts, and those of Judge Guzman, don’t just provide healing for injustices past. I never thought I would live to even see in print a summons, let alone a petition, to extradite Henry Kissinger. The work in Chile cuts even the most despairing amongst us some inspirational slack.
Re: Erin Aubry Kaplan’s “Breakfast of Champion” [May 10–16]. I loved this article. I am so glad that we have one member of our elected legislative body who can evoke one’s admiration. Barbara Lee, like Cynthia McKinney, is above the reproach of the rest of the legislators, who signed the USA Patriot Act without reading its 342 pages. (You don’t believe that was really written in the three weeks after 9/11, do you?) These two women are heroes of the highest order and worthy of being called true patriots.
THE HIGH COST OF
The crisis at Ivanhoe Elementary School over the future of its dual-language program [“Dueling for an Education,” May 3–9] is but the latest example of the power of standardized testing to undermine educational quality. What the Ivanhoe experience underscores is that any part of the curriculum not specifically measured by standardized tests will be jettisoned, no matter how educationally valuable it is. Years from now, the full damage done to students in the name of “accountability” will emerge, but by that time it will be too late to remedy matters.
How fascinating was Lovell Estell III’s bird’s-eye view of the L.A. riots [“Trouble With Angels,” April 26–May 2]! How vivid his description of the looters vandalizing stores! How illuminating his guilt over ripping off that TV! How hypocritical that he not only still has it, but brags about it still working! A momentary lapse of reason is understandable given the situation, but he should have returned the TV. Half-assed “guilt” doesn’t cut it anymore, people. This sort of fuzzy thinking insults both community and culture, and sets a lousy example. I’m not trying to brand Estell a bad Joe. I’m sure he’s not. It’s just that a wrong choice was made, and you have to rectify wrong choices, not let them slide.
BALM FOR SPIDER BITES
Re: “I, Bug” [May 3–9]. Although I doubt Ms. Dargis needs anyone to defend her, I just wanted to say that I was totally surprised by the large number of nasty, angry letters you printed in response to her review of Spider-Man. Even though I didn’t completely agree with the article (I thought the movie was fun, despite its occasionally terrible script), Ms. Dargis’ piece was well-written and insightful, as her pieces always are. And my friends and I spent minutes laughing at the hilarious opening sentence.
Manohla Dargis’ review of The Piano Teacher [“Music Drill,” April 12–18] was thoughtful, brainy, sure-footed, and a clear-eyed evaluation of a film that was certainly, for American eyes, much bolder than what we’re so often presented with. Her knowing the novel too was well beyond the call. Good stuff.
In last week’s On column, the Carlyle Group, a global private investment firm, was misidentified as the “Carlisle Group.”