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
Sad, Scary and
Just Plain Alarming
Thank you for Steven Mikulan’s chronicle of the CBS–Reagan miniseries debacle [Open City, “The Big Chill,” November 14–20]. Mikulan’s piece was a gold mine of laughs for a centrist like myself. The extremists, left and right, of this country may be taking us to hell, but at least I’ll be entertained along the way. Consider:
The crybaby right-wingers bully CBS into not airing a movie about their flawed hero. God forbid Reagan be portrayed as anything less than a mythical and almost God-like figure.
And as for the whiny lefties . . . Elizabeth Egloff, whose teleplay was the source of frustration from the right, reveals her bias in her assertion that the left doesn’t have “a machine” like the right. The left doesn’t have a machine? O-kay. Was that the Republican National Convention protesting Eminem’s so-called hate speech outside the Grammys a few years ago? To think that the extreme left doesn’t have a political machine is beyond absurd, and to say it in a publication that is a part of that machine is insulting.
Still, in the end, I would have liked to have seen the movie myself, rather than have some politico in Orange County decide for me that I shouldn’t see it.
It’s sad, scary and just plain alarming how Orwellian the extremists on both sides can be.
Credit Long Overdue
I greatly enjoyed Steven Mikulan’s Open City column titled “Where Credit Is Due” [October 31– November 6] about the way the Writers Guild of America is correcting the records of blacklisted writers. It’s a shame that the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences doesn’t take action the same way; they seem to bury their heads in the sand when it comes to correcting major mistakes of the past, especially when it involves the blacklisting of nonunion people who worked in Hollywood in the 1950s. I’m a writer, and had written on the Disney film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. While researching my article, I came across one of the greatest errors in Academy history and since then have written to the Academy no less than four times, requesting them to look into and correct this error — namely, the awarding of the Oscar for 1954 color art direction to the wrong person on 20,000 Leagues. Harper Goff was the true art director who created the stunning, Academy Award–winning Nautilus and the submarine’s interior sets. But because he was a nonunion worker (Disney was an independent studio at the time), the Academy ignored him and instead gave the Oscar to Goff’s assistant on the film, a card-carrying union man Disney hired just to placate the association. During this time in history, the Academy only recognized (and gave Oscars to) union art directors, a nasty little secret they’re not too fond of the public knowing. So Harper Goff was blatantly, deliberately ignored and passed over in favor of his assistant. Crazy, isn’t it?
I talked to Goff before he died, and he was deeply saddened by the Academy’s disregard of him, and the finest work he had ever done. Maybe someday the Academy of Motion Pictures will do the right thing and fix the historical record. In the meantime, their silence on Mr. Goff speaks volumes to me.
More on Nature
I enjoyed your article “Get Me to the Church on Time and a Half for Overtime: The state of marriage, gay and straight, in a heterosexual dictatorship” by David Ehrenstein [November 14–20]. His humor and juxtaposition of comments support his ideas very well. The only thing I could add is from my current reading on genetics (Genome and Nature via Nurture by Matt Ridley) that indicates that a gay lifestyle has about a 50 percent basis on genetic development, determined in part by the womb’s environmental response to the fetus inside it and the subsequent effects in brain development.
Vernon, B.C., Canada
Give The Peace Candidate
In response to Marc Cooper’s column “Iraq Spins Out of Control: Where are the Democrats and the Peace Movement?” [Dissonance, November 7–13], a partial answer is: Many of us are working our butts off to elect Dennis J. Kucinich for president in 2004. Mr. Cooper would serve the very causes he rightly addresses if he would work with us to elect the candidate who consistently and unflinchingly stands up for peace and justice at every turn. Kucinich prominently voted against the $87 billion war/occupation package; he will eliminate the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy and cut our grossly overblown war budget by 15 percent; and he is the only candidate with a detailed exit strategy for Iraq (see www.kucinich.us/statements. htm#100903). Mr. Cooper, get with the plan! Work for our man! The REAL peace candidate: Dennis J. Kucinich 2004!
What’s new about what Marc Cooper is writing? He still likes to beat up the “liberals” and will beat up the Greens if they attempt to educate the voters and give them an honest alternative candidate. Why isn’t he supporting Kucinich? There’s a Democrat who states solutions. I assume Marc will only support a Democrat if he perceives that candidate will “win.” I detect a shrill whine in his writing. Am I wrong?