For the love of art, I had some fun with your recent issue [April 16–22]. I thought you might appreciate a look-see.
I can attest to Kate Sullivan’s claim that there is a rampant addiction to American Idol [“American Idolatry,” April 30–May 6]. I watched only a few outtakes of the auditions but sat through the entire show with morbid fascination the week it was down to the final 12. I could not take my eyes away from the ridiculous graphic sequences, the bright lights and silly videos, the terrible choices in outfits and watching the judges’ faces when they had nothing good to say. One could almost hear someone backstage saying to the contestants, “Smile, smile!”
I have seen these kids grow in the last few weeks while they figured out the limits of their individual styles. As a fairly well-known independent singer, I naturally imagine myself in their shoes, and I don’t think I could do it. These kids have to put their souls on the line every week, especially when they have to sing after being told they’ve been dumped. Watching American Idol shows that dark side of the music biz I’ve always feared — the pressure that comes with performing, stumbling hard under the critical gaze of fans, managers and record labels, and everyone telling you what you should wear, sing and do.
Perhaps Morgan Spurlock should consider that for the average person, there aren’t many alternatives to fast food [“McNuts,” April 30–May 6]. Sure, it would be great if everybody ate organic and slaughterhouses shut their doors forever, but that will never happen if the cost of living remains high. (The last time I ate a veggie burger from Real Food Daily, it set me back almost $15, about the same amount of money it takes for half a tank of gas.)
I am further sickened by writer Brendan Bernhard and Mr. Spurlock chewing the fat about overweight people and smokers in the same breath. Smokers need only smoke because of a physical and mental addiction to the several chemicals that can be found in tobacco. Quitting is an option. Overweight people, however, will always need to eat.
We should all put down our copies of Fast Food Nation and start coming up with options instead of making films that essentially make fun of those who cannot afford to live the lifestyle that we think they should.
After reading Nikki Finke’s rant [Deadline Hollywood, “Dave the Brave,” April 30–May 6], I am convinced that she hasn’t watched Jay Leno on The Tonight Show for some time. She says Letterman is not afraid of bashing Bush but Leno is afraid of presenting Dubya in “all his dumb-ass glory.” I have been watching the first 10 minutes of Leno’s show for many months now. Every night, he starts out with at least six jokes about Bush’s dumbness, three jokes about Kerry’s gaffes and his wife’s wealth, followed with two sexual jokes about the former sexual-predator boy president whom I vaguely remember as Monica’s boyfriend.
I am surprised that Letterman’s producer, Rob Burnett, didn’t know Letterman’s politics. I thought it was common knowledge that he is a Libertarian. Libertarians are very suspicious of people in government, which probably explains Letterman’s “glee” as Ms. Finke described his feelings when bashing Bush. I enjoy hearing jokes about politicians. I hope that, like Leno, Letterman is including all the candidates.
How on earth did Seven McDonald get a regular column? Every one of her articles is a puff piece about young hipsters who have absolutely nothing to say. What’s the point? Perhaps the Weekly is trying to attract the so-called Gen-Y demographic, but her subjects consistently come across as dull, shallow and self-obsessed.
—Mark Tapio Kines