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
All Finked Up
A few thoughts on Nikki Finke’s article on industry excesses [“Really Big Packages,” April 22–28]. I’m managing director of a small Scottish production company currently going into pre-production on a remake of the 1949 Ealing comedy classic called WhiskyGalore(in the U.S. it was called TightLittleIsland).Our budget will be similar to Sideways,using some of the best U.K. talent both in front of and behind the camera. For anywhere outside the L.A. studio system, ours is quite a high budget. I suppose it’s the way of the world, but the extravagances that you’ve highlighted in your article drive me up the wall. We could probably have made our film from the expenses of the CEOs you’ve mentioned.
We enjoy your articles; they’re really well-written and informative, and we look forward to reading them each week. It must make the human subject matter uncomfortable reading them (if they’ve got any room for a conscience left in their egos!). Please keep up the good work; we don’t have a magazine like yours in the U.K.
I have been a faithful and admiring reader of the L.A.Weeklyfor a long time. Accordingly, it is with dismay that I say that I have never seen an article so unworthy of the paper as Nikki Finke’s attack in the May 13–19 issue on Arianna Huffington and numerous others of the presumed rich and famous. The jealous hostility and animus leap off the page in a blinding flash of green and bile.
But perhaps Finke’s article itself is just some “sick hoax,” contrived by Ms. Huffington to gain sympathy; or was conceived as an educational parody on trash journalism at its worst.
—Robert H. Powsner
Point Reyes Station
My God, what is Nikki Finke’s intention . . . to be the Ann Coulter of media commentary?
She is the most shrill, defensive, nasty, mean-spirited, tactless, generally unpleasant columnist I have ever read.
Good luck keeping her on a leash. She is so deeply self-serving she comes across as someone who would have no problem putting out your eye if it served her purpose.
The Not in Our Name Crap?
Marc Cooper [“Back to Iraq,” May 20–26] understands that the Bush administration “has plunged us and the Iraqi people into a well of blood a half-trillion dollars deep” and “bears heavy moral responsibilities for unleashing this whirlwind of death and destruction.” Cooper ultimately throws up his hands and concludes that he can offer no workable alternative. Along the way, he stresses that “the Not in Our Name crap won’t cut it either . . . we don’t atone for the sins of the Bush administration by abandoning the Iraqi people and pretending that the ‘resistance’ that would come to power is anything but fascist.”
Those of us who are active with the Los Angeles Chapter of the Not In Our Name project are very curious about what “crap” Mr. Cooper has in mind. Perhaps this is an acronym for a new rallying cry such as “Conscientious Resistance to Armed Provocation.” Or maybe he just assumes that our views are senseless or shallow. We wonder if he has actually read our Statement of Conscience or Pledge of Resistance, which are posted at www.notinourname.net.
As the crisis in Iraq steadily deepens, some people hold out hope for a “cure” in which all parties can be left in a position that will be no worse than where they were at the beginning of 2003. No one wishes that 1,600 American lives, tens of thousands of Iraqi lives and $500 billion or so of American taxpayers’ money have all been wasted — or, worse yet, applied to yield disastrous consequences. Geez, would America look bad! Such fervent wishes, however, hardly provide the basis to continue policies that are demonstrable failures. Have we learned nothing from Vietnam?
The American people do have a moral obligation to the Iraqi people (and the rest of the world) to atone for the damage that has been a direct consequence of the Bush administration’s unprovoked and unilateral actions in Iraq (especially since we apparently re-elected the man). It should be perfectly obvious that the first steps must be clearly to renounce (indeed, to punish) the Bush administration and to discontinue the most blatant and abrasive part of that policy — the U.S. military occupation of the sovereign nation of Iraq. Though not undoing the wrong, that would at least stop throwing fuel on the fire.
Beyond atoning for our nation’s policy of military and clandestine terrorism, the American people should also atone for our individual and collective apathy and greed. We are a very wealthy nation. A decent level of carefully considered generosity toward our poorer brothers and sisters around the world (and not merely the Iraqis, whose economic infrastructure we have destroyed) would not only produce substantial “peace dividends” but also re-assert our own national morality as an end in itself.
An expedited withdrawal of U.S. occupation forces from Iraq will not magically eliminate the instability and violence our policies have unleashed. Regardless of what the U.S. does, things may get a lot worse in Iraq and in the Middle East in general (and I would not “pretend” otherwise). But, as the situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate under U.S. military occupation, it is not enough to simply decry the lack of a happy alternative, as Cooper has done. Each day that America waits to bring all of its troops home only deepens the ultimate tragedy. Americans must clearly renounce the Bush policies of pre-emptive war and occupation. That display of conscience is, I guess, the “Not in Our Name crap.”