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
Speaking of Tongues As a regular reader and user of the L.A.Weekly,I am no longer able to find the Calendar section. Instead, there seems to be a section called “La Vida.” Since English is our unifying language in this country, I am disappointed to see this change. I am now hoping to see a section called “Dos Lebn” (sorry, I don’t have Aleph-Beis on this computer, so I have transliterated), since I am a Yiddish speaker. I hope you will include the same section in all languages to better serve allof your readers.
—Zelde MalevitzLos Angeles
On the Go Counter to a complainer last week [Letters column, “Please — No Go”]: Yes, yes, we can form our own opinions, but for heaven’s sake keep the GO. It’s essential to know what the Weeklythinks.
—Michael de VilliersSanta Monica
When did your critics become so easy to impress? Lovell Estell III’s praise for Waiting for Lefty[Theater section, New Reviews, June 24–30] is the most recent example of shockingly generous reviews for disappointing productions. While the ensemble fared well in various scenes of protest (the actors yelled well), the environmental staging of Clifford Odets’ polemic was often gimmicky (a Depression-era strike does not translate well on a sidewalk along Lankershim Boulevard). Otherwise, the acting was often mediocre, and the situations and the characters were woefully underdeveloped. Martin Barter’s direction, far from “skillful and stylish,” was uninspired and clunky. (Narration during scene changes that continues after the lights fade is not the stuff of genius.) Contrary to Estell’s endorsement, in this instance, do not pass “GO.”
—Aram Kouyoumdjian Los Angeles
Carolina Caricatured Erin Aubry Kaplan’s quaint journey into the “heart of darkness,” a.k.a. North Carolina [A Considerable Town, “Carolina in My Mind,” June 17–23], is precisely the kind of elitist, condescending claptrap that keeps our country divided into red and blue encampments. I wish Kaplan had done more research on a Southern state that, historically, has been a leader in the New South. North Carolina and Tennessee were lastto secede from the union and firstto be re-admitted. North Carolina is home to the country’s oldest, finest and best-financed university system, including the onlystate-supported conservatory for the performing arts. As well as being home to Jesse Helms, it is also home to the great liberal icons Sam Ervin, who helped bring down McCarthy andNixon, and Terry Sanford, JFK’s favorite senator. North Carolina sits right on our country’s racial, economic and cultural divide. It is a modern success story, particularly in its significant reliance on arts and higher education to better its citizens’ lives. North Carolina is currently governed by a Democratic governor and a Democratic legislature. John Edwards was a senator from North Carolina, hailing from Chapel Hill, one of the most liberal bastions in our country. Asheville, Durham and Chapel Hill could give Berkeley a run for its money. While tobacco sales account for $564 million dollars annually, pharmaceuticals account for $4 billion.Ten percent of all biotechnology companies intheworldare based in North Carolina. North Carolina is a pioneer in its billion-dollar, environmentally sensitive hog farming. The North Carolina film industry is vibrant, and the most successful in the South. So spare us natives the cartoon image of our great, moderate state. If Kaplan would like to know more about North Carolina, instead of scrawling these crude, obvious, clichéd caricatures in your paper, maybe she could take a remedial writing course at one of our backwoods, redneck institutions. You know, like Duke, Wake Forest or UNC.
—Andy Corren Los Angeles
Backstreet Brawl I would just like to voice my absolute distaste for the article written by Cintra Wilson about the Backstreet Boys [“They’re Back!,” June 24–30]. Not only has she broken the number-one rule of journalism by being blatantly biased, but also she took very uncalled-for stabs at Nick Carter and Howie Dorough! As a fan of nine years, I have never been so disgusted by an article as I have by this one. It is obvious that Ms. Wilson hasn’t listened to the album or paid any attention the past eight years as to how the band struggled to get where they are today! Their album shows definite growth, not only in their voices, but in the lyrical content. They didn’t reach No. 3 after a five-year absence for nothing. So, Ms. Wilson, I hope you are prepared to experience the backlash from your column, because the fans are still here and we still care about our Boys. (To see the opinions — if you still care for the people’s opinion — visit the thread about this issue here.)
—Lauren Williams Los Angeles
I am writing to you about an article about the Backstreet Boys by Cintra Wilson. Speaking as a student journalist, I found this piece of “writing” quite unprofessional. I have been reading the L.A.Weeklyfor many years now, and I have never come across something as awful as this. Yes, the writer has every right to express her opiniontheir opinions, but to review an album and base most of the article on the artist’s looks and facial expressions in a photo, I find that absurd.