Dudamel; Modine: Saving Classical — and the Alpacas? | Letters | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly

Dudamel; Modine: Saving Classical — and the Alpacas? 

Wednesday, Oct 7 2009

Re “L.A. Phil’s Gustavo Dudamel: Being a brilliant and inspiring conductor isn’t enough,” by Chris Pasles (Sept 24):

After wading through your cover story of “the Dude,” nowhere are we informed as to why he wears a Michael Jackson fright wig. He looks like a quintessential asshole. Nikki Finke is juvenile and tiresome. Jonathan Gold remains the only reason to get your ink all over my fingers. He alone is worth the price of your paper. In all, a grotesque waste of trees.

—Comment by Philip Collins

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Heads up, my man. Classical music doesn’t “need to be saved.” Classic works by various brilliant composers have survived for hundreds of years, whether they’ve been played in a park, a home or a $100,000,000-plus hall. Dudamel’s inspiring participation and exuberant passion are certainly welcome. Excellence always is. But, no matter how this current presentation of such a timeless music form translates, classical music will always survive (of course), as it has through the ages. Best of luck and dreams of greatness to Mr. Dudamel. But L.A. Weekly isn’t doing him or its readers any favors by laying the “savior” of classical music upon his shoulders. Let the music play.

—Blake Kamper


There’s not a single sentence here that would encourage or invigorate Angelenos to see for themselves if the Dude is for real. (He is.)

And who are you to charge Dudamel with “saving classical music”? Classical music will never die; it will just be in the hands, minds and hearts of those who know. As for Chris Pasles, who listened to the Killers or early Sonic Youth or ironic early-’90s rap classics from his isolationist adolescence while writing this article, it doesn’t even sound like he watched the appropriate YouTube videos to form any kind of opinion about who Dudamel is as a conductor/musician. (His instrument is the orchestra.)

“It’s a celebration that suggests Dudamel is a raging success even before he lifts his baton as music director for the first time. But don’t believe it.”

He’s played the Albert Hall with the Bolivar Youth Orchestra! La Sistema! He’s the most celebrated figure in classical music today! He already IS a raging success! If you’re there Saturday, tell me what you’re wearing so I can have fantasies about puncturing your eardrums.

—Comment by Otis Echidna, L.A.


How Not to Succeed in Theater While Really Trying
Re “Matthew Modine Can’t Save the Alpacas,” by Steven Leigh Morris (Sept 23):

I wish I had read this review before buying tickets for this awful play. Shame on the Geffen for putting on such a terrible, poorly written and poorly acted show, and for charging for it. What are they thinking? I foolishly thought, if it’s at the Geffen it must be good; I couldn’t have been more wrong. Listening to the comments of other audience members during intermission in the bathroom, I was thankful that it wasn’t just me. Needless to say there were quite a few people who left at intermission. I couldn’t convince my husband to leave. I think he was hoping it would get better. We learned a big lesson tonight: Read the reviews before ever buying a ticket.

—Comment by Joan, Topanga


Get off Your Butts
Re “Capitalism: A Love Story’s Awful Truth,” by Ella Taylor (Sept 23):

The reviewer must have been asleep through half of this film. What about the priests who talk about the sin of capitalism?

What about the story of how the FBI took agents out of the blue collar–crimes division and made them part of this whole bogus National Security division? No terrorists ever threw any Americans out of their homes! Or how about when he shows how much each of these corrupt members of Congress has taken from the banks? Sure, he did something similar in Sicko, but that’s what Moore does. 60 Minutes doesn’t do that! This film is NOT about capitalism but is instead about democracy, and how we better get off our butts and put these corporations and their Congressional lackeys out of work by voting them out and using the power of the pocketbook.

—Comment by Orion


I saw this film at the Venice Film Festival, where it premiered, and the Europeans loved it. Moore is up to the same, but one thing is for real: He has balls (chutzpah), more than the people who just expect mere entertainment with their capitalism and movie experience. The highlights in this film are the congresswoman on Capitol Hill telling Americans to NOT abandon their homes and to fight for their rights. As we should all do, since the bankers took our money. Although they still get a bonus, none of us can afford our student-loan payments amid this crisis. The film isn’t about the crisis but about how something like this occurs through DERIVATIVES and other sneaky banking techniques. The writer of this article is clearly someone who voted for Arnold “the Governator,” and I would call him a red who should work for FOX.

—Comment by LRL


Re “LAUSD’s Finest,” by Max Taves (Sept 4):

The article erroneously reported that former LAUSD Police Chief Wesley Mitchell was pressured to resign after thousands of downloaded porn images were found on his school district–issued computers. In fact, Mitchell retired in January 2002, and the allegations were made the following month. The porn downloads were traced to his son, a high school teacher. L.A. Weekly regrets the error.

—Jill Stewart

Re L.A. Weekly’s “Best of L.A. 2009” issue (Oct. 2):

Nneka Chinelo should have been credited as hair stylist and manicurist for Sarah Marie Hilker, the model who portrayed Elvira in that issue. We regret the omission.

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