Re: Susan Faludi's "Ghetto Star" excerpt [cover story, October 8­14]. In a perfect world, "Monster" Kody would not exist and magazines such as yours would not validate the exploits of such unrepentant traitors. I say "unrepentant" because nowhere in his book or in any of the interviews with Kody I've read have I ever seen an apology to the black community that served as the battlefield for Kody's war.

As much as I loathed Police Chief Daryl Gates' reign of terror and politics, I had to agree with him when he called gangbangers "terrorists." As a result of the Kodys in our communities, our children have been traumatized, and desensitized to the slaughter of thousands of young black males. To make matters worse, gangbangers like Kody and rappers such as Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube make millions of dollars off the misery of African-American parents who have witnessed their flesh and blood reduced to a chalk outline.

Let me add that I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and have done my share of street fighting -- the difference being that when we had a beef, we went toe to toe. It doesn't take much courage for eight people to beat one down, shoot down an unarmed man or kill a sleeping child.

In the end, the only cause gangbangers and gangsta rappers serve is the cause of the KKK, the Nazis and any other group that gets off on black men killing each other. I wish that so-called leftist media such as the L.A. Weekly would stop feeding the egos of these unrepentant traitors and label them for what they really are -- counterrevolutionary baby-killers who are caught up in a Corleone wet dream.

--Alvin Grimes

Los Angeles



Articles like "Ghetto Star" show young Crips and Bloods in South-Central that if you kill and wreak havoc long enough, you can get on TV, get a book published, make lots of money and, hey, even get on the cover of the L.A. Weekly.

--Byron L. Cuellar

Los Angeles



I've come to wonder if the Weekly conducts pre-employment seminars for all its writing staff on "How To Read a Gallon Into a Pint." Reading John Patterson's article on David Lynch's film The Straight Story ["Golly!," October 15­21] confirms my belief that most critics' real beef with any film is that they didn't write it themselves.

The Straight Story doesn't "hate" anything. To a more insightful, less politically threatened viewer, neither do any of Lynch's films. I agree that Lynch has never been much of an ironist. So? He's never been French, either. That's not a crime (certain French may disagree). The film is heartfelt, but heartfelt à la David Lynch, not John Patterson. That's what art is about. To reach completion it requires a fearless recipient no less than a fearless creator.

--John Gootherts

Los Angeles



John Patterson seems to have forgotten to review The Straight Story. Instead, we get to find out his personal political views don't jibe with those of people who yearn for a simpler, slower-moving society. I searched out this review to find out about the film. Is it well-paced? Are the characters developed? Instead I get to read about Bill Bennett and how much Mr. Patterson despises him. What a waste of my time.

--Mathew McClenahan

Sherman Oaks



In his "review" of The Straight Story, John Patterson hardly mentions the movie, much less reviews it. He does describe the setting -- no radios, no television sets, no swearing, no "non-whites" -- in a long paragraph that could have been replaced with the words "It takes place in rural Iowa."

--Robert Beaucage




If and when one of your critics does actually review The Straight Story, please make sure it's someone sufficiently in touch with the 90 percent of the country that lives in the "heartland" to understand that their true-life stories do not contain subversive messages about conservatism, Reaganism or Republicanism simply because they aren't raging with counterculture discontent.

--Wade Major




I'm siding with the "Christian Web sites" on this one. I've seen more than enough "dashed-out brains" for one lifetime.

--J.L. Dotsonshaffer



Due to a copyediting error in last week's Concerts listings, "The Music of Hitchcock," conducted by John Mauceri on October 27, was incorrectly listed as being at the Hollywood Bowl. The concert was actually at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. We apologize for any inconvenience.

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