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DEPENDING ON HAROLD LIKE A GOOD CHAD
For Harold Meyersons analysis of the recent presidential appointment . . . oops, I mean election: Keep fighting the good fight. Were counting (and recounting) on you.
Mary Beth Culp San Pedro
Re: A Choice Experiment [December 1521]. Being an avid anthroposophist who is quite familiar with the Waldorf School System and the inspiring life and work of Rudolf Steiner, I was appalled by Howard Blumes false portrayal of this progressive and compassionate man. The most preposterous of Blumes departures from the truth was his reference to what he describes as the element of racism in Steiners work. In the 40-odd books and collections of Steiner lectures Ive personally studied, I have never encountered any such element.
Also, Blume has incorrectly portrayed the Waldorf School paradigm. He asserts that it fails to emphasize formal reading until the third grade, when, in fact, it is not a matter of failure here, but a matter of choice. The entire Waldorf educational system is based on what adherents believe to be a subtler understanding of the childs early development, and the relative delay in imparting instruction in reading and writing is a deliberate effort to allow particular creative capacities to develop fully before the child approaches the challenge of the written word.
Daniel T. Mackenzie Beverly Hills
HOWARD BLUME REPLIES: The Steiner citations in the article were verified by the Weeklys fact-checking department. They were referenced to explain why some oppose publicly funded Waldorf education. I profess no expertise on either the works of Steiner or the Waldorf-style teaching methods that evolved from his beliefs. That is why I asked our fact-checking department to verify my description of Waldorf teaching methods with the faculty of Rudolf Steiner College. In deference to Steiner admirers, I have posted a detailed response from the Anthroposophical Society in America on the same portion of the Weekly Web site that contains the charter-school series.
Howard Blume gets right to the crux of the alternative-school movement. Whether via charter schools or vouchers, what is really going on today is parental demand for choice. Test scores and other factors are red herrings. All that matters is that parents possess the absolute and final freedom to determine how their children are educated. Its beside the point if their decision to opt out of public schools results in an inferior education.
Walt Gardner West Los Angeles
DEAD AIR, LIVING FLAME
Jay Babcocks article on Jim Ladd [Dead Air, December 814] echoed the sentiments many of us non-idolatrous baby boomers hold toward him. Theres so much to dislike about the guy his phony space-face blather, his two-dimensionality, etc. but one gradually, grudgingly comes to understand that thats him! Hes not putting on airs, he really is the way he is, and you cant fault him for being himself. Then theres his programming. The moment one realizes the entire music scene of the 80s and 90s was formed in the 60s and 70s, and that the best new musicians are the ones who have absorbed those influences well, one understands that Ladd is the only one out there truly keeping the flame lit.
Marc S. Tucker Manhattan Beach
Re: Sanctuary [cover story, December 1521]. Great story by Nancy Rommelmann. Id like to see more articles by her. King Eddys sounds like a place Id like to hang out.
T.R. Hayes Jersey City, New Jersey
DERRICKS TURN IN THE BARREL
In regards to Derrick Mathis review of Jill Scotts third Los Angeles show [Slush column, December 1521], I think it was a little on the racist side of things, as was Jill Scotts tired tirade. There were plenty of interracial couples present, and my white man and I were in the center of the room. I didnt see any Cameron Diaz look-alike being dragged along by some pushy brotha that the whole room took time out to stare at. And . . . jungle fever? Please! This is the year 2001 in the heart of Los Angeles. Not 1959 in Alabama.
Helen Vickers Los Angeles
Reading Derrick Mathis article about DJ Marques Wyatt [Departure Lounge, December 814], weve heard it before, and it gets annoying after a while. Los Angeles artists such as the Teflon Dons, Deep Swing, Miguel Plascencia, Aztech Sol and Big Sam have a wall full of work to their unnoticed credit, while the masses are continually updated on Wyatts biography. Mathis states, Wyatt does it all because hes committed to keeping â the West Coast at the forefront of dance music. I think it would be more true to say, Wyatt does it all because hes committed to keeping himself at the forefront of dance music. Can we please have coverage of the L.A. dance-music scene thats reflective of a community, not just an individual?
D. Fogg Echo Park
BEST IN SLEW
I wanted to compliment Bob Mack for an excellent article/interview on Geddy Lee [Theres Something About Geddy, December 814]. Id say this is the best Ive read in the recent slew of publicity surrounding the release of My Favorite Headache. So many of the articles Ive read have been by interviewers who hated the man, or were merely sycophants.
Martin Watson St. Louis, Missouri
Awesome Dan Epstein article on the BellRays [A Little Faith, December 17]. May they continue their quest to save rock & roll.
Phil Downes Boston, Massachusetts
KEEP IT HIDDEN, PLEASE
I cant for the life of me figure out why Ella Taylor, in her review of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon [December 1521], insisted on giving away a crucial plot point having to do with the ending of the film and one of its main characters. Miss Taylor is no friend to her readers if she is going to spoil movies for us. Glad she liked the film. Its a good one, even if I did know how it was going to end before I went.
Kelley Bradley West Hollywood
CONGRATULATIONS, AND WE HOPE SO TOO
I was very surprised and happy to see Tom Christies article [Into Finn Air, December 1521] of our capital, Helsinki, on your travel section on the Web site. Even when the story was short, it was nice to see that a small country like Finland gets recognition in his article. There was small error, tho, on a Finlandia Hall architect. The Finlandia Hall design was made by Alvar Aalto, not Arvo Aalto. Alvar Aalto was an architect. Arvo Aalto was a politician.
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Hope your paper is useful when we come to L.A. to our honeymoon in August . . .
Mikko Hellgrén Tampere, Finland
In the Calendar-section notice entitled Its a Wonderful American Life by Libby Molyneaux [Good Times, December 1521], This American Life was referred to as a National Public Radio program, which is incorrect. Public Radio International (PRI), in fact, distributes this program, which is produced by WBEZ in Chicago.