The American Cinematheque has obviously gone to great lengths to find rare prints of Hammer Horror films for its “Golden Age of British Horror” series, but John Patterson’s snarky, dismissive review [“Crimson Joy,” June 9-15] was appalling in its lack of understanding of the genre.
Patterson relegates the films as “rickety, bottom of the bill” fare and insinuates that Hollywood studio money artificially kept them afloat. This is pure poppycock. During the heyday of Hammer Horror, these films revived a genre that was largely dormant in America, and did more than their fair share to keep it going during the period. Does Patterson seriously believe that Warner Bros. and Universal (the two Hollywood studios most associated with Hammer) would have continued to pour money into funding the films if there were meager audiences for them? I bloody well don’t think so.
Regarding the eviction of a bunch of poor people from an urban garden [“Fallow Dreams,” June 16–22], the mayor said, “Today’s events are disheartening and unnecessary. After years of disagreement over this property, we had all hoped for a better outcome.”
It’s too bad he doesn’t know anyone who could have helped make a better outcome. Maybe he knows someone in charge of the city who could have done it. Something I think all Angelenos can agree on, though, is that the city desperately needs another warehouse.
As co-creator of two of the so-called “nasty” mail pieces you featured in your article last week [“The Filthiest 48 Hours,” June 16–22], I must take issue with your characterization of them as being, well, “nasty.”
We at Shallman Communications prefer to think of them as “public service announcements.” Case in point: Jonathan Levey was not simply a member of a firm whose client happened to be Philip Morris. He personally represented the tobacco giant. We thought people should be made aware of that fact prior to casting their votes, and hoped media outlets like the Weekly or the Times might do a little research and report such a juicy nugget. Instead, you endorsed the tobacco lawyer (Levey) over the guy who passed the toughest anti-smoking legislation in the country (Groveman). Since you didn’t do your job of informing the public, we had to do ours. We weren’t being nasty. The facts were.
As for Kevin de León’s mailer, it was not an attack at all, but a response to a consistent negative campaign against him — on Web sites, through so-called “push polls,” and, yes, even in campaign literature (even though, according to our sources, it was walked, not mailed to people’s homes). Once again: We weren’t being nasty. The facts were.
If you want to see nasty, take a look at how Levey and [Julia] Brownley “Swift Boated” one of California’s great environmentalists — Barry Groveman — by attacking his environmental record. Now, that was nasty, and a public “disservice” if I’ve ever seen one.
Morton L. Shallman
Al Gore’s riveting documentary An Inconvenient Truth has focused public attention on the looming disaster of global warming and the associated flooding of coastal communities, extreme weather conditions, and destruction of wildlife habitats [“The Tip of the Melting Iceberg,” May 26–June 1]. Global warming is brought on by emission of greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide and the much more potent methane and nitrous oxide. These gases trap the sun’s heat in our atmosphere, creating a greenhouse effect.
Most of us blame automotive and industrial emissions. But animal agriculture is a major culprit as well. It emits carbon dioxide from the burning of forests to create animal pastures and from combustion of fossil fuels to operate farm machinery, trucks, refrigeration equipment, factory farms, and slaughterhouses. It emits methane from the digestive tracts of cattle and nitrous oxide from animal-waste cesspools.
According to a recent University of Chicago study, a meat-free diet reduces greenhouse-gas emissions by the equivalent of 1.5 tons of carbon dioxide per year — as much as switching from an SUV to a hybrid car. Folks who care about the future of life on Earth would be well advised to consider switching to a meat-free diet even before they switch to a hybrid car.