Kids in the Hall

Loved Dave Shulman’s thoroughly well-written and entertaining look at UCLA dorm life circa 1980 [“Welcome to the Dungeon,” Dec. 1–7]. I spent those very same years up the hill on Hedrick Hall’s “4 South” floor. We had much in common with Dykstra’s Dungeonites. Our rather unrefined all-male residents chose the moniker “The En4cers,” — complete with a T-shirt logo featuring a drawing of some chick’s shapely ass sitting squarely in the cross-hairs of a rifle scope. On the back it said, “Do You Feel Lucky Today?”

Like the Dungeon, our floor included young men with colorful nicknames: Brown Thunder, Spud, TV Bob.

And many of us kept in touch. I just spent the afternoon with about 15 of these guys watching the UCLA-USC football game. Here’s how it ended:

One minute left. Bruins up by four. USC on the move. A UCLA interception ices the win — delightfully wrecking the Trojans’ season and triggering a surge of adrenaline, camaraderie and unrestrained joy in that room the likes of which I haven’t felt since we watched a Hedrick Hall urinal explode back in ’81. (Sorry!)

Dungeonites. The En4cers. Middle-aged men now. Kids forever. Life-changing friendships randomly born amid those dank dorm hallways.

All of us somewhat flawed, but, hey, at least we didn’t just blow a shot at the national title.

Howard Leff

Los Angeles

Still Waiting ?for the Rapture

Regarding your issue dated November 24–30 and the article “U.K. in L.A.” by David Ehrenstein, I should inform you that, to correct the record, I was never the executive producer of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

I have, however, produced several movies of the week, and I received an Emmy and a Golden Globe for producing The Winds of War and War and Remembrance, a 50-hour-plus miniseries that covered all of World War II and the events leading up to it.

Mr. Ehrenstein quotes me as saying, “We [Brits] have this rapturous life here.” Although I may have been discussing the beautiful California light, I don’t believe the word “rapturous” adequately reflects my views. For everyone I know who left their native country to live in Los Angeles, there continues a deep nostalgia; our birthplace is where our essential selves were formed.

As beautiful as L.A. is, Europe has and will always have a very powerful hold on me.

Barbara Steele

Beverly Hills

Those Who Can’t Do, Write

As a seasoned member of the theater community, I need to disagree with your recent review of Carrie Fisher’s Wishful Drinking [“O, Mein Mama,” Dec. 1–7]. My companion and I found her performance honest, entertaining and far from just a few “aphoristic observations.” You may be interested to know that the night we saw the show, Ms. Fisher received a standing ovation from her audience.

If you’ve ever had the challenge of holding an audience’s attention for a whole performance evening, you would appreciate and admire Ms. Fisher’s talent to do just that.

Gaby Rodgers

West Hollywood

Savage Criticism

Loved Dan Savage’s wild, nasty, crazy column about Ted Haggard [“Savage Love,” Nov. 17–23]. Sad to say, you can’t find this stuff in the mainstream press, which is just as well; they’ve proven themselves worthless.

David (last name withheld)


Hooray for ?Deadline Hollywood

Oh, please! Nikki Finke a “crotchety columnist” [Letters, Dec. 1–7]? She’s one of the best writers out there. She’s a realist! Her movie commentary doesn’t pander to Hollywood, she doesn’t kiss celebrity butt (e.g., her column on Gibson) and she nailed it on comedy clubs. If you’ve been to a club lately, they are cesspools, and that includes comedians of all races. Last week she exposed the screenwriter’s dilemma [“Screenwriters in the Shit,” Dec. 1–7], and it wasn’t pretty. In a world of journalistic pap, her articles make people think. She doesn’t owe anyone an apology.

Laurie Anne Marie

Beverly Hills

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