Thanks for
Marc Cooper’s article “March
Madness” [Dissonance, March 21–27]
. Cooper put into words exactly the way
that I feel about Bush’s ill-considered war. The article was a nuanced anti-war
position that I don’t hear from the larger anti-war movement. But then again,
the bumper-sticker sloganeering of the Bush administration doesn’t exactly encourage
a nuanced reply.

—Robert Payne
Studio City


Re: Marc Cooper’s “Political
Life: Shopping for a Hero,” [A Considerable Town, March 21–27]
. Was I at
the same Howard Dean reception as this overheated piece described? I drove to
that party in my 8-year-old Mazda looking for someone with the guts to speak
his mind. And when he did speak his mind, it was such a shock to most of us
we naturally got excited. Animal House toga party? Hardly. The age range
was teenage through 87 years. They were earnest and eager, and many found their
candidate, and the rest of us left thinking we were going to follow this guy’s

—Linda Feldman
Los Angeles


Re: “Shopping for a Hero.” We’re extremely lucky to have Marc Cooper tell
it like it is. He’s got the guts to say the uncomfortable. Thank you, L.A.
, for giving him a place to say it.

—Louise Steinman
Los Angeles


Re: “On
the Brink” [Powerlines, March 14–20]
. Harold Meyerson’s reflections on our
conflict with Iraq are interesting, if not very accurate. As when he speaks
about the “allies” that have stood by us for 60 years. He means, of course,

Let’s look at this “ally.” In 1944, when our soldiers were dying in French
hedgerows, the populace was stripping American dead. While American soldiers
were dying to get to Paris, the French waited until the city was open then marched
in as “victors.” In the 1950s, France sold materials to communist-bloc countries
and in at least one instance allowed a Soviet spy to escape after killing an
American agent. In the 1960s, France had a brisk trade with China and Hanoi,
making sure that there were always enough munitions to kill Americans.

The story could go on and on, but the point is the French have no morals,
no loyalty and, most of all, no courage.

—Kenneth Dowling
Wilmington, Delaware


Re: David L. Ulin’s “The
New Parent Trap” [A Considerable Town, March 14–20]
. What a shameful way
to get your point across — coaching your 4-year-old, who should only recognize
the president’s face at that age, not his father’s opinion of the man. Can you
sink any lower? My son is 6 now, and he knows who the president is — and knows
that no matter what, he is the leader of our country. As embarrassing as Clinton
was as a president, I taught my son that the job is one that not many people
can achieve, nor do they want to. It takes someone special. Maybe someday Mr.
Ulin can teach his kid a new word: respect.

—Mike Calderon
Dallas, Texas


It does not come as any surprise that the media have
turned the war against Iraq into another charade. The amount of filtering, sanitizing,
propaganda, mindless analysis and flat-out deception that goes on in our media
is obscene. I’m hoping that the Weekly continues to provide a fresh,
clear, truthful picture of the war, however painful it might be. I’m hoping
that you will show the other side of the war too, the Iraqi civilians suffering
in this plight. This, after all, is perhaps the most important reality that
needs to be acknowledged in this crisis.

—Leticia Montez
Los Angeles


Re: Nikki Finke’s “Boycott
the Oscars” [Deadline Hollywood, March 21–27]
. I think that this part of
your article says it all: “When the acting community’s anti-war sentiment began
to be organized by director-producer Robert Greenwald in December, he had only
10 celebrities as signatories to a call for peace. A small news conference was
held at Hollywood’s Les Deux Cafe. To everyone’s amazement, the French bistro
was jammed with global media. Soon Artists United’s membership expanded to 50,
then 75, then 100, now even more.” These celebrities are more interested in
self-promotion on a “global media” stage, rather than in world peace.

—David Green
Atlanta, Georgia


Hollywood celebrities are an odd bunch who deal in fantasy, self-aggrandizement
and conjecture, day in and day out. Is it any wonder they don’t have a clue
‰ as to what reality is east of Palm Springs? At a time such as this, why does
Hollywood really think anybody gives a rat’s keister about who does or who doesn’t
decide to “protest” at the Oscars? How many of these ego-boosting gabfests do
stars need to feel good about themselves? Frankly, if nobody showed up it’d
be a welcome break from the comatose festivites seen in past years. I, for one,
would not be heartbroken. The more Hollywood imbeciles sound off, the more the
average “Joe and Jane Lunchbucket” will realize there are better entertainment
options besides movies and TV.

—A. Hauke
Memphis, Tennessee


I agree with Nikki Finke: We should not watch the Oscars, this year or any
other year. We are tired of hearing from a handful of liberal, overpaid performers
using their occupational status for a soapbox. Do they really believe that the
average person is going to believe a drug culture of people who have been married
several times? They can’t even manage their own lives, yet alone manage anyone

—Ken Ross
Detroit, Michigan


Re: Steven Leigh Morris’ “History
in the Remaking” [March 14–20]
. Thanks for your profile on Ed Begley Jr.
and his musical. Because of that article, I went to a performance last weekend
and found, in its combination of humanity, intelligence and emotion, the core
of what theater should be — and rarely is. Musicals, in general, suck. They
present false situations in pseudo-pop musical styles and interest only people
already interested in musicals. Cesar and Ruben is about something that
matters, and uses real pop music to tap deeply into the emotional core of it
audience’s lives. I did not think I would like a singing Cesar Chavez, but Roberto
Alcaraz made a flesh-and-blood human being out of an icon.

—Robert Fleet
Los Angeles


Jonathan Gold misses the target in his response about people who visited Bastide
for the $60 dinner and were intimidated into ordering the $90 dinner, then billed
an unannounced $30 supplement for truffles [Ask
Mr. Gold, March 14–20]
. Back in Ohio we called this “bait and switch.” I
know that we see dishonesty in heads of both studios and governments; but restaurants,
being more important than either, should be run honestly.

—James Boyk
Los Angeles


Contrary to what we reported in last week’s Learning
Pick of the Week, Daniel Buren is giving two presentations at LACMA. For information
on “Stripes Strike,” a dialogue with critic-historian Serge Guilbaut to be presented
Friday, April 11, see Page 152.

LA Weekly