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DEMOGRAPHY IN AMERICA

Christine
Pelisek’s mini-exposé “I’m
Your Biggest-Paid Fan” [November 30–December 6]
, on deceit inside Hollywood’s
hype machine, shouldn’t come as a surprise to observers of the changes in the
corporate entertainment business over the last decade. It’s all “entertainment,”
a justification for grotesque falsification of anything and everything. How
is it that the audiences for MTV and other awards shows are stocked, especially
up front near the stage, with attractive young people who seem to be as (mindlessly)
enthusiastic about creative icons like Eric Clapton and Sting as they are about
walking synthetic Coca-Cola commercials like Britney Spears and the Backstreet
Boys? Or that regardless of genre — from hip-hop, to mindless pop pap, to metal,
to classic rock — they’re all jumping around wildly as though their actual favorite
group of all time had just come onstage? Give ’em Celine Dion or Eminem or Limp
Bizkit, and it’s all equally fabulous.


Next Pelisek should shock us by telling us how few major “singers” have their
microphones turned on when they do their live shows (not to mention TV shows).
It’s all (corporate) show biz — and pretty soon people won’t care if the show
goes on or not. Unless someone is paying them to cheer.

—Roland Charest
Los Angeles

 

Thanks so much for Christine Pelisek’s article. It was sad and yet enlightening.
I used to be a fan of the alternative-rock group Creed until I received an e-mail
from their fan club (of which I was a member) saying I could have a free ticket
to see them in Los Angeles on Sunday, December 2, as long as I was under 30
years old and did not look any older than 25. Being both older than 30 and looking
over 25 — I guess that means I am no longer welcome as a fan.

—Inge Webb (39, and proud of it)
Phoenix, Arizona

LAS VEGAS AND OTHER

MIRAGES

Re: Marc Cooper’s “Fifth
Lady Down” [November 30–December 6]
. Great story, well-written and -researched.
Interesting and sad as well. Loved it!

—Jay Homel
Simi Valley

 

I read with interest Marc Cooper’s “Fifth Lady Down,” the story of the Desert
Inn and of the Strip. The guy is a great writer, but he made a glaring factual
error. The Dunes was not imploded to make way for the Mirage. It was the Castaways
that stood where the Mirage is today. The Dunes made way for the Bellagio.

—Jerry Fink
Las Vegas, Nevada

 

If Marc Cooper had visited Las Vegas recently, he would know the Desert Inn
was not imploded. One tower has been demolished, and the balance of the structure
— more than 75 percent of the original — will be incorporated into Steve Wynn’s
newest hotel, expected to outdo anything else on the Strip.

—Dick Doye
Las Vegas, Nevada

 

HOW MUCH IS THAT A SLICE?

Erin Aubry Kaplan’s Cakewalk column is the first thing
I turn to. Her recent column on the African-American view of our war over the
recent terrorist attacks [“Peace
of Me,” November 9–15]
was timely, insightful and extremely relevant to
the current debate. I laughed out loud while reading this week’s musings on
feminism [“The Feminine Mistake,” December 7–13] in response to the Weekly’s
recent cover story “Girls Gone Wild” [November 9–15]. I hope you’re paying her
more than the 70 cents on the dollar that most businesses pay women versus men
in comparable positions. She’s worth it, and then some.

—Diane Bliss
Los Angeles

FOXES

Re: John Powers’ “Desert
Foxes” [On, November 30–December 6]
. On September 11, I watched television
all day (as did most Americans). Whenever Ashleigh Banfield appeared on MSNBC,
she was reporting from ground zero, not “performing.”

—Carol Anne Sundahl
Seattle

 

Powers is off his rocker if he believes — really believes — that Cokie Roberts
is an example of femme news brainpower. The woman has said nothing fresh, perceptive
or original in 10 years.

—Robert Gregory
Tulsa, Oklahoma

PSA

Re: Manohla Dargis’ notes — in her review of Behind
Enemy Lines
[“See
Owen Run,” November 30–December 6]
— on Hollywood and Washington’s agreement
to promote the armed forces. As we speak, the Hollywood war effort has moved
forward with the six primary networks committed to producing and airing their
own public-service announcements featuring a parade of stars rallying behind
U.S. troops. This is the first step by a 40-plus-member committee that has been
formed under MPAA tyrant Jack Valenti in the aftermath of a meeting between
Hollywood bosses and top White House adviser Karl Rove. Thanks, Manohla, for
not rolling over.

—Matt Hader
Los Angeles