Judith Lewis’ “What
Democracy Votes Like” [January 17–23]. Thanks for covering the voting alternative
known as instant runoff voting. It’s nice to read about folks who realize that
a “stiff” voting system like ours leads to a stale democracy. Unfortunately,
IRV is also flawed, as Ann Arbor and New York discovered. It rewards “strategic”
voting (people voting against their true intentions in order to have a candidate
“gamed” into office) and can lead to some surprising results.
The better alternative method is called approval voting. In A.V., everyone
ranks their candidates, as in IRV, the difference being there’s no runoff. The
candidate with the highest overall approval from that first count wins the election.
That means there’s no hole in the system to exploit (the runoff), and no second
and third rounds. Best of all, it’s easier to explain: Voters just vote as they
always have, except now they can vote for more than one candidate.
Kudos to Steve Chessin for his work in reforming the vote. Hopefully he’s
wed to enacting a better voting system, not to IRV itself. If so, I expect he’ll
be joining Americans for Approval Voting soon.
—Bernard von Nothaus
101” [A Considerable Town, January 17–23]. I would like to applaud Pleasant
Gehman not only for her daringly original selection of date venues/ activities,
but for shining a positive light on the BDSM scene. Ms. Strix and Ms. Belladonna
prove, time and again, that pro-domination is just that, a highly skilled profession
far removed from prostitution. Those of us in the next generation should take
note to always maintain the high road despite any pressure or difficulties we
may face. Reality check: Talented and reputable dominas never have sex with
their clients — they don’t have to.
In his blurb on the American Cinematheque’s Technicolor
Festival [Film Special Events, January 17–23], Paul Malcolm confuses the lab’s
unique printing process with its equally unique photographic process, which
was phased out in the mid-’50s. All of the films he extols were actually shot
on Eastman Color negative. The degree to which Technicolor’s IB printing process
enhances the colors of color negative originals is an ongoing subject of debate
among film buffs, as is restoration of material shot with its three-strip process
to today’s color negative/positive stocks. Only six films in the current program
were shot three-strip: The Thief of Bagdad, The Black Swan, Captain
From Castile, The Red Shoes, The African Queen and The
5,000 Fingers of Dr. T.
ORANGE VS. APPLE
Being the ripe old age of 50 and having lived
in western Canada since 1979 (though raised in Montreal), it has always amazed
me how there is still such a cultural/media/popular bias toward publications
and media outlets in the U.S. that breathe in the salt air of the Atlantic rather
than the Pacific Ocean. Your weekly is a case in point. Drop the name Village
Voice in conversation with nose tilters, and they all nod knowingly. Say
you read a great piece in the L.A. Weekly, and they look at you as if
your profoundest literary accomplishment has been deciphering the clever subtext
to a “Dilbert” comic strip.
I read both on the Web religiously and, to be honest, read and enjoy more
articles in your paper/mag every week than in The Voice. Intellectual
without being potty-trained in pretentiousness, cultural without needing colonic
irrigation, topical while not being stifled by trendiness, the L.A. Weekly
is one of the highlights of my literary-cultural surfing each and every
week. You do your city proud. Thanks for the provocative reads, and may your
writers’ fingers forever be cramped from too many late nights at the keyboard.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
PRICE, NOT WEISS
Hi. Pink-leopard-clad Ian Price here, not
Weiss! In the November 1–7 Slush column, contributor Derrick Mathis must have
thought my name was Weiss due to his hand-held recorder. It would be very difficult
to change my name to Weiss and confuse everyone, especially when there is already
confusion due to there being a sports figure and a British actor with
the same name. Thanks for mentioning me, though! I’d waited years for the chance
to meet the great Rudy Ray. I promise the footage of my meeting with Rudy —
including our moment of silence for the late great Lady Reed — will be up soon
on my new site, which is under construction: www.queenabouttown.com.