Reader Mail

The More Things Change

The more they change for the worse: The N.Y. Times, Ed Harris, Holy Cities, the easily offended liberal reader, and much more, including the View from New Stuttgart.

8.4.03

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SHAM SETUP
Re: George Neumayr's The Pinocchio Times:

Why do the pundits not point out that [N.Y. Times executive editor] Bill Keller seems to have returned to his old job as Managing Editor since he and [editorial page editor] Gail Collins report to [Publisher Arthur] Sulzberger? Would not Ms. Collins have reported to the Executive Editor in the old structure? Does Mr. Keller have any additional responsibilities that he did not have as Managing Editor?
-- Robert Jones
Burlington, NC

HARRIS DWEEB
Re: James Bowman's review of Buffalo Soldiers:

I'm sorry if I'm slow off the mark with this criticism, but I agree wholeheartedly with James Bowman's review of Buffalo Soldiers.

Billed as a satire of the U.S. military, it's directed by an Australian, Gregor Jordan, and stars a New Zealander, Anna Paquin. Its other star, Joaquin Phoenix, is one of a Hollywood dynasty and the only thing its principal supporting actor "Mister" Ed Harris has ever shot off is his mouth, over his views on George W. Bush. Mister Ed has made a fortune from playing real American heroes like John Glenn and Gene Kranz, Flight Controller of Apollo 13. I sincerely hope that if, from now on, he ever approaches any American who has distinguished themselves in public service with a view to portraying them they will decline his offer.

Oh, and any stockholder in General Motors who was disgusted by Harris's views on the President should know that their money was used to pay him to appear in a series of ads for their corporation's UK arm, Vauxhall Motors, earlier this year. Mister Ed might not be a Republican, but like all good liberals he knows the value of a buck.

Best regards to all at "The Prowler."
-- Martin Kelly
Glasgow, Scotland

GIVE ME MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s America's Holy Cities and Reader Mail's Theological Geography:

Reader Jim Sweet has a point but missed the bigger picture when he writes:

"Mr. Tyrrell has missed the obvious, though I can easily forgive him. Has he ever been to Nashville?"

While Nashville is the home of the Southern Baptist Foundation located downtown, in a 2 mile radius from their huge building there are at least 4 all nude girlie bars and several adult book stores including "The World's Largest," according to their neon sign.

Not that I visit them of course!

Actually, two strip clubs and the world's largest adult book store are easily seen driving on I-40 through the south loop.

Nashville is slowly trying to rezone them out of the area since you have to drive by most of them on your way to an NHL Predators game or an NFL Titans game.

And the Classic Kat was moved because it was less than a block away from Hume Fogg High School, a magnet type school for smart kids also downtown.

Okay, okay, I did attend one bachelor party at the Classic Kat years ago. A couple of the young girls there said they attended the Baptist school.
-- Greg Barnard
Franklin, TN

For a U.S. Holy City, we might consider St. Petersburg, St. Augustine, St. Paul, St. Louis -- or Corpus Christi, or the City of Angels, or Bethlehem, PA. But the true Holy City would be that City on the Hill, the Golden Dome, the place where the Gipper and I matriculated, Notre Dame, IN. Now, that should make a lot of people want to puke!
-- Jack Hughes
Chicago, IL

The City of: Sun, which gave us Elvis; and of Stax, where was found the best damn horn section of the fifties and sixties, and gave us Otis, is also the home of the American Ka'aba, Graceland.

This Jerusalem of Rock and Soul is named for the oldest known Holy City, the burial place of the Old Kingdom Pharaohs.

How could you miss it?
-- Trixie Palmer

GRAY POUPON
Re: George Neumayr's Gray Coup On:

What offends me is not just Davis's "corruption and mismanagement" and his "quasi-socialist policies." It's also his whining and blaming of Republicans.

He told Clintonesque lies about the cause of the energy debacle in California. (By that I mean that he told lies without any plausibility or even a faint basis in reality.)

He acts and indeed looks like what he is: someone who has never faced trouble or hardship, someone whose way in the world has always been made easy for him, someone born to wealth and ease who functions on a comfortable bundle of received notions with no need or desire for real thought. He is a weenie, a blueblood and a tit.

Surely that is grounds for recall?
-- Larry Eubank
Bloomington, IN

MARRIAGE DISMANTLERS
Re: W. James Antle III's A Risky Privatization Scheme:

Mr. Antle's article is right on the money concerning the institution of marriage. This institution precedes our government and has been the basis of civilization since time immemorial. Now it is under continuing attack by those forces that wish to destroy anything and everything good about our society. However, traditional marriage was under full attack long before the homosexuals jumped into the fray. It started in earnest during the "sexual revolution" of the sixties when "trial " marriages came in vogue. As divorce rates climbed and more children were born out of wedlock, the government started its attack on marriage with the help of the man-hating feminists. By passing laws making it harder for families to rear their children , by making it harder to support them with onerous taxes, by basically destroying the structure of the family, they have done more damage than any homosexual's claim to matrimony, which is the end result of all of this. As in abortion, where we started down the slope where life is determined by court opinion rather than God, marriage too will become a judicial decree based upon the whim of some half baked court with an agenda. So while "homosexual marriage" should be opposed, let us not forget what brought us to this point in the first place. I am
--Pete Chagnon
Burlington, Vt.

FAT CHANCE
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Whale Watching:

I was just surfing the Internet when I came across your article "I'm Outta Here." I found it very interesting, and I wonder what other responses you received about it. You are a very talented writer and I find it a waste that you decided to perceive yourself so foolishly. I suppose you were just expressing your opinion, but I believe you broke a few rules of journalism. You seemed one-sided and you definitely didn't do much research on the topic of obesity other than the causes. If I were overweight I would be a little offended by some of your comments. It seemed like you were defending fat people at first but you insulted them almost as much as you defended them. The comment about more cushioning got my attention the most. Overweight people have skin the same as thin or "normal" weight people, so why would it feel like a comfortable sofa to sit on a bench? Just because their bones aren't hitting the bench doesn't mean that it isn't uncomfortable to them. Also, you said you had no problem with fat people as long as they don't reveal too much and don't "roll over" on you. Does this mean you wouldn't have as much problem with a skinny person in a string bikini as a fat person in a two piece? A person is a person, so anyone should be able to reveal as much skin as they feel comfortable with and comfortable others seeing them in. If someone doesn't like it, they shouldn't look. I think it's wonderful that they feel comfortable enough to wear a two-piece bathing suit despite what others think.

As for your comments about skinny people, that's where I took the most offense. I have struggled to stay over 100 pounds my entire life, and I don't believe I fit any of your stereotypes. I am one of the most friendly people where I work. I love working with the public and enjoy a lot of the things I do. To address another stereotype which I was surprised that you didn't mention, I am also not anorexic and I have never thrown up after I've eaten, except when I had a stomach flu. Anyway, I've only read this one article of yours and I'm sure your others are wonderful, but I had to let you know how offended I was about your article. I found it one-sided and an ignorant move on your part. If you're going to inform America about our increasing obesity problem, you could have done it with more class. Thank you for you time. By the way, I laugh many times a day and my bones have never rattled. Sincerely,
-- Julia Snide
Victoria, TX

THE VIEW FROM NEW STUTTGART
Re: Roel Slachmuylders's letter ("The View From Old Europe") in Reader Mail's Making Sense of It All and Reader Mail's Talking Back to Old Europe:

Mr. Slachmuylders' solutions are so simple that I am surprised such a "complex and sophisticate" man thought of them, and that those "simple" Americans haven't already seen and started following his light. All the U.S. has to do is sell out the only elected government in the region and it can get back in the good graces of Messrs. Arafat, Assad, Mubarak, Chirac and Schroeder. The point lost on Mr. Slach is that the U.S.A. has decided after Sept. 11th that there is no longer any reason to pretend a friendship with criminal dictatorships who blame all the poverty and dysfunction of their murderous kleptocracies on "Jews" and the "western infidels!" And it is beginning to scrutinize a bit deeper its relationship with "old Europe."

When I read Mr. Slachmuylders' analysis the image of that smooth talking "Republican" David Duke in his new three-piece suit comes to mind. As far as the Jews go, Europe has also taken off the hood and smoothed the rough edges on its language, but like Duke, while claiming to be something new and different, it is still peddling the same old/same old.

As he says, "On the one hand, there's 4 million Israelis, who bring us nothing, quite on the contrary, they come regularly cap in hand asking for money. On the other hand, there's 1 billion Muslims, who also control the oil wells -- which we can't do without. Mmmm? Hello?" "Do the arithmetic, 4M vs. 120M."

How obviously efficient, how historically German, how absolutely frightening.
-- Ty
Stuttgart, Germany

PS: I am still trying to figure out why the more "complex and sophisticated" Europeans seems incapable of understanding or talking about the U.S.A. on any level deeper than what your college kid would stick onto his bumper.

"War for Oil," "Bush is dumb!" They are continually telling me how much more "nuanced" and "complex" their opinions are as opposed to "simplistic" Americans -- but then they keep on talking and ...

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