(May 31, 2010)
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No Correlation: Jonah Raskin's Crisis of Identity In Europe
To the Editor:
I must criticize a portion of Jonah Raskin's travelogue "Crisis of Identity In Europe" in Swans May 17, 2010, but only because I enjoyed the piece.
In it, Mr. Raskin writes, "...today, the presence of American movies and movie stars seems such a commonplace that it's hardly worth mentioning. I can't help but describe Charlize Theron, however, who appears in an ad for Dior perfume looking like the goddess Aphrodite, with ample cleavage and full breasts. Provocative ads like these that appear on almost every street corner and in almost every magazine suggest in part why some Moslem men and women, too, might want to cover the faces and the bodies of females."
I would like to point out to Mr. Raskin that Dior is a French product, Charlize Theron is South African, and the goddess Aphrodite was Greek. Therefore, I fail to see a connection between the ad he mentions in the above statement, and American movies and culture.
Seattle, Washington, USA - May 23, 2010
A Superior Columnist: Charles Marowitz's Reconsidering Mencken
To the Editor:
In "Reconsidering Mencken," May 17, Charles Marowitz is right to point out H.L. Mencken's superiority to current columnists. We won't be re-reading them 75 years after. Charles mentions Ms. Rogers's biography. There are any number, including a good one by Terry Teachout. The reason so many academics write about Mencken is that it allows them to read some delicious prose, a change from the sludge that proliferates in their workplace. One lesson Mencken teaches is that good writing is hard work. There's no more flat or colorless reading than his The Diary of H.L. Mencken, edited by C. Fecher. These were spontaneous outpourings off the top of his head. To get from them to the unforgettable Newspaper Days took a lot of concentrated energy. Mencken's other lesson goes beyond style and originates in his big mistake. He should have been content with torpedoing the local "booboisie" and not gone overboard to swim with the sharks, eugenicists, racial bigots, Jew-baiters, and cranks who took FDR for Beelzebub.
Lecce, Italy - May 17, 2010
Ils ont raison: L'accident par Christian Cottard et Fugit irreparabile... par Marie Rennard
A l'éditeur :
Christian Cottard a raison, on s'occupe trop de ceux qui ont tout et pas assez des anonymes qui n'ont rien et sont trop silencieux.
Et Marie Rennard a raison de vivre chaque jour comme si c'était le dernier. La vie s'enfuit avec le temps qui passe, alors nous prendrons le temps de mourir ; en attendant prenons le temps de vivre et d'apprécier la vie.
Vinezac, Ardèche, France - May 17, 2010
Behavior that the world may welcome if it ever was possible to revolutionize the American mind.
To the Editor:
I have been experiencing a socio/political level of disgust, no ethical leader willing to take a stand regarding the people of this country. I could try to identify the source of the failings of our democracy, but as with all our displeasure with our political system, the source is the lack of decent behavior, regard for ethics that include "THE PEOPLE." We, "THE PEOPLE," need to pay attention to our ethical behavior before we lose sight of that aspect of life. We need to stop striving for the "Me first" way of life to include EVERYONE in advancement of people, and work together for the betterment of our society to provide an example to present to the world.
Blue Lake, California, USA - May 26, 2010
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