Letters


Maw’s the Pity

Re Michael Atkinson's "Marlon Brando 1924–2004" [July 7–13]:
To suggest that Marlon Brando would have been better off had he committed suicide, like that somehow nobler rake Jim Morrison, proves that all media, including the supposedly independent Village Voice, are interested only in what sells an artist and not in the art they create. If Brando descended into a debauched and bitter relationship with his own fame, it is "eulogies" like Atkinson's that justify the slide. The great thing about Brando is not his acting ability, it's his imperfect and apolitical nature in the face of an all-consuming media maw. Count yourselves among the insatiable.
Leo Geter East Village

Michael Atkinson replies: Good point but all I was suggesting, from a moviegoer’s POV, was that Brando’s eminence might be less in question had he not put us through 80 percent of his films, which he always admitted walking through for the sake of cash. Still, an apolitical Brando? He did better than that, and that’s an article waiting to be written.


A Fair and Balanced Bias

Re Richard Goldstein's "Mauling Moore" [Press Clips, June 30–July 6]:
Unfortunately, the networks and their parent companies have a lot of business from this administration and would not like it interrupted by fair and balanced reporting. So until there is regime change here or the networks are granted their wishes, I believe we will see little by the way of truth in journalism. David Flythe
Deerfield Beach, Florida


Listen Up Re Nat Hentoff's "What Did Bush Know?" [June 30–July 6]:
It is such a travesty that the American soldiers had to "torture" the poor terrorist prisoners in Iraq by putting panties on their heads. It would have been so much more humane to slowly cut their heads off. C'mon, people. Get a real sense of perspective. You needn't condone the mindless actions of the few U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib, but you shouldn't blatantly disparage your country when our soldiers are still in battle. Do you think that Al Qaeda isn't listening? Do you think that they don't relish the negative publicity focused on the U.S.?
Laurence F. Wagner
Orlando, Florida

Nat Hentoff replies: Our soldiers are still in a war against terrorists. If we engage in crimes against prisoners, what values do we presumably stand for? Still not held accountable are the generals and Defense Department officials who signaled that the abuses at Abu Ghraib—much more vicious than putting panties on their heads—were permissible.


As Good As Any

Re Francis Davis's "Steve Lacy 1934–2004" [June 23–29]:
Thank you for your obit on the sadly under-acclaimed soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy. Lacy was not a household name, but he played his horn as well as Coltrane or Rollins played theirs. Good job.
Michael Gambale
San Francisco, California


Correction

The photo of Ashton's A Wedding Bouquet that appeared with Deborah Jowitt's review in the July 14–20 issue should have been credited to Jack Vartoogian.

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