By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Letter Of The Week
Re "Not a Pretty Picture" [Press Clips, May 18-24]:Sydney H. Schanberg's point has been running through my head from the beginning of this whole fiasco. Every day we see the numbers and reports of deaths. Yet in this day of information and image overload, none of the nation's major news outlets are making real to the American public what is happening in Iraq through serious and well-considered photographic and video images. I really wonder how well the incredibly spurious justifications for the war would hold up in the face of such visceral public knowledge. If the United States is a democracy, we are all responsible for what we are doing in Iraq. We daily abnegate that responsibility when we turn away from the reality of the carnage and pretend that we are respecting the dead.
From his review ofStar Wars: Episode IIIRevenge of the Sith ["May the Force Be Over," May 18-24], I gather that Ed Halter had a terrible childhood. His drivel proves he is nothing short of a contemptuous ass imposing his opinion on those who would dare to read it. "Escapist entertainment" is as valid a form of entertainment as any other. Not everything has to be socially redeeming, pertinent, or even challenging. Halter is a shining example of what becomes of those little boys you knew in primary school that no one listened to.
How do you really feel?
May Ed Halter burn in the endless pits of hell! How dare he criticize the work of a genius! Halter has no comprehension of Lucas's ability to tell a rather complex, not to mention interesting and inspirational, epic. Halter is a criticizing bore who can't tell the difference between a great work of art and a Cracker Jack prize. He reeks of putrid pestilence!
Halter states that the "messy asymmetry of 21st-century warfare has no place in Lucas's retro future." Actually, the first three Star Wars movies were about that very subject, and were obviously inspired by U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
They'll stone ya
I take it that Ed Halter doesn't care for the Star Warsfilms. I can handle that. I can even handle his bloodthirsty dislike for Lucas and the scripts of the two previous movies. Clearly he should have written themhis saber-like style of overly describing his feelings is truly masterful. But his review was laced with more bias than necessary. Maybe jealousy was the catalyst that sparked his rage? No, he is too vain for that. In any event, the first line of his article is really the only reason I'll acknowledge Halter at all: "No doubt the most expensive stoner film in history." Please do not insult those of us with the ability to use our imaginations by assuming we take drugs. Did he mean it literally? I'm sure that he didn't, but surely The Village Voice can do much better than that.
What's that smell?
I realize that to the progressive soldiers in our current culture war, the prospect of a wildly popular modern myth that preaches to current and future generations the dangers of the "dark side" emits a particular odor. But what reality does Halter live in where the dark side isn't a seduction that can (gradually) consume one's destiny? I'm 37 and I've seen it happen more times than I want to think about. I think Star Wars is a splendid lesson for our children.
Think of the kids
Is it absolutely necessary for Halter to write so negatively about a film that kids adore? How long does the reader have to put up with bitter, angry critics who crap on anything that didn't come out of their mouths? Tedious. I will contribute $200 for Halter to get a colonic or perhaps a series of colonics. Bitter and angry is not progressive.
Seen the future baby
Bravo to Michael Feingold! His article ["Now Plus 50," May 18-24]ostensibly on theater but really about our society and what will comesays everything that needs to be said, heard, and acted upon. Feingold's work over the last few years has been a constant joy to me. Incredibly well educated on theatrical history, politically astute, aware of the problems but not cowed by them: With every new article, he shows himself to be one of the few critics worth reading in this country.
The ugly truth
Sydney H. Schanberg's article moved me to tears [Press Clips, "Not a Pretty Picture," May 18-24]. I have often wondered why our press seems less and less involved in what is going on in Iraq. "The runaway bride" is the front-page story while children and families are dying daily. I am enraged and disheartened by our press, which is supposed to serve as the public's front line in what is going on in the world. It is supposed to inform us and show us, objectively, the truth in all its ugliness so that we can see the consequences of war and be able to sympathize with those that are fighting this war and those that are living within its constraints and brutality.