Stanley Panesoff
Upper West Side

Defending penguins

Please fire Michael Atkinson. He has nothing good to say about anything. The man even went so low as to critically blast penguins in his review of March of the Penguins [June 22-28]: ("But penguins are dull. . . . The Central Park Zoo is cheaper, you can walk away from the penguins after 10 minutes, and it has snow monkeys and beer.") He writes like a 14-year-old who can't see what a film can mean outside of his own narrow expectations and instead resorts to lambasting and self-congratulatory digs.

Troy Vadakan
Park Slope

Cold shoulder

I am really disappointed with Michael Atkinson's review of the movie March of the Penguins. It almost made me not go see the movie. Fortunately I did not trust the review and I saw the movie. It is one of the most wonderful movies about the lives of animals I have ever seen. It conveys a lot of information in beautiful pictures about the life and beauty of these animals. It appears to me that Atkinson either did not see it or suffers from a short attention span. People like Atkinson obviously do not have the maturity to assess the quality of a movie like this one.

Gregor Winkel
East Village

Michael Atkinson replies: To be sure, I did see March of the Penguins, much to my damnable insensibility. For a penguin movie, I'll take Five Corners.

Honky-tonk warrior

Re Keith Harris's review of Toby Keith's Honkytonk University ["Girlschool," July 20-26]: As a Toby Keith fan for many, many years and true hardcore Toby warrior of his fan club, I find your article insulting. Open your eyes. Go to a Toby Keith concert and ask anyone there what his opinion is. I'm sorry I took the three seconds to read your incredibly shortsighted article. Go back to doing what you usually do and criticize some-one else. Toby's laughing all the way to the bank.

Maryann Haase
Maplewood, New Jersey

Compassion: Possible

I just read the "Compassion: Impossible" essay by Sloane Crosley [The Essay, July 6-12]. As a Scientologist I am tired of seeing my religion dissed by a small handful of reporters with a "squatting with her pants down would look great on Page Six" mentality.

After being in Scientology for 16 years, I no longer do street drugs and I promote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In other words, I work to help mankind. I think it is sad to see what could be valuable space, reaching a large reading public, wasted in promoting lies and being mean and spiteful. It saddens me even more that any part of the population would find this sort of thing entertaining.

Barbara Jacome

Glory days

Loved Joy Press's comments in her piece about tryout shows ["Almost Famous," July 20-26]—especially how the young contestants are big-voiced and rather bland.

There is, however, something far more pathetic about the INXS show than the fact that the band is looking for a new lead singer. It's that the original members are now all fortysomethings and seem to be trolling for a twentysomething who will bring the faded group back to its glory days. Talk about sucking the blood of innocent (and marginally talented) victims!

At least with American Idol you had a bunch of good-looking people singing songs older than themselves. The aura of midlife crisis didn't linger like bad cigar smoke after Simon spoke his peace.

Tish Grier
Chicopee, Massachusetts


In James Ridgeway's "Grime Pays" [Mondo Washington, July 20-26], Ridgeway wrote that Karl Rove paid tribute to the Swift Boat veterans "at the Conservative Political Action Conference during the annual Ronald Reagan banquet in D.C." Rove did not speak at the banquet; he spoke earlier that day.

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