By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
If something stinks in Detroit, it is likely the refuse of needless oil burned to inflate the profits of the oil companies, which must be in collusion with the capitalists who manufacture automobilescorporate executives like those of Enron, who see the bottom line defined by dollars on a spreadsheet where ethics and honesty can't be measured. Washington knows why we haven't increased the fuel efficiency of our automobiles. They know they can bring about change to benefit all of America. They don't because Big Oil speaks, and has been speaking since before Reagan began trying to reduce the government's role in directing the market.
It occurs to me that the Katrina tragedy could prove to be a perfect storm for oil companies to benefit from. On the other hand, the catastrophe is such that any hope Dick Cheney might have had of succeeding Dubya must be dissolved by now. How many Halliburton contracts will be awarded in Louisiana and other hurricane-ravaged states? Should make for marvelous voyeurism in the lead-up to the 2006 midterm contest.
Re Benjamin Strong's review of Slow Man["The Dismemberment Plan," August 31September 6]: Why the gratuitous dig at J.M. Coetzee's support of animal rights? Far from being an irrelevant concern, it is an international movement that recognizes the right of all sentient beings not to suffer from human abuse and has won significant victories around the world. It is a natural progression as one widens one's concern to prevent suffering first from the peer group, then to other humans, finally to all who inhabit our world and that world herself.
Bayport, New York
I enjoyed reading Joy Press's review of Six Feet Under's final episode ["Ghostworld," August 2430], although I don't think Press understands the purpose of the dead revisiting the living or "[e]xtinguished characters returned to goad the living," as she writes. Their purpose is not to torment. They are figments of the living's imagination and their purpose is to show the audience how that living character truly and deeply perceives himself. It gives you a glimpse into what their darkest and innermost feelings about themselves are, and most of the time reveals their fears.
To quote Alan Ball, "Once a character is dead, they're never speaking as that character, they're speaking as a fragment of the person they're speaking to. It's David thinking, 'I am a fucking freak. I'm disgusting.' " It's not David's father who is actually speaking those words. Just something to think about as we reflect on this amazing series.
In her article "The Tipping Point" [The Essay, August 1723], Nina Willis-Aronowitz typifies the sour nature of New York service staff. Make the damn bar owner pay a living wage. He's raking in plenty. Ten percent is plenty for a tip. The rest of the world knows this, you might try it sometime.
The Jazz Consumer Guide ("Bush Medicine," August 2430) erred in attributing a record, Believe (Cryptogramophone), to "Steve Amendola Band"; the correct artist name is Scott Amendola Band.