Is cinema dying?; Hooray for Amy and Seipp.

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I could keep going on, but anyway I can’t wait to hear more from Cheshire. I can’t wait to laugh myself silly. Oh yeah—and as for An Ideal Husband‘s over-saturated look, that was intentional: videophiles know only that contrasty, pastelly, porno-video look. They know nothing about lighting and film stock.


The Film Academy down on Union Square offers a great intro to film course. Peace out, brother!


Chuck Moya,
Manhattan



Slush-Pile Boy
In his 7/28 “Media Roundup” column, Andrey Slivka informs us that he “talk[s] to writers every day who could write circles around many of the people whose bylines appear in The New Yorker.”


When may we expect to see the work of these writers in NYPress, rather than the narcissistic whinings of the overprivileged that occupy such a large share of your pages (aside from Cockburn, Knipfel, Corn and Caldwell)?


Travis Wendel,
Brooklyn, NY



Coast Run
Living in L.A. (or is that an oxymoron?), I can assure you that your clever and witty “Letter from L.A.” columnist Catherine Seipp gets our fair megalopolis just right more often than not. I would offer to marry the woman, save for the fact that—being a Los Angeles male—I naturally lack the depth and fortitude to forge anything resembling that kind of commitment. I can’t even commit to “must-see tv,” which in these parts brands me something of a right-wing wacko.


In any case, keep this Seipp chick on the payroll.


Dennis T.
Forsch, West Hollywood, CA



Soup Bones
Haven’t people gotten tired of the JFK Jr. story yet? (“MUGGER,” 7/28). Most revolting was The New Yorker cover showing the Statue of Liberty in a black veil. How absurd. JFK Jr. had nothing to do with the republic, less so than even his mother. His father was president 36 years ago, and a few others of his family are prominent in politics. New Yorker editor David Remnick must be an idiot; only someone who can’t think straight would ever entertain the absurd notion that liberty is in mourning over the death of a trivial celebrity like one of the Kennedys. Does liberty celebrate when Amy Carter gets married? Give me a break.


Now, if they had run this cover when cowardly senators abandoned principle and decency to let a lying, sociopathic president off the hook purely for their own political gain, that to me would seem appropriate. A better cover for this occasion would show common sense in mourning over the media’s brainless obsession with this story. 

 

Strangers that get all teary over the death of somebody like JFK Jr. have a problem. How has John Kennedy ever “touched our lives”? Name one thing he ever did. What have the Kennedys contributed to the country in the past 30 years, besides burdening us with Teddy? If all of them were lost at sea it would not make a whit of difference.


Far from being in mourning, I’m sure all these guys at MSNBC and the moron columnists writing their syrupy stories about JFK Jr. are loving it, because it saves them the effort of thinking. They don’t have to look around and find something to write about; they can just go on automatic pilot for as long as it lasts. It’s like a vacation for them. I would be shocked if any of them didn’t think consciously about this every day.


This week it was announced that the authorities had concluded, after investigation, that the Kennedy crash was not due to mechanical failure. No shit. Amazing how they will grasp at straws (and waste any amount of public money) to avoid admitting the obvious. The plane was checked and rechecked before the flight. I’m sure the guys assigned to look into the possibility of mechanical failure just sleepwalked through their task. They already knew that the plane crashed because its pilot was an incompetent who should have known he was getting in over his head, and yet agreed to take
two passengers. If it were anybody else, the investigation, if any, would have been wrapped up in the first week.


Forget this crap about the “prince of Camelot.” Stupid fuck is more like it. If I were a member of the Bessette family, I would be very, very bitter.


Joe Rodrigue,
New Haven



Sohn’s Clods
The gratitude I owe to Amy Sohn also includes gratitude for what Henry Adams would call an “education.” A meaningful part of my youth was spent being puzzled by the regular assertions of various feminist friends and acquaintances that society was “patriarchal” and “misogynist.” On the contrary, it had always seemed to me that the situation was the essence of simplicity: boys and girls were drawn to each other and each sex found the other fascinating and magical and to be loved and protected. At that point, I simply had no frame of reference to understand the comments of my feminist peers.


Then I got to read in your “Mail” section correspondence from certain of your readers, invariably men, who lambasted Sohn for her columns with a vitriol that would have been petty had it not been also been so abusive. I was flabbergasted that this intelligent, courageous writer, with her unique, insightful and powerfully feminine literary voice, could inspire so much rage and so little intelligence. How these clods could find so deeply disturbing Sohn’s rather wistful self-observations and her frank, always interesting and original reflections on her romantic aspirations left me dumbfounded. Could the prospect of such an intelligent and articulate woman describing directly and forthrightly her heterosexual yearnings, successes and disappointments be that threatening to these guys? How was that possible? Didn’t they even like the gentle, self-mocking undertone? What was going on? Is this a twisted warrior ethic? Are these guys looking for women who represent worthy opponents, hostile opposites? Maybe, I thought, I’m on to something here. Maybe these guys are in fact so terrified of their rigidly suppressed, but primary, attraction to other men, that they have to drown their fears by having tantrums at the expense of a talented, innocent woman with a promising career as a writer. Another explanation could be that these losers never recovered from not being allowed to play with their sisters’ dolls when they were little boys. Whatever.


Do not fret, Ms. Sohn. These louts do not deserve the honor of reading your column.


Amy Sohn is a promising writer, and a unique one. Her voice should be encouraged and imitated. As for the correspondent louts, well, it’s almost too tempting to offer on Sohn’s behalf to pound them till their miserable excuse for a viewpoint gets knocked out of them and they cry “uncle,” but such a physical challenge would smack more of retro-Neanderthalism and not enough of neo-chivalry. Let them merely slink off into the dustbin of the fin de siecle. Obscurity is punishment enough. In closing, let me just add, Ms. Sohn, as with all things on which I have heard you express an opinion, you were absolutely right: Jennifer Lopez is irrelevant; Mira Sorvino rules.


Nick Gunther,
Manhattan

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