Letters to the WSWS
31 March 2000
Below is a selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site .
I cannot begin to thank you enough for the information that the World Socialist Web Site has provided to me over the last several months. Here in America virtually the only sources of news are owned/controlled by giant corporations—a strictly capitalist press—though so many actually preach and BELIEVE that it is "liberally biased."
I am continually amazed by the intelligence, lucidness and frankness of your news site, and I consider it to be the best single source for the PLAIN TRUTH on the web.
Please if you can, write up a story on the recent (March 25) demonstrations in New York City and the underlying reasons for the conflicts with the police.
26 March 2000
I recently checked out your outstanding web site, and much to my disappointment, I found no news whatsoever about my country, Belgium.
Otherwise, the site is wonderful, I was totally unaware about the existence of such sites and the content is most informative. Keep it up!
27 March 2000
Your “Mental Illness and the American Dream” was a brilliant, brilliant piece of writing. One of the best and most insightful renderings of the state of world culture and political philosophy I've ever seen. Keep up the great work!
New York City
28 March 2000
To Mr. Walsh,
As usual I enjoyed your March 28 analysis of the Academy Awards ceremony and all the forces behind it.
However there was one section of your article that I take issue with. You write that "... the studios' films are breaking attendance records." I believe that no matter which way you look at it, this is simply not the case.
Despite what the Hollywood studios PR machines dish out, the facts are, in America at least, that not as many people going to the cinemas as they did at their peak from the 1930s and 1940s or even during the 1960s.
The reason this misconception arises because the media (certainly here in Australia) generally focuses on the box office grosses of films as barometers of success. This misrepresentation was shown with all the media hype over the fact that Titanic was the most successful film of all time.
While this may be true in pure dollar terms, in pure attendance terms a film like Gone With The Wind would've been seen by far more people at the time of its release; and this when the population of America was significantly smaller. It is absurd to compare the popularity of films over several generations by grosses as the price of going to a film has increased enormously over several decades, usually at a much higher rate then the official inflation rate.
I believe that it's important to clear up this misconception of the "record popularity" of Hollywood, and for matter, all films in general because it implicitly suggests that what cinema has to offer currently reflects the tastes and values of people more then ever and with some exceptions I don't believe this to be the case.
But perhaps it really doesn't matter because with the media's increasing obsession with the lives of Hollywood celebrities on a mind-numbingly superficial scale, the culture of Hollywood is more dominant on the public psyche then ever before.
29 March 2000
I have a moment to reflect upon this wonderful web site of yours and must comment—YOU STOLE MY IDEA! (just jokes). I have been very keen since I finished my Masters degree to create a web site such as yours. We need greater solidarity and should organise real events as well as electronic interchange.
The state mercantilist system must be expunged from our collective visage. I find it truly repugnant to think how much brainwashing the masses are subject to, what with the corporatised and corrupted media, our simpering and sycophantic political leadership (which is encouraging the spread of this neo-liberal paradigm), and shopping malls for community meeting places. I am shocked (but heartened) to find like-minded people out there.
Keep up the good work ... and I will be in touch.
28 March 2000