Letters from our readers


On "The capitalist crisis and the return of history"

Comrade North has delivered a detailed analysis of the manifest failures and conflicts in the capitalist system, which dooms capitalism to failure as an economic system and also doom rulers who rely upon capitalism to history's scrap heap. I don't know if the use of leverage and the LBO hastened the death of capitalism by flinging the current power elites into history's junkyard as capitalists over-leveraged their schemes. Capitalism is now slowly smothering; it will die. The struggle among classes will grow. One hopes that the working class will, at last, win.

Larry L
28 March 2009

On "Duplicity: The essential unseriousness of it"

You guys are so on point about politics and so clueless about culture! To review this film properly you have to take it on its own terms, and compare it to similar films of the genre. This movie is a hell of a lot less sexist, racist, ageist and idealess than the average contemporary American romantic comedy.

The movie actually cast Julia Roberts, a woman in her 40's as the romantic lead—typically, a movie like this would have some 20-something cast as the romantic lead, opposite a man in his mid 40s. They also had a female supporting character that was in her 60s—and had grey hair and wrinkles and everything—and her character wasn't ridiculed for her age. Nor were the African American, South Asian and Russian supporting characters misused in racist ways (as is all too common of films of this genre—if they don't go with 100 percent all white casts!)

The story itself—about corporate espionage and theft—is very timely, and the politics of the film were matter-of-factly anti-corporate. All in all, it's one of the best films I've seen this year, and by far the best romantic comedy I've seen in a long time.

Gregory B
New York, USA 
28 March 2009

On "Year Zero: Trent Reznor looks outside himself"

 Quite intelligently written perspective on Reznor's recent opus. Thank you.

New York, USA
30 March 2009

On "Spanish court weights torture charges against former US officials"

How wonderful that a country has the courage to stand up to the thugs and bullies of the world. Pinochet got away with it because of the gutlessness of Jack Straw. An Argentinean torturer escaped justice because of the duplicity of the UK government, despite there being a prima facie case, brought by the Spanish Government for extradition. One small point: Why no Blair, Rumsfeld, Cheney or Rice? War criminals all. Well done, the Spanish Justice System.

Frank A
Aberaugleddau, UK
31 March 2009

On "American mayhem: Three horrible crimes over the weekend"

I just finished reading the American mayhem article. What terrible tragedies. I wouldn't have known about them if I hadn't read your article. Perhaps one or more was mentioned on the local news, but all I recall seeing lately was a story about the Vancouver police gunning down yet another person, and of course the ongoing investigation into the tasering death of Robert Dziekanski at the Vancouver airport. I don't know if you've followed any of that, but if not, it would be worthwhile to research it. Last night a female friend of his in Poland testified via video link and berated the police and media for attempting to paint Dziekanski as a violent drunk. Imagine four burly cops taser the guy to death because he picked up a stapler. Unbelievable.

Doug H
Vancouver, BC, Canada
31 March 2009

On "Billy the Kid: "Can you see inside me?"

Thank you, Joanne for your insightful review of Billy. It was a pleasure being able to meet him and Penny in person and seeing how closely Jennifer was able to represent their bond. And the questions you raised are very true. I was curious what you might have thought about a common critique of the film, that it is in the vein of Gummo (the Harmony Korine film) in the way it exploits its characters and their ‘Americana'. Of course this is a documentary, but I see how someone might think that at times.

31 March 2009

On "Obama escalates war in Central Asia"

This is exactly what Obama said he would do in the campaign. There is nothing "behind the backs of the American people" about this. I am a committed socialist and I disagree with Obama's policy, but I would appreciate it if you would stick to the truth to maintain credibility.

Daniel B
30 March 2009