Letters from our readers

15 April 2010

On “The life and career of actor Corin Redgrave

I’d like to thank the two Davids for their well-researched obituary, especially in capturing the mood of those times and drawing relevant historical and political conclusions. Despite the collapse of these particular “days of hope,” lessons are there for the future, especially in trying to avoid those mistakes of the past. At least in British culture of that time there was a sincere political attempt at radical change (not the Obama variety) and dormant sparks may blaze out in the future.

Tony W
12 April 2010

***

Thank you for this detailed and perceptive account of the life and career of Corin Redgrave. The obituaries in the mainstream press completely ignored one of the most important aspects of Redgrave’s life, merely mentioning his “controversial political views”, etc. in passing.

The times in which Redgrave and many of us lived could not but make deep impressions on us and make those of us who thought at all seriously about the world situation drift towards socialist politics of one form or another. Those writers and performers you list in your article are some of the best of their generation, people I admire greatly not only for their professional talents, but for their stated beliefs, and how they managed to incorporate these beliefs into their work.

The disgraceful and degrading spectacle of Vanessa Redgrave recently notwithstanding, in general many of these same artists have remained true to their earlier beliefs, or at least have not betrayed them outright, despite having achieved wealth and fame, those anesthetizing neuterers of conviction.

Thank you also for your clear-eyed examination of the situation vis a vis the SLL, the WRP and the international Trotskyist movement during the period of the 1970s and 1980s, and the connection of this movement with the artistic achievements of the earlier period and the decline of the later one. As I replied to a friend who lamented the lack of reporting on Redgrave’s politics by the BBC, “The BBC wouldn’t know the difference if it came up and bit them”.

The WSWS and Messrs Walsh and North, however, do.

Carolyn
California, USA
12 April 2010

On “Families begin to bury 29 killed in West Virginia explosion

Wow—Massey Energy’s behavior is really appalling. Thanks for the fine article.

Greg S
New Hampshire, USA
12 April 2010

On “Repo Men lingers on all the wrong things

Thanks for this. I haven’t seen the movie, but I suspect that not only is it generally insensate, and inadequate to the problem it purports to address, but that it leaves out any notion of collective political resistance to the injustice represented by the movie’s major premise of “pay or somebody comes and rips you open, simple as that.”

If there is one thing that is utterly nauseating about these types of movies, or TV shows, even with their implicit “science fiction” disclaimers, it is their artistically presumptuous, relishing portrayal of the “given-ness” of their villains’ authority, as if the monsters’ power had already been established, a fait accompli, and were part of the air we breathe. As in, “of course the butchers will take your organs, that’s the way the world works, etc.”

The lack of any dramatic representation in these films of any clear perception by its victims that such a general situation is profoundly problematic, except by way of expressions of nervousness (I hope they don’t come for me!), or of any possibility of their doing something about it, unless the perpetrators have pangs of conscience, is itself a form of revolting, anti-democratic, and misanthropic contempt on which viewers should do nothing but spit.

C Ronk
13 April 2010

On “Emergency bailout plan for Greece: A new stage in world economic crisis

Ugh. When will the oligarchs figure out that the banking system, the “ratings” system, and every creature that inhabits that in a capacity of “player” is dealing with a Mafia, a rigged deck, and that the casino always wins.

Banking and finance are addictions—addictions to gambling, with other people’s money.

S R P
12 April 2010

On “Creation: When Darwin was writing his groundbreaking work

I read the review of Creation, written by Kevin Martinez and Hiram Lee. I saw the film. I thought it was one of the better films of 2009, but for one problem. It came out in 2010.

Regardless, I take issue with statements like this: “Unfortunately, Amiel’s Creation too often places Darwin’s actual work in the background, concerning itself more with the ‘inner turmoil’ and personal demons of its author.”

What do the authors expect? Filmmaking, at its best is an expression of human drama. Filmmaking is not a dissertation on science or literature. But, if the film’s human drama can illuminate an historical moment or give a humane context to an important human insight, then so much the better. Filmmaking is not a master’s thesis. It can only succeed by moving the heart.

And this film—at least to me—did.

Jeffrey
California, USA
13 April 2010