Letters from our readers

On “Studies reveal Americans’ declining living standards and increasing anger” 



You forgot one other interesting poll the Pew Center came out with recently: when asked whether “the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, the Tea Party, the Green Party, some other group, or none of these” best represented their own views, 34 percent responded either “some other group,” “none of these,” or “unsure,” which taken together comprises the largest response out of all the options provided. Surely this is potentially significant.


Tom A
Texas, USA
24 April 2010

On “Obama preaches reconciliation with coal bosses” 


People should not be amazed or even puzzled by the actions of our President. After all, he is a member of the Democratic Party. He took campaign donations from big business. He is their representative. The folks of the United States and, particularly, West Virginia would do themselves a favor by not playing into this two-party system of win/win for big business. Only by electing people whose hands are clean of dirty campaign money can they ever hope to break out of this cycle of worker abuse.


26 April 2010

On “Sarkozy proposes total ban on the burqa in France” 


Good article. The proposed ban on the burqa is both ludicrous and vicious. And given European 20th century history, extremely dangerous. That the governing party in France proposes this measure is itself a measure of the growing economic and social crisis in Europe. The current scapegoats are Muslims. When the campaign against them has exhausted its potential for distraction, other “enemies within” will be “discovered.” It is an old story that the bourgeoisie are never too tired to tell.


27 April 2010

On “Jacques Audiard’s Un prophète: An extreme case of making a virtue out of necessity” 


I think you’re onto something here. I also find Audiard’s white middle class limitations show through in the way he’s come up with such a symbolic and two-dimensional hero, with no messy back-story/personal connections/history to have to conjure. The figure of the middle-aged white Corsican is much more interesting dramatically and texturally, and it’s no coincidence in my opinion. He is probably a more familiar character to Audiard, dare I say he is a rehash of the cliché of the ’68 veteran whose ideals have turned sour (with a twist)—the type of character white middle-class middle-aged directors are good at fleshing out, because such characters articulate a malaise and frustration these filmmakers know. Meanwhile, the young Arab remains a mystery, essentially, onto whom you can project anything.


24 April 2010