Letters from our readers

12 June 2010

On “Helen Thomas ousted over anti-Zionist comments

Thanks for the article. You know, every clip I’ve seen of Thomas’s comments—whether on the news or on late night comedy programs—ends just before she asks, “Why push people out of there who have lived there for centuries?”

Greg S
Dover, NH, USA
9 June 2010

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A critic of Israel becomes an enemy of Israel.

Assassination. In this case, character assassination and Obama joins the trigger as his puppet strings direct.

To continue the metaphor, a multitude of denunciation on the corps, and announcements of medals for the Israeli soldiers who literally assassinated, accompanied by boilerplate hosannahs.

Michael S
9 June 2010

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I agree with your analysis as to why Thomas was forced to resign. I would simply like to add what seems to me, following the story from Sweden, to be a rather curious fact. If I’m not mistaken, no one has looked carefully at what she actually said, namely, “They (Israeli Jews) could go home (to) Poland. Germany. And America.” That is, she is welcoming Israeli Jews of American origin back to the USA, because she feels that this is their real homeland—the place where they belong, the homeland they share with Thomas herself!

Now, I find this “solution” both impracticable and immoral, but surely it is not anti-Semitic? Welcoming all Jews of German origin back into their shared homeland was hardly the party program of the Nazis, was it?

Daniel L
Stockholm, Sweden
10 June 2010

On “France: Thousands protest against Israeli assault of Gaza-bound flotilla

One thing that I think should be mentioned is that Turkey is a member of NATO and Israel is not. Since the Mavi Marmara was waving a Turkish flag and sailing in international waters when it was boarded, Israel’s actions constitute an act of war against Turkey. As NATO hasn’t responded as it should, in defense of one of its member-states, the whole organization has now been shown to be a defunct organization, with no will to do anything that would remotely anger the US, much less go against Israel.

Bryan D
10 June 2010

On “US cable television host slanders socialism

It’s a frightening thing to consider that there’s a section of the American public who take at face value the things Beck says. Reactionaries like Beck, who encourage and feed on the public’s political illiteracy, are only going to be given more and more air time as the class struggle intensifies. The task of educating American workers about history and Marxism will have to be of the utmost priority in order to counter the poison spewed by the ultra-right.

Eddie S
10 June 2010

On “BP and White House continue cover-up of oil spill

One would think, and everybody as a rule does assume that flow rate is determined by pressure, but it is not the case, only the lower estimate of a flow rate is flexible due to pressure dropping off down to zero, but whatever the pressure, the higher rate is calculable and is determined by pipe bore; every plumber that ever went to a building college did the experiment that proves this, they give you a flow rate gauge and have you go round measuring the rate coming through every tap you can find, and where pressure is very low, obviously you get a trickle, i.e. a low flow rate, but the higher rate, no matter what the pressure, never exceeds the optimum rate which is quite definitely determined by the internal pipe bore, it’s an established scientific principle. Check it out.

COL
8 June 2010

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Dateline: 2012: Obama being interviewed by Oprah. “So let me ask you: why do think you lost?” “Two letters,” Obama responds, giving his best aw-shucks Bill Clinton grin, adjusting himself in his chair. “BP.”

No, Obama. Wrong. Two letters, all right. But you should say: “ME.”

He is the lamest lame duck president that’s ever been, and it would seem the only person more eager to see his presidency end than all Americans is Obama himself. You can sense it on every one of his top staff, Emanuel and (Hilary) Clinton especially: “Boy did I make a big mistake.”

CW
10 June 2010

On “Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood: an outlaw hero that even the rich can love

Another good historical analysis lacking only in referring to the 1950s ITV series THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD produced by blacklisted American producer Hannah Weinstein that employed fugitives from HUAC such as Ring Lardner Jr. writing teleplays under pseudonyms. Philip Saville’s little known film FELLOW TRAVELLER (1989) written by Mick Eaton deals with this era and series that ended with the vocal refrain “Took from the rich and gave to the poor”, something that does not appear in this latest version directed by somebody who has long sold out to the system.

Tony W
9 June 2010

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I find your review of Ridley Scott’s “Robin Hood” to be shockingly wrongheaded, and I have grave doubts as to whether you have seen the movie at all. Statements like “The moral: if one keeps his or her head, endures his or her plight with some grace and stays faithful to the empire … king … national government there will be a happy outcome. In sum: a good deal of conformist rubbish.” are so far off the mark that it’s laughable. The idea that you haven’t seen the film is supported by the fact that you actually refuse to discuss the content of the film, which differs from other versions of the story in that it addresses issues of social equality not with abstractions, but with a demand by the protagonists for equality *under the law*. Similarily, you criticize the film for depicting Robin as returning from the Crusades, when that is anything but a new motif, and completely miss the fact that the film repeatedly describes the Crusades as a barbaric crime. The scene in which Robin describes the massacre of Muslim civilians is anything but half-hearted; it is powerful and central to the film.

It’s a shame to see the WSWS do nothing but parrot the same nonsense the major film critics had to say about Robin Hood, or any other movie that firmly places its sympathy with the common man. (Did you notice that *all* kings in this movie are depicted negatively, even the traditionally good King Richard?)

Jonas K
9 June 2010

On “Date Night and City Island: One comedy that knows where it’s going, another that can’t seem to decide

As someone who trained to be an actor and worked as one for several years, I have a problem with your description (in your review of the film City Island) of what acting is. You write:

“When Vince finally gets up the courage to try out for a movie. . . . and discovers that acting is about arriving at the truth by ‘lying’—i.e., reinventing a real person’s voice or story . . .”

Acting is NOT about “reinventing a real person’s voice or story”. Acting is about CREATING a completely original character (unless you are actually cast as a specific person in a biographical play or film). The old “acting is lying” refrain is a slur upon performers that dates back to the times when pretending to be a person other than oneself was considered a sin by the church, because it was “lying”. (Or worse, playing “God” by daring to “create” a “living being”.)

Reinventing another person’s voice and/or manner or personality is IMPERSONATION, which is completely different from acting.

Other than that quibble, excellent review of the two films. ;o)

Carolyn
San Francisco, CA, USA
10 June 2010

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