Letters from our readers

On “US Secretary of State blackmails China over North Korea

The sending of strategic bombers to South Korea is a show of force. They are also a source of lethal conventional firepower. I doubt that they would be used as nuclear strike weapons. One thing the article doesn’t discuss is the nuclear firepower that is already there without the need for sending nuclear equipped bombers. That is the US Navy and their nuclear capable submarines. I would bet that they are in position. They are a “non-show” of force.

Ken S
Wisconsin, USA
15 April 2013

On “Australian foreign minister outed as long-time US informant

What a revelation regarding Carr. However, is this not the same person who, upon resigning the NSW Labor premiership walked into a lucrative consultancy position with no other than Macquarie Bank, the so-called millionaire's club?

Just whose interests this man represents is so obvious, he certainly has no scruples. In fact, just the type of bureaucrat you need for a bourgeois foreign minister.

James S
NSW, Australia
15 April 2013

On “A glib satire of contemporary life in the US

An observation, I discovered recently... WSWS not only traces the rightward dialectical shift of political parties, but also that of artists like Salman Rushdie, Abbas Kiarostami, Michael Moore, etc. Quite an important contribution on this part, warning people to be careful and not to be uncritical about artists who practise “realism” in art.


14 April 2013

On “Top Chef: Is real drama so hard to find?

Excellent article. I am glad that the WSWS has produced an article on “Reality TV”.

You wrote the following:

“Programs such as Top Chef are more than simply cheap pseudo-dramas. In their fashion, they help to perpetuate ideas about life and human nature held by the people at the top of the heap in America. According to their self-serving conceptions, only the most brazen and self-centered people can achieve success; everyone else is so insignificant that they might as well be invisible. To these layers, real life is its own Social Darwinist elimination process, and should continue to be.”

Spot on. Other shows that fit that mold are Shark Tank and The Apprentice (you mention the latter in your article).

There is another sort of reality TV show that perpetuates ignorant ideas about life. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo comes to mind. It’s about an economically oppressed working class family. The Thompsons have four children, the youngest of which—“Honey Boo Boo”—is a child beauty pageant participant. I have watched a few episodes and have been left in angry fascination.

The only conclusion that I can reach, is that shows like this are designed to make people hate each other. It’s a division tool for the ruling class. One cannot watch an episode of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo without feeling angry, frustrated, or perplexed.

Upon viewing the show, I have asked myself why the Thompsons do the things that they do. TLC present the Thompsons as though they merely came into existence. No serious attempt is made to understand the reasons for their behavior or “lifestyle”. They have no history. So they behave in odd and backward ways because they are simply stupid. This is what TLC would have the viewer believe. It’s disingenuous garbage.

It's good that the WSWS has written on the subject. Much can and should be said. Thanks.

14 April 2013