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Searching for credit
I would like, with all due respect, to set the record straight regarding your movie review saying The Missing was modeled on The Searchers, John Ford's classic western ("The Searching," Dec.3). In fact, both films are modeled on the novel by Alan Le May, which paints a truly mesmerizing portrait of Texas frontier life, and is full of fascinating facts along with what I would call shared history--anecdotal episodes to which innumerable descendents of these frontier families can personally relate. This nearly forgotten gem should become a cherished member of everyone's bookshelf who reveres the original movie starring John Wayne and Natalie Wood, though it already brings up to a thousand dollars and more among the 1st edition collectors subculture. Although John Ford's version is indisputably the more accomplished work, both films take liberties with both the plot and the integrity of Le Mays creation. Ford's version, with all its power and grandeur, deals at times in buffoonery and caricature (most notably the episode with Pauly's Indian wife), and also departs significantly--no doubt due to the exigencies of John Wayne's star power--from the book's ending. Indeed, the novel's bittersweet ending in and of itself serves as a fitting metaphor of the frontier experience. Only John Le May's novel truly captures the vastness and loneliness of the Texas plains as well as the often-bitter price paid by those with the incredible courage to settle there. Enjoy both movies and grant proper kudos to their crafters, but please don't miss out on one of the greatest novels of the American experience.
Kevin Proctor
Durham

Intelligence skeptic
The article written by Ron Garrett ("They are thieves and traitors all," Dec. 3) was, as far as I could tell, something on the order of comments from a disgruntled, former agent of a security agency within the U.S. government.

The truth is that I didn't read more than a few lines before I knew the depth of the man; it was a shallow depth. I only had to read the sentence in which Mr. Garrett referred to the President of the United States as George "Dumba" to realize I have no interest in any remarks made by the writer. I may not have the exact parody of the letter W, but we both know he meant--dumb. I will make my comments quick, and I won't express my contempt for Mr. Garrett. Of course, Mr. Garrett is "preaching to the choir" when he writes a column in your liberal weekly, so yukking it up at the president's expense is a free shot for a writer who hates the president.

I just thought it might be interesting for Mr. Garrett to realize that there are millions of us who think President Bush is a fine man and a great president. I've known Presidents since Ike, and I can honestly say I have never been more proud to call a man my President than George Bush. I wonder if Mr. Garrett ever said the same about Bill Clinton.

The world situation is deadly serious these days and the threat of more terror within our borders is high. There is no need for men like Mr. Garrett being disrespectful of a man, who in all likelihood is his superior in probably every category, including intelligence, or IQ I guess I should say, considering Mr. Garrett's former job title. Thanks for listening,
Charlie Griffin
Raleigh

Uncovered download?
Many thanks to The Independent for sponsoring the screening of Uncovered at the Carolina Theatre on Monday evening (Dec. 8). The huge turnout partially offset the dismay the film's contents engendered. As I left the theater I realized how important it could be to achieve the widest possible dissemination for this film's information.

I understand the film's producers are selling copies of the film with an unlimited right to show it. As an attorney who has worked with intellectual property law including copyright issues for almost 30 years I have an idea for the producers.

In the computer software field there is a copyright license called the GNU General Public License. Anyone interested can find this license at www.freebsd.org/copyright/copying. Material an author publishes under the GNU General Public License can be copied and distributed verbatim without license fees, but changing the material is not allowed.

I suggest the Uncovered publishers license the film similarly. They could post the film on an Internet site for anyone to download, copy and show. But no one could edit the film. If the outcome is to achieve the largest possible audience for this important work in the shortest possible time this is one way to do just that. MoveOn.org knows how to get the word out.
Ted Corvette
Durham

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