Consider the disastrous effects the car has on city planning and land values. Look at the Yellow Pages. More pages deal with cars than any other category except for lawyers. Add up the amount of time Americans spend every day in solitary communes, isolated from each other by steel and glass. People who live in the same city don't even know each other. Then figure in the economic stuff, how it nearly forces everyone to buy an expensive gadget just to play the American game.
Vast amounts of all kinds of resources go toward maintaining this status quo. What gets produced is an enormous money machine, a lot of stress and road rage. It's indicative of a spiritual crisis in this country.
"New" technology usually doesn't fix much. It just creates new sets of problems. Why don't you do a story that might get people thinking in a new direction?
Roberta Penn's review of Randa McNamara's CD Living in My Heart ["Homebrew," April 19] was startling not only because she so totally missed the point of the CD (not to mention the singer's greatest strengths), but because she chose to express herself in such a vicious way. Everyone is entitled to her opinion, but every artist is entitled to a certain amount of respect for her courage in taking the personal and financial risks involved in making a CD. Penn's review was simply cruel.
Living in My Heart came out of this artist's experience of the death of her parents and the deaths of dozens of friends who had AIDS. For those of us who have lived through this kind of experience, whether we know McNamara or not, this CD is a great gift. I know many people who listen to it every day for strength, and many who cry through the entire thing. There may be a lounge aspect to some of the instrumentation, but you cannot argue with the emotional truth of the singing or the integrity of the singer.
McNamara is an artist who struggles with life's deepest questions. The songs she chose for this CD clearly reflect her commitment to offer hope and uplift rather than cynicism. It would be really sad if this mean-spirited review were the only comment from the local press about this CD.
I have always been entertained by Hal Crowther's wit and clever commentaries, especially when he is clearly outraged. But I have never cried while reading one of his columns until "Twilight of the Tiger" [March 29].
His line "Six billion humans, 6,000 tigers, and people hope to grind up the rest of the tigers to improve their erections" sums up the basis of the problem. Doesn't all the war, environmental destruction and social oppression that we humans create stem from a misdirected masculine (not male) drive to have more, bigger and better erections (as in more toys, money, power, acquisitions, land, conquests) and from trying to prove that we, our "tools," our ideas, our ways are best? I use the term "misdirected" because positively directed masculine energy makes a beneficial impact on the world. I differentiate masculine from male because there are plenty of women who have also misdirected their masculine energy.
I applaud Crowther for actually acting on his feelings in his "Free Willy" escapade and attempting a solution. Had he not been in a regressed adolescent male state (i.e., drunk) he might have accomplished his mission.
I commend him for so eloquently speaking his feelings, but how about having a dialogue that leads to action that will help us collectively find a way to change the course of our kamikaze drive to extinction? What is it going to take to wake people up to the realization that we are totally dependent on the natural world and, as we destroy it, are killing ourselves as well?