Back Talk | Letters to the Editor | Indy Week
Pin It

Back Talk 

Letters to the Editor

We, the Lotus Eaters
Thanks to Hal Crowther for his latest column on "Weapons of Mass Stupidity" [June 4]. I have tried not to be derogatory to our fellow citizens, but one must be also frank about the dumbing down of political discourse in the United States. Your comparison to American Idol is apt because we are in a constant state of idol worship more so than the Israelites with their golden calf. We instead spend hours in front of the boob tube and if we read, we consume junk food rags created by the ilk of Rupert Murdoch.

I believe both you and Michael Malone are right. The polls both reflect public opinion and they create public opinion by suggesting what people should think. When serious thought is a rare commodity, the media very easily molds people's thoughts.

I believe the lying and greed of this government and its big business cronies will eventually be understood. How soon this happens depends on our ability to face reality that includes our copious sins.
Bill Gural

An angel at his table
Hal Crowther describes the demise of reason ["Weapons of Mass Stupidity," June 4] but undermines his credibility with dismissive statistics: "70 percent believe in angels, 60 percent in literal, biblical, blazing Armageddon, and more than half reject Charles Darwin." (Hal's supercilious view of angels reminds me of Christian fundamentalists railing against the witchcraft and magic of Harry Potter.)

In Christian theology, angels are defined as "intelligences without bodies." I can not guess the "lineaments" of these putative creatures but I trust there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in Hal's philosophy. Or, in my own for that matter ...

The faithful who built the Medieval Cathedrals--the intellectual and artistic leaders of the Renaissance--all believed in angels. Although scandalous to "narrow-minded reason," these celestial beings (of questionable origin) have crystallized courage and inspired soaring artistry. On the other hand, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Hitler, Attila the Hun, Stalin, Bloods and Crips are unbelievers all.

Why believe?

Having made their Mephistophelean bargain, they know better.

They know "the bottom line." It is carefully calculated in lucre and cadavers. I do not know.

Perhaps loving regard for "The Transcendental Other" (even if "The Transcendental Other" is "only" an act of moral imagination) is the best antidote for solipsism and megalomania. It's a tough call: In the rarefied atmosphere of unprincipled rationality, philosophical deconstructionism and mock multiculturalism, perhaps the solipsists and megalomaniacs are "right."

In the past, Hal has criticized pornographic internauts--idlers responsible for more than half of all Internet hits. I wonder: Would the world be a better place if these voyeurs sought glimpses of heavenly bodies--however theoretical or imaginary--rather than Pam Anderson's T and A?
Alan Archibald

Questioning authority
While I suspect, or at least hope, that the numerous flaws in Mr. Speck's reasoning demonstrated in his letter of June 11 will be brought to attention by other readers, I can't resist pointing out at least one.

Mr. Speck says that our armed forces cannot be expected to stop the looting in Iraq with so few soldiers available. What he fails to address is why there are so few forces there. As it is now clear that there was no imminent threat from Iraqi chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons, there was no reason for the Bush administration to hurry to invade without first building international support for such an attack. Our own generals have been warning for a long time that overseeing Iraq after the war would require a long-term commitment of a substantial occupation force. If President Bush had not lied about his reasons for invading, such a force could be there. By occupying Iraq, we have taken responsibility for the security and well-being of the Iraqi people.

The Bush administration cannot continue to justify its own failures in Iraq (and at home) by reminding us how much nicer they are than Sadaam Hussein. That's really not much of an accomplishment, even if it is just about the only one that they can claim.
David Levine
Chapel Hill

In Byron Woods' ADF review in the printed edition of our June 11 issue, the last sentence was accidently left off. The sentence read:

The weekend's "Program B" places their classic Day Two on one side of the scales. On the other, Duet for Six, currently billed as Pilobolus' answer to La Ronde, a look in on relationships of differing thermal values, and Star-Cross'd, whose stellar--or was that bat-like?--acrobatics were well received when the work premiered last month in Connecticut.

We'll see. And then say.

talk back
Got something to say about an Independent article? Send no more than 300 words to; to P.O. Box 2690, Durham 27715; or fax 286-4274. Include your name, phone number and mailing address for verification; we cannot publish a letter without confirmation from the writer. We reserve the right to edit letters for length, style and clarity.

Latest in Letters to the Editor


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Letters to the Editor

Twitter Activity


Wait, why is eating meat necessary? There are plenty of other protein sources ie: plant based protein is abundant. No …

by ammi on A Stinking Mess (Letters to the Editor)

Yes, everyone has to eat, but no, people don't have to eat meat.…

by Dave Connelly on A Stinking Mess (Letters to the Editor)

Most Read

  1. Sunday Service (Peripheral Visions)
  2. Smoked Out (Letters to the Editor)

Most Recent Comments

Wait, why is eating meat necessary? There are plenty of other protein sources ie: plant based protein is abundant. No …

by ammi on A Stinking Mess (Letters to the Editor)

Yes, everyone has to eat, but no, people don't have to eat meat.…

by Dave Connelly on A Stinking Mess (Letters to the Editor)

Ellen, I dont see your comments anywhere in my inbox. Please email them to me directly: jbillman at indyweek dot …

by Jeffrey Billman on A Stinking Mess (Letters to the Editor)

I also wrote you Indyweek. Please print my comments. North Carolina is hell for hogs also …

by Ellen Canavan on A Stinking Mess (Letters to the Editor)

If the headline had been: "Is Scott Crawford Better Off Without Standard Food"? The answer would have been a resounding …

by Sue Mixson on Plate Expectations (Letters to the Editor)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation