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

Letters to the Editor 

A satirical scold

Although Hal Crowther marshals his considerable rhetorical gifts with vigor against the worthy target of television, I can't agree with his conclusions, particularly his remark that "TV tells us we can enjoy a healthy economy without benefit of culture, compass or conscience, and never miss them at all [Oct.18]." Crowther has his finger in the vicinity of the pulse, but not quite on top of it: Television is our culture, compass and conscience, whether we have a healthy economy or not.

Did Crowther see the television coverage of the Yugoslavian revolution earlier this month? A turning point came when the anti-Milosevic mobs seized the state television network and cut the transmission. What was the state propaganda machine broadcasting at that very moment? The national orchestra, playing a Beethoven symphony.

This is the sort of nutritious programming Crowther would presumably endorse, yet it was being used by Milosevic as an instrument of political control. If democracy takes root in Yugoslavia in the coming years, and there is an attendant proliferation of commercial television programming, it's a safe bet that not all of the new networks will be broadcasting classical music.

Even in the cultural wasteland of America, it's possible to find Beethoven on television. What really offends Crowther is that the vast majority of the population prefers to watch trash. I don't like Oprah or Larry King any better than Crowther does, but we have the option of not watching, a right that I exercise with great enthusiasm.

Crowther closes his essay with the declaration that television has driven him to the brink of suicide. I really hope that he will reconsider. From Aristophanes, Jeremiah and St. Francis to Swift, Mencken and Vidal, great cultures have always had their satirists and scolds. Crowther is heir to a noble if generally unheeded tradition, and it would be terrible to lose him. --David Fellerath, Hillsborough


Killing the spirit

Your article "On the Bubble," [Oct. 18] was right on the money. Our children are being robbed of creativity in the classroom, and our teachers are being beaten down with unbelievable stress. We have tried to reduce student performance and teacher accountability to one simplistic form of measurement. It is sadly ironic that this testing model takes its cue from business and industry. Our business leaders are now desperately seeking employees who can think creatively, but we are killing that spirit before it ever gets developed.

While most teachers will acknowledge that testing has helped them do a better job of meeting the needs of individual children, they will also assert that there are inherent problems with the tests themselves. Too many children are being set up for failure with the current plan, and once it is implemented statewide, we will really find ourselves in a crisis. Perhaps if we require every political candidate to pass these tests themselves, we'll begin to re-examine what we're doing to our most precious resource--our children and our future. --Parker Call, Raleigh

Latest in Letters to the Editor

Comments

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

Comments

When you pull tongue-in-cheek comments out of context of the original thread, it'd be nice if you had the courtesy …

by Heath Satow on Not a Lot of Nazi Statues in Berlin (Letters to the Editor)

Thanks for pulling my quote out without noting that the comment was made tongue-in-cheek. A bit creepy when you pull …

by Heath Satow on Not a Lot of Nazi Statues in Berlin (Letters to the Editor)

Most Read

  1. Not a Lot of Nazi Statues in Berlin (Letters to the Editor)

Most Recent Comments

When you pull tongue-in-cheek comments out of context of the original thread, it'd be nice if you had the courtesy …

by Heath Satow on Not a Lot of Nazi Statues in Berlin (Letters to the Editor)

Thanks for pulling my quote out without noting that the comment was made tongue-in-cheek. A bit creepy when you pull …

by Heath Satow on Not a Lot of Nazi Statues in Berlin (Letters to the Editor)

was the misogony stuff actually some type of performance art?

by sthomper on Mob Rule (Letters to the Editor)

Ryan Plankenhorn appears to have good intentions with his remarks, and it is much appreciated. I would kindly like him …

by MelissaJ123 on Blind Attack (Letters to the Editor)

Who are these people who behave so badly and dare anyone to comment on them in public? Are they relatively …

by MickeyNotMouse on Mob Rule (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