EDITOR: Brian Baird has morphed into a man with no recognizable moral structure ["Bullying Baird," Josh Feit, Aug 30]. The term "surge" is Beltway terminology for killing off enough Iraqis to allow the U.S. to gain control of their resources. I have never heard the term "worked" used to describe genocide until recently. It isn't rocket science to see that the men in the White House are dangerous lunatics who should be opposed in every possible way. If we can see that way out here in the northwest corner of the country, then Baird should be able to observe it from his ringside seat in D.C. If Baird likes the "the surge," he'll go positively weak at the knees over an unprovoked nuclear assault on Iran. That's exactly what is in the cards. If our elected representatives are too blinded by ambition and the lust for power to see that, then what good are they?
CHARLES MUDEDE: Sir, I must say that I enjoyed your Kubrick analysis ["Primal Fury," Aug 23]. It's among the best that I've read, and, frankly, I've read a tonnage of them. You sum up the Kubrick dichotomy, "the hate he had for humanity was only matched by the curious love he had for the most expensive and impressive art form in the world: cinema." Yes, sir. The bleakness, the darkness expressed with such force of imagination that the vast "nothings" of his themes are filmed with such heightened imagination, Stanley's eye. In Stanley's best, the dragon swallows its own tail and the theme and visuals click perfectly, and the feeling is giddy, up-the-spine stuff—Nicholson limping through the glorious hedge maze, the tracking shots with their greenish tints and spectacular lighting, and the shout of "Danny! Danny Boy!"
I'm 43; my pops took me to the Cinerama when I was 5 to see 2001, we sat right up front, with all the long-haired folks. I've been obsessed with Stanley ever since.
The days when he wasn't cool, when he wasn't George Lucas (thank God), the times of defense of The Shining to the King fans who thought it was crap, and now he's the toast of film city. Anyway, good job. I'd love to read what you think of Eyes Wide Shut a few years out of the can. It's Kubrick, but it's like he's doing Hitchcock meets Hammer studios, which is what Lynch's Blue Velvet is, right? Stanley with his apes and clockwork thugs and Lynch with the bugs fighting like lions in the depths of the grass.
MUDEDE: How dare you—you sad, pathetic excuse for a human being. Not only was your recent article on Stanley Kubrick a slap in the face of cinema—it was a cruel and spiteful insult to the surviving family of Kubrick. Worse still is that your understanding of Kubrick is more a reflection on yourself than his work. You think Kubrick hated people? No, he understood them. There is a difference. How sad for you to have missed it.
EDITOR: When potential students tells me they want to learn to play "bongos," there's a good chance they know absolutely nothing about drums. Most likely they want to learn conga or djembe—the kind of drum your "homeless bongo [sic] player" had between his legs ["Beating the Drummer," Jonah Spangenthal-Lee, Aug 30].
Simone LaDrumma, drum teacher
DEAR ERICA BARNETT: Awesome article comparing the I-5 closure with the potential closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct ["Closure," Aug 23]. Instead of all the doom and destruction predicted, as you so pointedly put it, "people adapted to changed circumstances." It's this obvious natural phenomenon we need to pound into the heads of the anachronists who clog our city government so that we can ACTUALLY become the sustainable city our officials so hollowly proclaim we are becoming.