Hollywood’s liberal agenda

I read your short review and comments on Brokeback Mountain (editorial, 12/15/05, “The box office goes broke(back)”). What a joke! You don\’t get it and Hollywood is not getting it. Most of the country doesn\’t want to see two queer cowboys as \”entertainment.\” That\’s a subject to be discussed on an intellectual level, and believe me, there is nothing entertaining about it. The real story, my friend, is not in the superficial glance of some queers making a point, but in the fact that Hollywood has a liberal agenda that does not meet with the approval of most of the country. 

Hollywood\’s woes are not going to go away until they can make films that are \”creative\” and are not just some remake or rerun of movie plots we all are saturated with. Look at Pay it Forward, or the Mel Gibson movie about Jesus that Hollyweird people hated and the public just couldn\’t get enough of. What happened to the quality Disney movies? 

Hollywood needs to wake up or they are going to dream themselves into oblivion because when the economics don\’t work, the actors won\’t work. Simple.

John Robbins, Newport Beach

Ding Dong!

I read the review of King Kong (film, 12/22/05, “Kong is King”) waiting for the punch line, the cosmic joke but, alas, the reviewer seems to seriously suggest it is \”the best film of all time\”??? (question marks mine!!!) Quick, hide all the drugs and remotes. I never like to impugn the messenger, or in this case the reviewer, so I will concentrate on my experience. I (and my date, first date, probably not the last) arrived 15 minutes late at the majestic Ojai movie theater and left after one hour, during which I squirmed, snorted and salivated (all done very quietly).

This movie is the most colossal waste of money, talent (?), but certainly not hype, as most reviews and movie-goers seem to express that they like it. Let me warn you: This movie has not one shred of intelligence, true creativity or compassion (unless something happened in the remaining one and a half hours which I walked out on). Now, of course, you special-effecters will want to burn me at the stake.

And those of you who find Naomi Watts as fetching as Jessica Lange or Fay Wray (former loves of King Kong) have a case to make that ogling is true watching.

But take my advice, fellow movie aficionados, if you want to watch Adrien

Brody, watch Spike Lee\’s Summer of Sam. If you want to watch Naomi Watts, watch 21 Grams. And if you must watch Jack Black, please view The School of Rock, but probably not LaserFart (even though it gets a 9.6 out of 10 rating on imdb.com.)

Movies \”should\” (could) provide entertainment, education and/or whatever the third \”e\” is. But this movie fails so miserably on all three that it may well be revered as \”the best farce of all time.”

Moses Kravitz, Oak View

Iraq = Vietnam or Northern Ireland?

William McGowan, the Angry Economist, says that the Vietnam War is a not the best comparison to our situation in Iraq; and of course he is absolutely correct. A much better comparison is the tar-baby situation that the British find themselves stuck with in Northern Ireland.

Both countries, Northern Ireland and Iraq, were created by the British in the wake of World War I. Each was an attempt to meld into a single country ethnic and religious groups that, to put it politely, really don\’t want to share a homeland with the others.   

One difference is that the enmity between Catholics and the Protestants in Northern Ireland goes back to the time of Oliver Cromwell, around 1650 A.D. The religious feud between Sunnis and Shiites began about 1,000 years earlier, shortly after the death of the Prophet Mohamed. Another difference is that Northern Ireland has only two ethnic groups at each others necks. Iraq has a third faction in the mix, the Kurds who can\’t stand either the Sunnis or the Shiites and don\’t want to live in the same country with either of the two. 

In the late 1920s the British vowed to pull their troops out of Northern Ireland after holding democratic elections to determine the final status of that disputed region. Eighty-five years later, with an almanac full of democratic elections having been held, the British remain hopeful that \”soon\” there will be the civil peace necessary for their long-delayed troop withdrawal. 

To the British I\’d say dream on.

Enough about Ireland.  Let\’s turn to Iraq where President Bush is confident that free elections will bring peace and mutual accommodation among the Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites. He assures us that with one election under its belt Iraq is well on its way to becoming the first functioning democracy in the Arab world. When the blessings of freedom arrive — and the day is close — more than a millennium of religious hatred will disappear, civil peace will reign, and American troops will be brought home. 

That\’s a lovely vision. Perhaps William McGowan can explain to us why free elections in Iraq will work that magic in that nation when 85 years of free elections have done absolutely nothing to bring civility to Northern Ireland. I assume a McGowan would have something to say about that.

If he can\’t supply that explanation, would he at least point out why Northern Ireland is also a flawed analogy for Iraq? I\’m all ears.

Rick Scott, Ventura