Thumbs Down

To the Editor,

Let's play Critique the Critics! Here's how you play:


  1. Pretend you're a craven, underprivileged lover of all mass media who resides in a trailer somewhere near Columbus Boulevard and Pima Street.

  2. Put on your baseball cap indoors without combing your hair first!

  3. Get yourself a Miller Lite or cup of Taster's Choice coffee and some Twinkies or a Hostess Fruit Pie.

  4. Sit in brown, faux-leather LazyBoy rocker from Sam Levitz furniture store.

  5. Respond to the critique of Titanic ("Crash Course," Tucson Weekly, December 24 ) by Lisa Tiger and Leigh Rich in a totally depraved, unwashed and mass-media loving slant such as:

    I really loved Titanic . It swallowed me up whole. I totally lost any sense of time and place. I was moved by this wonderful disaster movie with its accompanying love story.

Yes, it's true I've had very meaningful romantic relationships in my life. Yet I thought the romantic tension created by Rose and Jack was thoroughly appropriate to a disaster epic such as Titanic. Under ordinary circumstances, I would find such a relationship somewhat two-dimensional; yet knowing that Jack would die soon created a different dimension for me. I felt their panic at trying to live through their relationship as quickly as possible before some sort of tragedy struck.

I thought the director needed this sort of relationship with easy handles to get the audience to emotionally buy into the disaster. I thought Titanic was a wonderful post-modernist interpretation of an historical tragedy. I enjoyed the artist's creation of fictional characters and events (besides the overwhelmingly impressive movie technology). I would be quite bored by some faithful rendering of events, such as those seen on Nova.

I think critics Tiger and Rich are unfair in their harsh and largely negative review of Titanic. They obviously did not like the movie for whatever reason, and vented their biased opinions on a fine epic disaster movie intended for mass consumption. Perhaps they should be confined to reviews of slow, washed-out looking, technically inept and highly pretentious French movies shown only at The New Loft.

Maybe the Tucson Weekly should solicit reviews of movies, books, art and music from its readers. This would at least induce some variety in its reporting, instead of articles by critics who view themselves as very important representatives of the fraternity/sorority of inside, art-house, movie crowd elitists.

--Carlos Encinas

Thumbs Up

To the Editor,

Regarding Stacey Richter's "Magic Geriatrics" (Tucson Weekly, January 8): Here! Here! And the problem is, the men in the audience buy it. If I had a nickel for every time some flaccid, old gasbag made a pass at me, I'd be sitting in a Club Med sucking up daiquiris, instead of here in Tucson microwaving mashed potatoes and day-old broccoli. Well said.

--A. Babe

To the Editor,

I wish to applaud Stacey Richter for her relevant and timely comments on the habit of the entertainment industry to constantly provide unreasonable and unrealistic images of gender realities ("Magic Geriatrics," Tucson Weekly, January 8). The point that Woody Allen's character in Deconstructing Harry is old, ugly, and unpleasant gives the young female characters no reason to be attracted to this wrinkled, flaccid loser.

The only reason for their attraction to occur, then (other than the unflattering suggestion that young women readily marry for money alone), is to perpetuate a tradition of old men turning out their female partners of similar age to make room for young, nubile women of child-bearing age. This made sociobiological sense a long time ago when we were trying to populate a planet; now, we should be a bit higher on Maslow's motivational hierarchy. Self-actualization anyone?

Now that we young, nubile women have a choice though, all we see here is a pathetic attempt by a purely commercially driven industry to buy market share by perpetuating a tradition that has always sucked and now serves the interests only of over-the-hill Lotharios and should not be supported, especially by female consumers!

How many of us know an "older" woman who is living alone now while her former husband has a younger girlfriend or wife? To see the extent that public expressions regarding popular culture can affect a society's perceptions, anyone concerned about this proliferation should read "Idols of Perversity: Fantasies of Feminine Evil in Fin-De-Siècle Culture" by Bram Dijkstra.

Thanks, Stacey Richter. Time for a new day, wouldn't you say, folks?

--Ruth Olsson

Una Casa Divided

To the Editor,

It was with great amusement that I read James Gerety's letter to the editor ("Adobe Slinging," Tucson Weekly, December 24 ) responding to Emil Franzi's "A Tale of Two Cities" (Tucson Weekly, December 11). Gerety's snide rantings hearken to the kind of propaganda you'd expect from an authoritarian outfit like the Committee to Incorporate, Incorporated. Or as some affectionately call it: Inc-Squared.

I found it interesting that Gerety labels Inc-Squared as "democratic." I would like to fill in some of the blanks that Gerety left out of his letter.

1) The committee blatantly disregarded democratic principals by excluding numerous qualified, capable and sincerely interested people from the process. These outcasts and undesirables did not subscribe to the "incorporate-at-all-costs" and "end-justifies-the-means" methodology adhered to by the lockstep committee. By contrast, the Inc-Squared dissenters believed that a truly democratic choice could only be made by an informed electorate that was given the chance to examine all the pros and cons of the issue. Getting all the information out was something that Inc-Squared abhorred, as anyone who dared object at their meetings soon found out.

2) The Tortolita petition clearly indicated that if enough citizens signed, it would become a town. Come on, Gerety! Do you really believe the Tortolitans didn't know what they were doing? With a town that size, how could a resident not know? And 90 percent of the eligible voters signed! Undemocratic indeed. Pima County yearns for such consensus. As does Casas Adobes.

3) Since when is electing council members who served on the incorporation committee undemocratic? Tortolita actually had a straw vote at a meeting where everyone was invited to attend. Inc-Squared "democratically" shot down a similar proposal from one of its own board members. On top of that, none of the Inc-Squared committee members vying for the Casas Adobes Council bothered to show up to any of the three forums held by Citizens for Democracy, designed for the candidates to meet their constituents. In fact, of the seven people backed by Inc-Squared, only three thought it important enough to do so. So much for their "democratic" vision.

4) One-fifth of Casas Adobes is still to be developed. Believe me, developers are drooling at the prospect of raping and scraping what little is left of the open space in C.A. And word on the street is they are already lining up to do so. Inc-Squared ran off anybody with a reputation for standing up to the abuse that has been heaped on Casas Adobes because it has grown too far too fast.

5) Inc-Squared drew the Casas Adobes town limits behind closed doors, where no one could see. They conducted most of their business at unscheduled, unannounced, impromptu meetings prior to becoming a non-profit corporation. Afterwards, they conducted all their business at closed, private meetings. If incorporation is such a great idea, and if Inc-Squared board members were such shining examples of democratic leadership, why be so furtive, manipulative and controlling? Could it be that they knew their agenda for the new town would cause indigestion if the voters were allowed to sample it prior to the election?

Gerety does not understand that the true test of democracy is how one responds to honest disagreement and opposition. He and Inc-Squared flunked that test. True democracy means concerns are given due consideration and debate. Democracy doesn't smugly sweep objections under the carpet, arrogantly trample them underfoot, or worst of all brazenly shout them down. Inc-Squared is guilty on all three counts.

What is really sad is how Inc-Squared was able to dishearten and discourage the enormous early enthusiasm of incorporation supporters early on. They took a movement that filled large meeting rooms in July and reduced it to a marginal, flimsy victory that was actually a loss on election day, all in the space of four short months. This result now hangs as a black cloud over the future of Casas Adobes.

Gerety and Inc-Squared made their bed--now they must lie in it.

--Ted Schlinkert

A Beef With Danehy

To The Editor,

Regarding Tom Danehy's "Captive Audience" (Tucson Weekly, December 25 ): I sure feel sorry for Danehy's kids. They probably know how to read, and so they and their friends probably read your uninformed and callous drivel. Wake up, Tom, "vegetarianism" isn't the issue. The issue is becoming conscious of the precariousness of life and identifying the complexity, rather than reducing everything to black-and-white polarity.

Most people would do well to eat less meat. Even the mainstream medical establishment has said so. Current farming methods are pushing us towards eco-disaster from many directions at once, while the consumer is told to wear gloves when handling chicken. Does Oscar Meyer subsidize your column, Tom? What compels you to mock a much younger person's choices, in newsprint, no less?

Excuse me, but I'm not finished. When I was in school you had to belong to the marching band first in order to play in any of the other ensembles the music program offered-- jazz, concert, quartets, etc. Therefore, it was a requirement that one dress up in that stupid uniform and march "up and down the square." I doubt if times have changed much. Half those kids hate that crap, plus having to play for dorks like you. At least you could have come up with some cash, you tightwad loser.

Have you ever thought of becoming a janitor?

If you recover from your next heart attack, food poisoning, etc., try reading John Robbin's Diet For A New America.

--Duane Johnson

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