By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Yet director Terrence Malick has us watching a movie filled with moral ambiguity and the Japanese on an equal moral plane with the U.S. troops. Could you imagine actors who lived through that period like John Wayne, Lee Marvin (a Marine on Guadacanal), Jimmy Stewart or Henry Fonda running around in a movie about World War II asking, "Why are we fighting?" Hey, Malick, make your next war movie about Vietnam. The Thin Red Line makes you look stupid.
-Greg Hubers, Huntington Beach
WE'RE NOT WORTHY
This is in reply to Steve Lowery's article titled "Hot-Air Jordan" (Sports, Jan. 15): In presenting a case that Magic Johnson was greater than Mike, Lowery missed key facts about Michael Jordan that will probably stand the test of time in proving that Mike was the greatest ever. Air Jordan won six championships without a great center, while Larry Bird had Robert Parish, Dr. J had Moses Malone, and Magic had Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Plus, when Jordan left basketball to play baseball, the NBA crown was won by Houston, which has Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwan, the best center in basketball.
And Jordan was a better defensive player than Magic.
Now, the big man will dominate basketball once again, and never again will a guard without a great center wear the crown six times.
-Robert J. Kachur, Cardiff by the Sea
I'm not even a huge basketball fan, but Lowery is wrong: Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player ever. Sure, Jordan did not take social or political stances; Magic sure as hell did, and it cost him his career and, eventually, his life. Doesn't Lowery think it is incredible that an athlete of Jordan's level went through his career without any serious allegations? Kids can look up to him, not Magic. I salute Jordan for being able to go out on top, even if he can't hit a curveball. Of course stats count. Otherwise, Mark McGwire's 70 homers wouldn't be important. And if I could sell shoes, underwear, phone calls and cereal for an extra $20 million to $30 million per year, I probably would. Wouldn't you?
-Paul Olson, via e-mail
BRAVO, BRAVO and BRAVO. Mr. Lowery's article on Michael Jordan is hard-hitting and straight to the truth of the matter. I have been saying the exact same thing for years, but no one wants to hear it. I could not have said it better myself.
-Rhonda Allen, Anaheim
TOLL ROAD STEW
I've got to agree with Supervisor Tom Wilson. These toll roads have their purpose. I've never enjoyed so much free meat. Hunting was always illegal in the middle of Orange County, but I've traded in my rifle for a transponder, and I'm on the FastTrak to free meals! I drive the toll roads in search of fresh venison. I've done my best hunting near the bridges. Even before the Eastern Toll Road opened, deer were jumping to their deaths. (I simply followed the circling vultures; a road-kill gourmet has to be crafty.) This spring, I'll be adding owl, snake and possum stew. (Poor, stupid, country animals don't know about freeways.)
The Antonio to Oso segment of the Foothill Toll Road just opened, and like the rest of the toll roads, it's not properly fenced for wildlife. So now's the time to eat hearty, before all the wildlife's gone. Get yourself a road-kill cookbook and enjoy! Don't let the wildlife go to waste!
Mr. Wilson, I owe you a dinner. I can't wait until you run the Foothill right beside my favorite wildlife reserve. Wow! Will my freezer be full, and I can't wait to taste mountain-lion meat. (We've made it illegal to hunt 'em, but we know how to get 'em, don't we Tom?)
-Leslie Long, San Juan Capistrano
It's amazing how conservative Republicans want to claim great literature for their own on a superficial level without examining its true contents. Take Ken Starr comparing himself to Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. To quote Carville, "How horrific it must be for Harper Lee to hear the esteemed inspector [Starr], an unabashed trampler of constitutional rights, try to evoke a comparison between himself and Atticus Finch." We caught Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) pulling the same trick in R. Scott Moxley's article "Hustled: Hustler publisher may out Southern California congressman" (The County, Jan. 22).
William Golding would blow chunks to hear Rohrabacher's literary pretensions on Lord of the Flies. Rohrabacher just doesn't get Golding's great novel. Can we blame him since he barely remembers it's a novel and not just "that movie"? Rohrabacher invokes the power of the conch in Lord of the Flies as a symbol of respect for the laws that uphold civilization and prevent "degeneration into . . . savagery." Ironically, Rohrabacher then uses the conch as a shield to hide Republican descent into savagery. The fact that the conch is never used in the novel to hide one's misdeeds must've gone right over his head.
However, Rohrabacher got one part right: there's a lot of hiding in the novel. The antagonist, Jack, paints his face with blood and clay to liberate himself from his conscience and the confines of morality. You could say he's anti-conch, but, like Rohrabacher, he'd like to claim it, too. As Larry Flynt assumes the role of Piggy in the novel (a.k.a. the voice of morality and right behavior) by trying to hold everyone accountable to the same standards, Rohrabacher, like Jack, wants him and his cohorts to be above accountability to the conch ("Personal attacks on us must stop, and they will not be tolerated"). In essence, Rohrabacher is screaming at "Piggy" to avert his eyes while he smashes the pesky shell.