Props to Meredith Blake for her article on Oprah Winfrey's uncanny ability to illuminate the pulse of our society's mind-set ["Oprah Winfrey for President? Her Speech Resounds," Jan. 8]. Winfrey's most salient point was never directly referred to: "... what I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have." That is what creates change.
With all due respect to Winfrey, we don't need another TV celebrity or political neophyte in the highest office of our nation.
Like Al Gore, may Winfrey continue to find great purpose in being an advocate and activist for progressive change. Gore is on a mission to save the Earth from global climate change, he's a patriot of the planet.
America can be made greater through Winfrey's undistracted focus on women's empowerment. What issue could be more noble, necessary or timely
I don't know why anybody would want to run for an office that Donald Trump occupies.
Star treatment for FAME chief
Thanks for that very nice obituary of Rick Hall ["Father of the Muscle Shoals Sound," Jan. 5]. After years of loving music produced at his FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Ala., I became a fan of the man himself after reading Peter Guralnick's book "Sweet Soul Music."
When the film "Muscle Shoals" played at the Art Theatre, in Long Beach, where I am manager, I gave Hall the star treatment on the marquee.
For years, I've waited for him to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Sadly, he now joins key figures like Willie Mitchell, Norman Whitfield and Chips Moman who were not inducted during their lifetimes and still haven't been.
At any rate, your story was a good tribute to Hall and his achievements, and I thank you for that.
Interesting times for the theater
Regarding "Challenging Time for the Stage" [Jan. 31]: This was so eloquent and spot-on. Sometimes reading something so pertinent can be like a cool drink of water amid a seemingly endless drought. Thank you so much. There are so many lines I would re-quote from Charles McNulty's article, but just to say, I loved: "fictional journeys can help develop within us an understanding that truth is an inquiry."
I have never emailed a journalist, but I just finished reading "Challenging Time for the Stage" and I was blown away. Sometimes I'm tempted to cancel my subscription to The Times, but McNulty's article will keep me holding on in hopes of reading more of his work.
Kudos to two insightful writers
When I open The Times, the first thing I do is look for stories with Lorraine Ali's or Robin Abcarian's byline.
Thanks to these two intelligent, insightful writers, their articles give me the ability to discuss with my family and friends important, meaningful subjects concerning the entertainment industry.
We look forward to these two professionals delving into the misogyny that gives birth to the way women are subjected to cruelty, abuse and salacious sexuality in films and television. Such constant depictions have a negative effect on our youth and those adults who have a difficult time separating reality from fiction.
Art of making others happy
Regarding "Movie Review: How's That for a Con Job?" [Dec. 20]: After watching "The Greatest Showman," I was amazed that this film isn't a front-runner for award consideration. It's joyful and uplifting, and never has a movie generated so much discussion around my dinner table. It triggered wonderful conversations with my tween/teen children about accepting, appreciating and celebrating differences. I was shocked that many critics knocked picture it, feeling it glorified and glossed over the faults of the real P.T. Barnum. This is not a bio-pic about Barnum — it's a musical inspired by the life of Barnum. Maybe the filmmaker's only mistake was calling Hugh Jackman's character P.T. Barnum rather than a fictional name so the movie wouldn't have been encumbered by the showman's real-life flaws. "The Greatest Showman" is a breath of fresh air greatly needed in these times.
Nothing but slap on the wrist?
Regarding "'Walking Dead' Producers Fined in Stuntman's Death" [Jan. 6]: With production costs in the millions, a fine of $12,675 is pocket change at best. I can't imagine that fines in this range are an incentive to change anything.
Bonaventure is never boring
Regarding "Inside a Puzzle of a Time Capsule" [Jan. 7]: The design of the Bonaventure Hotel has inspired criticism over the last 40 years, much of it deserved.
But it's also worth remembering that without John Portman's vision, the Bonaventure could have easily been yet another forgettable 1970s hotel with a claustrophobic lobby, dimly lighted elevators and a featureless slab of rooms. That's how most hotels built in the '70s looked. How many of those hotels inspire visits from architecture critics, or pass for the 25th century in movies, or transform the elevator into a rocket ride into the sky
Portman took one of the most mundane human activities — sleeping away from home — and turned it into sheer theater. And like good theater, the Bonaventure can be thrilling, inspiring, disorienting, even exasperating. But no one has ever called it boring.