Letters to Calendar: 'OCD' shouldn't be used casually, and Ralph Fiennes need not apologize

'OCD' shouldn't be used casually

I wish to address an issue in Mary McNamara's review of the new Netflix series "Love" ["This Could Become a Lasting Relationship," Feb. 19] regarding the character of Gus, whom McNamara describes as "a vibrating mess of OCD control-freakishness." OCD is the shorthand for obsessive compulsive disorder, a common and often serious mental health condition. OCD is not the shorthand for quirky, neat-freakish, persnickety, controlling or germaphobic.

I am sure that McNamara used "OCD" in her description of Gus because it has become part of our vernacular and it easily conjures up a certain type of personality. But we can do better. People with mental health conditions have enough to deal with without the added insult of overused stereotypes.

Mary Ann Gallo

Los Angeles

Fiennes need not apologize

Regarding the Quick Takes brief "Fiennes Defends Self as Jackson" [Feb. 18]: Why does Joseph Fiennes need to explain his portrayal of Michael Jackson any more than Christopher Jackson (a black actor) playing George Washington (a slave owner) in Broadway's "Hamilton"?

Roland A. Pinza

Los Angeles

'Race' recalls fond memories

Thanks for the movie review of "Race" ["A Little Off the Mark," Feb. 19]. Seeing how they re-create the 1936 Olympic Games will be of special interest, as my mother performed in the opening ceremonies of those games. It is still a lifelong cherished memory of the world coming together in joyous celebration of athletic prowess.

Craig Carr

West Hills

When political life imitates art

Mary McNamara's essay on cinematic art informing political life during this election year ["Presidential Script Rewritten," Feb. 22] omitted the most obvious and depressing example: Mike Judge's "Idiocracy," in which a dumbed-down populace elects a bullying pop-culture celebrity to the highest office in the land.

R.C. Price

San Clemente

Visual reality check on Africa

The profoundly disturbing photographs of the obscene squalor of neighborhoods in certain African cities ["Africa's Surreal Modern Realities," Feb. 21] was compelling enough to make any reader shudder, but the brilliantly creative manner in which Nick Brandt linked this vision to the tragic reality of the near extinction of the wildlife that formerly inhabited those sites was potent beyond measure.

Elaine Livesey-Fassel

Los Angeles

More diversity in fictional films

Thanks to Kenneth Turan for his excellent piece about diversity in movies ["An Old Order Changes," Feb. 21]. I agree totally and would add one more thought. More and more movies are "based on a true story" as a hedge against risk. Filmmakers can tinker with historical facts in such movies, but the gender and race of the major characters (at least) are locked.

With fictional movies, the casting is wide open. The crusading nurse, the courageous reporter can all look like anybody.

David Datz

Altadena

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A version of this article appeared in print on February 28, 2016, in the Entertainment section of the Los Angeles Times with the headline "FEEDBACK" — Today's paperToday's paper | Subscribe
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