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Gary Cole of 'The Good Wife' is apparently underrated, reader says

The underrated Gary Cole

Apparently Gary Cole is so underrated that Chris Barton [Overrated/Underrated, May 3] overlooked Cole's recurring role as Kurt McVeigh in "The Good Wife."

Gerry Swider, Sherman Oaks

A new word for 'government'

Regarding David L. Ulin's review of David K. Shipler's "Freedom of Speech: Mightier Than the Sword" ["The Roar of Free Speech," May 3]: I wish we could come up with a term for "government" that wasn't so academic and abstract. I wish the term would immediately identify who's controlling it. Thus "big government," if controlled by the people, wouldn't be bad because it would give the people power to control big money. The reality today, "government" is this big glob of evil engulfing us when, in fact, it's an abstraction, a chimera that still absorbs the anger of the people, shunting it away from the real source and cause of our foundering.

Ulin, always worth reading, still doesn't persuade me that Shipler says much that's new.

Duane Waln


Good memories, great memories

The article on Judd Hirsch by Susan King ["A Big-Time History Buff," May 3] brought back good memories of his role in the "Taxi" series. His is known for having a memory for dates like a steel trap. Matthew Miller, creator and producer of the drama series "Forever," says of Hirsch in one particular scene, "He had a ton of dialogue. He absolutely nailed it."

I find it ironic that in the old "Taxi" series, Marilu Henner, who was in all 114 episodes with Judd, has what is known as hyperthymesia, which is the ability to recall almost every day of one's life instantly. I don't recall any episodes from "Taxi" where Judd and Marilu reminiscence about their past life events, which is probably a good thing because of the lack of time required to re-live every day of their lives from their birth to the present.

Bill Spitalnick

Newport Beach

Big impression on art education

Regarding Stanley Meisler's fascinating piece on Dr. Barnes and the French artists ["The Paris-Philly Connection," May 3]: Your readers may not know of Barnes' indirect impact on the art education of Los Angeles.

Dr. Barnes and John Dewey visited the UCLA campus for the 1929 dedication ceremony of the fledgling campus. Annita Delano and Barbara Morgan gave them a tour of the student art exhibition then on display. Barnes was not impressed and recommended that someone from the faculty come to his Barnes Foundation to study his collection of European modernist art. The next year Delano obtained a one-year fellowship to study Barnes' collection in Philadelphia. Barbara and Willard Morgan came to Philadelphia to visit and photograph the collection.

Delano used Willard's lantern slides in her art classes for the rest of her career. For much more on this see my blog socalarch history.

John Crosse

Playa del Rey

Building reflects its builders

LACMA is a building ["Born in a Time of Change," April 12] that reflects the mentality of the mid-'60s movers and shakers who made up its board: white, well-off, well-connected and determined to shape Los Angeles in their image.

That board probably treated William Pereira as eleemosynary boards at the time treated all of the trained and educated professionals whose services they retained, that is, as the hired help — an ABA-certificated equivalent of the Mexican maid or the Japanese American gardener. Is it at all surprising that Pereira produced such a lackluster building? LACMA screams to be taken seriously: "Look at ME, I'm important; I'm as consequential as the Lords and Ladies Bountiful who called me into existence." Like so much official California architecture, possessing as it does all the visual appeal of a correctional institution, it does not attract. Instead, it repels.

Paul S. Marchand

Cathedral City

Ready for his close close-up

Apropos the extreme close-up portrait ["Panning for Gonzo Gold," May 3], I must know: Who does Jack Black's nose hairs?

Cay Sehnert

South Pasadena

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