Regarding John M. Wilson's article on the cultural boycott of South Africa ("Conflict of Conscience," Feb. 24), Joe McCarthy lives!
He may call himself Victor Gbeho of Ghana, and his United Nations hit-men a "unit," but his aim is the same. All of us who remember what happened in Hollywood during the McCarthy era remember the tragic losses to the industry and to the public. If we do not take a stand now , where will it stop?
I am embarrassed for the people who "recanted." Of course, apartheid is repugnant. But curtailment of freedom, in the name of freedom, is equally so. If Gbeho, his "unit," and his victims cannot see this, I fear we are on the brink of a new McCarthyism, this time on an international scale.
What philosophy will be next? To paraphrase, "Today South Africa, tomorrow, the world!"
More letters on the cultural boycott of South Africa are on Page 76. IN GOOD TIME
Dan Sullivan gave "Inadmissible Evidence" and Ian McShane's performance unqualified raves (" 'Inadmissible Evidence' at the Matrix Theatre," Feb. 18) and yet the play was not listed as a Best Bet in the Stage Listings. What does it take to become a Best Bet.
At least a week. See Page 40.
An open letter to Abby Mann:
Your recent made-for-money--'scuse me, made-for- TV production--on the Atlanta murders characterized all Atlanta officials as incompetent, super image-conscious boobs with phony, hokey, pseudo-Southern drawls, y'all.
Equally hokey and contrived were the sight gags of framing pore ol' Wayne with church crosses and pictures of Jesus. But I'm sure that was merely coincidental--after all, you did intend to be objective and show a balanced version of the case, didn't you?
I just can't believe that a big-shot Hollywood writer/producer would intentionally mis-slant a story just to create a lot of hoorah, which usually equates to money.
But on the other hand, it's equally hard to swallow that you really believe all that garbage, because the man who created "Kojak" wouldn't be such a bloomin' idiot. . . .
You really shouldn't shatter the image of Tinseltown for all us red-neck clucks like that y' hear!? 'Come see us, Bubba, and we'll explain the case to you; we'll even talk real slow so you can get it all down.
I am simply too appalled for words. Initially, I was thrilled with the Feb. 24 Calendar and its uncharacteristically serious cover story--hoorah, no T&A.;
But then imagine my dismay upon reading Peter Sellars' cruel slur against sea slugs ("Sellars: Laughing All the Way to a National Theater," by Penny Pagano). Not only that, but Nancy West of Santa Monica took my "classic" first name for her "little dog" (Calendar Letters).
I am terribly offended.
P.S. I carry the Sunday paper with my hands.
HARRY CHAPIN'S SOUL
The list of recording artists contributing their time and talents to the starvation crisis is impressive and wonderful to see.
But I'd like to point out a singer who was ignored by the press when he was alive--Harry Chapin. He did far more than dedicate a few hours or even a few months to fight world hunger. He dedicated his entire life. All the money from over half his concerts went directly to the battle that now has become so popular to enlist in.
He personally lobbied in the White House. His face and his dedication was so common to politicians up on the hill that when he died, Congress stood and gave him two minutes of silence.
He didn't wait for famines to arrive. He saw them coming and tried everything he could to prevent it. He made a few million in his career, yet didn't keep enough money to buy himself a new car.
I'm not taking anything away from the pop singers of today. They deserve all the praise they are getting. But let's not forget the man who fought the tragedy of world hunger with his music for his entire life.
If Harry Chapin's soul can see what the music world is doing, I'm sure he must be smiling.
Regarding the review of Eddie and the Subtitles' "Dead Drunks Don't Dance" LP (L.A. Sound, by Craig Lee, Feb. 24), we did not try to "glamorize the desperate romance and pathos of junkies."
Quite the opposite. This record is obviously anti-drugs and anti "the glamorization of drugs." We also don't appreciate The Times labeling our habits as drug-related.
Personally, I don't take drugs but I do confess to habitually being subjected to the musical/sociological sensibilities of the L.A. Times music critics.
Fortunately, that's a habit anyone can break.
William Relling should go back and look at that sixth-grade grammar he refers to in his letter (Calendar Letters, Feb. 24).
The word none is in a special category of five indefinite pronouns which rely on the object of the preposition that immediately follow them to determine their number. As a result, the sentence "none of its sins are venial" is correct because the object of the preposition sins is plural.
The Times' style book agrees with the above.
In the quirkier scheme of things, we had to pay 45 cents in 1948 to see an honest-to-gosh freak show at the dog-dirty traveling carnival every summer back East.
In 1985, for free, we witnessed the Grammy Awards on a slick West Coast prime-time TV show.
At least, for the money, the freaks we got were real.
ROBERT H. STONE
Only a newspaper as powerful as the Los Angeles Times could possibly make kitchen tools of metal and fabric pot holders stand upright in the air and support the hooks from which they normally hang.
Dear employees of The Times, your picture was upside down ("Americans to the Rescue--Again," by Colman Andrews, Feb. 10).
ELEANOR C. EVANS
The upside - down illustration, which apparently had escaped the orbit of Book Review, was righted in later editions.
Our mothers always told us good things come to those who wait, but we were seriously beginning to wonder until you finally came through with a story on the divinely divine Divine ("It's Delightful, It's Disgusting, It's Divine," by Lewis Beale, Feb. 24).
Simply stated, Divine is a legend. Anyone who has witnessed his/her sterling performances in "Pink Flamingos," "Female Trouble" or "Polyester" will no doubt echo enthusiasm for an on-screen queen who brings new meaning to the word charisma .
So why, you wonder, hasn't Divine become a household name? Why hasn't he/she guest-starred on "The Love Boat," been the cover story on Us magazine, or the subject of an incisive, hard-hitting five-part series with Tawny Schneider or Cynthia Allison?
The reality is that while his/her career has been blessed with an abundance of talent, it has suffered a sorry lack of timing. Why, if Divine had gotten to Meshulam Riklis before Pia Zadora did, he/she would have a Malibu beach house and a Golden Globe by now.
JERRY HOLDERMAN, Irvine
DOUG CLEMONS, Orange
Some of my low-life friends never used to read "Calendar" because they thought it was "boring" and aimed at "old foggies."
But their thinking changed when I showed them Beale's interview of Divine. Beale describes the outrageous female impersonator's hair as being "cocaine- white."
Man, after reading that hip "street" adjective, my buddies told me that they got this real vivid image of real white hair in their minds. They said it was the first time in their lives that they were able to really "feel" literature.
We Southern Californians are lucky to have creative journalists like Beale who strive to update their art and seek verbal images that speak to even regular folk like my pals. They'd even like to know where progressive writers like Beale hang out so that they could meet them and be exposed to additional uplifting mental experiences.
JEFFREY C. FAUGHT
If the public now accepts the filming of an obese man in drag eating dog excrement as funny and pays him handsomely for performing similar "outrageous" acts, it's time to seriously examine the artistic and moral direction in which our "civilized" society appears to be heading.
MARY E. HANSON
Thank you, Lewis Beale, for informing us that Harris Glenn Milstead (a k a Divine) did not "savor the flavor" of the dog excrement he ate in "Pink Flamingos." You did a great job of ruining my Sunday brunch.
Frustration, irritation and despair prompt me to write. Beale referred to Uncle Fester as a member of the Munster clan. This is the third time in two months that the media has ascribed Addams family characters to the Munster family.
Uncle Fester (Jackie Coogan) was Morticia's (Carolyn Jones) uncle on a delightful show called "The Addams Family." It ran from Sept. 18, 1964 to Sept. 2, 1966; or at least I thought it did.
You weren't dreaming. We were.