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<i> ET TU</i> , LITTLE BEAST

I am outraged by the outrage generated by your E.T. cover.

Charles Champlin calls E.T. a reigning symbol of love (“Our Response: The Joke That Turned Out to Be on Us,” June 23). My dictionary defines that word as “Affectionate concern for the well-being of others.”

I have seen the movie several times (to see what all the fuss was about), and have yet to see E. T. display any sort of concern for others that did not directly coincide with his only motivations of survival and wanting to return home.

There was never any hint of generosity or self-sacrifice that defines a truly noble character. In fact, if E.T. had been a normal-looking, everyday type of humanoid, would anyone really care about him? I think not.

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With all this hype over E.T., I keep wondering if everyone has been teaching their children Steven Spielberg’s philosophy: If it’s cute and trendy, who cares about character? I guess they have.

MARK D. MASLOWSKI

Hollywood

The Times received a total of 46 letters on the E.T. affair, 35 of which expressed varying degrees of outrage over the drug paraphernalia in the original June 16 cover illustration by Will Weston. The other letters were in reaction to E.T.'s “own” letter sent in by the Spielberg/Universal interests or the batch of pro-E.T./anti-Times letters published last Sunday.

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