Asleep at the Switch?

In response to "Another Risky Road," by Kristine McKenna (Oct. 13):

Gus Van Sant, director of "My Own Private Idaho," has vividly and brilliantly captured the ethos of the street kids, their friends and mentors, but why does he make Mike (River Phoenix) a narcoleptic and not an addict?

Van Sant obviously knows the streets and knows that drug dependency is the almost universal result of broken homes, abuse and lack of understanding--not an obscure disease.

As Mike nods, the audience sees a 1-in-10,000 case and may not recognize the "everyman" of the street scene. Why did Van Sant sugarcoat the obvious? Anyone who has cruised the boulevards should see this film--after they've sucked off the sugar.

MITCH CROSSFIELD

West Hollywood

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