Re "The Oscars: A Muted If Brief Respite," March 24: I watched the Oscar presentations Sunday to see which artists had been judged by their peers to have given the best performances in various roles. I did not appreciate the anti-American comments by various stars. Using the opportunity to express personal opinions shows bad taste. Our country is at war. Every American needs to support our country in this conflict.
Michael Moore, for one, was completely off base with his comments. He had a small group of his friends to show "solidarity" for his position. I have a large group of friends who are now solidly not planning to pay another dollar to support any of his work.
By hijacking the world stage that is the Academy Awards, Moore's diatribe only served to help demoralize our troops and embolden those who fight against them. It was good that he was booed off the stage, as it was neither the time nor the place to be subjected to his angry opinions. In contrast with Steve Martin's humorous comments and praise for our troops and Adrien Brody's passionate and tearful wish for a swift resolution, Moore's classless rant only proves that he may have won the Oscar, but he was the evening's only loser. God bless our troops.
And the Oscar for uncensored truth goes to ... Moore. Earning the trophy for his guns-in-the-cross-hairs documentary "Bowling for Columbine," Moore proved himself a worthy gadfly in his condemnation of George W. Bush as an unelected, "fictitious" president waging a war for "fictitious" reasons. Call him brash, crass, inflammatory, infuriating (as many boos as cheers were heard in the Kodak Theatre), but Moore spoke on behalf of millions of people worldwide.
Excuse me, members of the academy. I understand you have to mark something on your ballots for the "filler" section of the awards, but did any of you actually sit down and watch "Bowling for Columbine"? Whatever your views on gun control, this is nothing more than a crudely made propaganda film on the level of "Reefer Madness." Why, then, would anyone act surprised or feel it inappropriate that its creator, Moore, would opportunistically use the award ceremony to spout his agenda?
If it looks like a duck and has feathers, chances are it's going to get up on the stage and quack.
John S. Soet
While I don't disagree with the substance of what Moore said at the Oscar ceremony, I think it is important to remind everyone that his own support of Ralph Nader contributed to the "election" of Bush. By following the absurd Nader line that there was "no difference" between Al Gore and Bush, he helped divert enough votes away from Gore to create the election drama and results that followed. Moore should spend as much time accounting for that as he spends placing blame on others.
I am an Army wife with three children. Last time I talked to my husband he was in Kuwait, but I haven't heard from him in three weeks, so I don't know where he is. I watched the Academy Awards on and off as a distraction while keeping an eye on the news. I was shocked but not surprised to hear Moore open his big mouth the way he did.
Since Moore seems to have so much insight into our government and military, maybe he can tell me how a mother tells her children that their father died so someone like him can stand up and totally degrade the U.S. before the world. Maybe the stars (and I use that term very loosely) should find a way to really support the troops and not tear down our government or put on a uniform and stand next to my husband, or both. I am sure none of them would do the latter. My special thanks to Martin for the wonderful comeback after Moore left the stage. He turned my sadness into laughter, and I will never forget it.
I am sure that there were a lot of people in the television audience who joined in the booing and hissing of Moore's antiwar rant at the Academy Awards. But instead of throwing tomatoes at him, why don't we just prove him wrong? For example, we can prove that Iraq is a dire threat to us by pointing to all the evidence that ties the Iraqi government to the dastardly events of 9/11. That should do the trick. I would gladly do it myself but, please forgive me, I don't know what the evidence is.
I must have missed one of the most timely awards: to the Bush administration, for its policy of stopping terrorism before it happens -- the award for best screenplay adapted by a government (based on "Minority Report").
Jonathan D. Kaunitz