The 442nd regiment’s shining example
An irony not mentioned in Jen Yamato’s excellent and utterly demoralizing article on [the AMC series “The Terror” and] Japanese internment during WWII [“‘Terror’ Then and Now” Aug. 11] was that the most decorated outfit in American history was the fabled 442nd infantry regiment (known as the “Go for Broke” regiment), composed almost entirely of second-generation Japanese Americans. Anyone doubting that overt display of patriotism need only look it up.
‘Abbey Road’ happily revisited
Regarding “A Return Trip to ‘Abbey Road’” [Aug. 11] by Randy Lewis: I loved every word of Randy’s article and Chris Carter’s quote too. [“If you were writing a script about a rock ’n’ roll band, and you wanted that band to go out with a bang, that’s what you’d do. You couldn’t write a better ending.”]
I remember when I first saw and heard “Love” at the Mirage and heard Macca’s (Paul McCartney) harmony on “Come Together,” it was like after 1,000 listenings, where did that come from?
Such a great piece by Randy Lewis on the Beatles. At age 7, I was there for Ed Sullivan and it left me speechless.
No question who runs academy
Josh Rottenberg’s article on the motion picture academy [“New Leaders for Film Group,” Aug. 6] suggested that the presidency of the organization has often been an honorary, near figurehead, position. Before that misapprehension becomes baked into the historical record, it should be noted that except for a period in the 1960s, which saw a series of short-term presidents whose various frailties (health, age, strong drink) thrust the academy’s executive director, the formidable Margaret Herrick, into the position of the organization’s de facto leader, the presidents have otherwise been firmly in charge.
Presidents such as Frank Capra, Gregory Peck, Walter Mirisch, Fay Kanin, and all 10 presidents I served with, took a vigorous and central role in running the organization. Their executive directors may have provided some useful tugboating, but there was never any question about who was steering the ship.
Editor’s note: The writer was the academy’s executive director, 1990-2011.
The lessons of a nation’s actions
The standout passage in Jeffrey Fleishman’s article [“Haunted by the Ghosts of ‘One Child,’” Aug. 14] on the documentary “One Child Nation” by Nanfu Wang is “It’s easy to paint a black and white picture to dramatize and make extreme the evil character or the hero character, but, in reality, life is much more complex than that. What causes them to do the things they did?”
Perhaps “One Child Nation” will increase awareness of the inhumanity of many of the practices in our own nation and their consequences. Disregard for nascent human life and the procreative nature of sexuality dehumanizes culture. We need only to look to our own nation for confirmation.
Propaganda and silencing truth allowed the one-child policy to flourish even as massive investments were made in China. People of goodwill need to contemplate the state of our culture applying Fleishman’s question. The dead children and wounded women were never ghosts to me.
Our nation did know what was going on.
Jann K. Armantrout
Putting names to their faces
Regarding “Hollywood Women Raise Voices Against Inequality,” Kenneth Turan’s review of the documentary “This Changes Everything” [Aug. 9]: Why not identify the women pictured? That’s so misogynistic. Especially in an article that challenges misogyny.
Vivaldi was a hit too at the Bowl
Regarding “That’s a $2-Million Violin. She Played it at the Bowl” [Aug. 10] by Catherine Womack: I was at that concert and it was, as noted, remarkable and a great story. But the Bach piece mentioned lasted less than 4 minutes.
What was completely missed was how amazing Ray Chen’s performance was in Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” which was the second half of the show. His mastery with the bow, dexterity with the fingering and the sound he got out of his violin gives me chills just thinking about it. It was otherworldly.
Empty LACMA prompts worry
Regarding “SoCal Museum Listings, Aug. 4-11: ‘Mineo Mizuno: Harmony’ at LACMA”: Where have all the visitors gone? I visited LACMA on a Tuesday morning and no one was there. Is it because of parking at $16, admission $25 and choice of a very expensive restaurant or a grab and go boxed food?
Two floors of the classic arts were closed for packing and storing. It saddened me to see this world-class museum empty of art and visitors.
The dark side of zoos
In your article “Making Argument for San Diego Zoo” [Aug. 7 by Susan King], both San Diego Zoo and the Assn. of Zoos & Aquariums boast loudly about their importance.
No matter how effective their PR machines, they can’t escape the facts.
Zoos and aquariums survive by misleading the public — making exaggerated claims about putting animal welfare and conservation first — when in fact they continue to extract animals from the wild and lead “species survival programs” only intended to maintain captive populations.
It is time zoos stop hiding behind slickly produced TV shows, get honest about their shortcomings and rethink their entire business model. Otherwise, they are destined to face the wrath of woke generations who will force this Victorian-era industry into irrelevance.
Justin Barker, Citizens Lobbying for Animals in Zoo
Don’t call this poetry
The first line of David Ulin’s review of the writing of Ed Smith [“A Poetic Potential Preserved,” July 21] is more negative and damning than I think he intends, ”Many of the pieces are so offhand, so attenuated, they hardly seem like poems at all.”
That’s because they are not poems. They are slack prosaic sentiments written with arbitrary line breaks to resemble the form of a poem.
To celebrate such work is to diminish poetry as a form of heightened, intense and uniquely affecting literature. If Smith’s writing is accepted so uncritically as poetry, the very term becomes meaningless.
The time will never be right
Regarding “Now is Not Right Time to Release ‘Hunt’" [Aug. 12] by Jen Yamato: When exactly would “the right time” be to release the ultra-hateful and violent “The Hunt?”
Based on what I’ve read and seen, never. How such a film gets produced in the first place is beyond me.
A timely look at a tiny predator
“A Pesky, Bloodthirsty and Deadly Enemy,” Katie Wudel’s review of Timothy C. Winegard’s book, “The Mosquito” [Aug.11], could not be more timely, especially since the Southern Nevada Health District has recently confirmed that there have been 16 cases of West Nile virus in Clark County, Nev., since the start of the year. In light of this development, I will limit my morning walks to indoor areas, for the time being.