He’s back, but why?
Regarding “The ‘Terminator’ Is Back on Track” [Nov. 1]: Justin Chang thinks “it’s fun to watch” Arnold Schwarzenegger. Those of us who haven’t forgotten the many courageous women who came forward with allegations of Schwarzenegger’s sexual misconduct reported first in this very newspaper beg to differ.
It shouldn’t take a Ronan Farrow bestseller to hold the man widely referred to as “the Gropenator” to account.
A follow-up article on his accusers to provide balance is long overdue. Until that happens, Schwarzenegger may very well continue to evade the consequences of his alleged behavior, just like the host he replaced on “The Celebrity Apprentice.”
Gun culture and the ‘wise’ guy
Regarding “Wisest Guy of All” [Nov. 4] by Jeffrey Fleishman: Picture perfect. Monday’s Calendar front page photo, for the article on Martin Scorsese, features him holding a gun. Hollywood is arguably the biggest supporter of America’s obsessive gun culture, although video gaming is not far behind. Movies about shoot-’em-up violence that glorify guns and carnage always get a pass in the ratings, while consensual sex is viewed as evil and condemned by R ratings.
Gangster movies, war movies, cop movies, drug culture movies, superhero movies — it’s always about guns. Scorsese’s commitment to violence makes him an apt icon for the industry, along with others like Quentin Tarantino.
The NRA and Second Amendment gun nuts would be proud. The Times’ adulation is perfect in this Hollywood company town.
Latest mob epic a tired old trope
Regarding “Regrets, They Have a Few,” Kenneth Turan’s review of “The Irishman” [Nov. 1]: It blows our mind that so astute a critic can accurately state that Scorsese’s latest mob epic is the “umpteenth” version of a tired (and deeply offensive) old trope — namely, that Italian American culture is innately criminal. And yet, after admitting the film traffics in the same old ugly stereotypes, turn around and tells us that it’s a masterpiece.
As a non-Italian friend of mine said to me recently about the movie: “De Niro, Pacino, Pesci, Romano, Cannavale, Maniscalco, there isn’t an Irishman around.”
How sad that a casual filmgoer recognizes what Turan and other critics cannot: that Hollywood — enabled by misguided Italian actors and filmmakers — has made anti-Italian prejudice an art.
Replace the media images of “The Irishman” with negative stereotypes of any other ethnic, racial, religious or sexual group and this institutionalized bigotry is quickly exposed for the hollow hypocrisy that it is — and has always been — in Hollywood.
Bill Dal Cerro
New York, N.Y.
Wary of West’s ‘spiritual’ trek
Regarding Gerrick D. Kennedy’s commentary “Kanye West’s Flawed Gospel” [Oct. 28]: As Kennedy charitably puts it, West’s “spiritual journey” isn’t for us to judge. Not when West himself seems so unsure of his ultimate destination. But his journey has been marked with so many erratic swerves and hard skids that even true believers should be wary of jumping on his gospel-commodification juggernaut.
Regarding “She’s Telling It Like It Is” [Oct. 23] by Kennedy: As a music-loving septuagenarian, I was intrigued to read about Summer Walker’s breakout recording, “Girls Need Love” — a “sex-positive anthem,” indeed.
I recall a Rolling Stones tune that conveyed similar sentiments. The popularity of “Let’s Spend the Night Together” led to the Stones’ appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” However, Sullivan deemed the song’s lyrics too risqué for his show.
A compromise was reached: The Stones were allowed to sing “let’s spend some time together.”
We’ve come a long way here, but not so elsewhere. In 2006, for the Stones’ first-ever appearance in China, authorities prohibited performance of the same hit due to its “suggestive lyrics.” The curse of censorship.
Art ‘marriage’ as old as time
Regarding “Desert X’s Morally Corrupt Deal” [Nov. 3] by art critic Christopher Knight: With all due admiration for your fine ideals, might I suggest the marriage between art, fine or otherwise, and its often-tainted sources of money is as old as time.
Not unlike the denizens of politics and Hollywood, society’s walking wounded would have little hope for mounting their ambitious visions without the support of brutal captains of industry and corrupt monarchs of resources.
A profane partnership, but one that gets the job done — and is not likely to change.
‘Bodega’ in its place
Regarding “Calendar Feedback: A Lesson in the Use of ‘Bodega’” [Nov. 3] about Jen Yamato’s interview with author Shea Serrano: While the letter writer is correct in defining the word “bodega” in the most strict Spanish language meaning as a “warehouse,” it seems that she is not familiar with the use of this word in other countries. “Bodega” is commonly used in Latin America, places like Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Venezuela, as a term for a small neighborhood store that sells vegetables, canned food and other products in small quantities. That is why in cities like New York or Miami, with a large number of Caribbean immigrants, the word “bodega” is so commonly used.
Raul De Cardenas
Note: The letter writer was pointing out a regional, not linguistic, difference. “Bodega,” while commonly used in East Coast cities and many Latin American countries, is a less commonly used term in Los Angeles.