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Entertainment & Arts

Divisions over the impeachment hearings as must-see TV

Fiona Hill, David Holmes
Fiona Hill, President Trump’s former Russia advisor, and David Holmes, a U.S. Embassy official in Ukraine, are sworn in at an impeachment hearing.
(J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

Democracy televised

Regarding “Democracy TV” [Nov. 23]: Wow, Lorraine Ali’s article was brilliant and right on and so well written and witty.

Thanks for being there for us in these crazy, disgusting times.

Planaria Price, Los Angeles

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My guess is that I will have to stand in line to write how offended I was to see the pictures of Fiona Hill, David Holmes, Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren in the Calendar section above the headline Democracy TV. For you to trivialize these two serious matters passed beyond annoyance and into anger and offense.

I and many others feel like we’re watching ourselves teeter on the edge of a precipice — the loss of democracy in the United States. This is not hyperbole — we are watching core concepts from our Constitution being stomped on and ignored. And on the front page, the only mention about the impeachment investigation is a headline halfway below the fold about John Bolton. The Times has not been quiet on the Editor’s page of your criticism of Trump. Why doesn’t the front page back this up?

Kim Banco, Irvine

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I felt guilty watching so much TV and finishing up with the late afternoon’s live broadcast by NPR. Glad to know others were just as riveted, trying to figure out if our present executive branch is as confused and incompetent as appeared after Ambassador [Gordon] Sondland’s public testimony.

What validated the time that all of us spent was Fiona Hill’s revelation that she finally saw clearly what had been going on, after she saw the recipients of Sondland’s e-mails on TV the day before. So these hearings were a chance for the undercover right hand to see what the left hand had been doing under the table.

Margaret Murata, Irvine

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“Fall’s Hottest Shows” and “historic 36 hours in the annals of live television.” Were you really serious when you wrote this?

A parade of unelected bureaucrats offering hearsay evidence was a total sham and made for boring TV. To watch it was a waste of time.

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James Landon, Apache Junction, Ariz.

The ‘E’ word

Regarding Mary McNamara’s column “Time to rethink the ‘E’ word’” [Nov. 25]: Seriously, “everyman” Tom Hanks was the best you could come up with? It took me five minutes to read and I feel cheated of time I can never get back.

I realize McNamara feels she is some kind of feminist avenger, but I think she did feminism a great disservice.

Lynn Wright, Valencia

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There’s a term used in business classes called “vital factors versus trivia.”

If the word “everyman” causes you the issues McNamara describes, I suggest she step away from her desk and review what vital factors she might write about in the future.

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Mike Garnet, Palm Desert

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It seems that McNamara is mostly irritated by the word “everyman” because she thinks it specifically refers to white men, the masculine marker that must be avoided, even though the expression is supposedly genderless, meaning everyperson.

Apparently, though, she’s not reluctant to use the conceptual aspect of “death” with the masculine pronoun “himself.”

Words evolve and meanings change. Everyman has one meaning today and Mr. Rogers and Tom Hanks, and mostly the characters he portrays, are a perfect representation for that meaning. They’re heroes but they’re not dynamic nor eccentric individuals.

Conversely, Peter O’Toole in “Lawrence of Arabia,” Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski, Gary Oldman as Beethoven are actors and characters who would never be identified as “everyman.” They’re forceful, eccentric and unique personalities opposed to the typical ordinary person.

Giuseppe Mirelli, Los Angeles

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Mary McNamara takes a perfectly decent term describing a laudable, even noble concept and throws it into the wood chipper of Identity Politics. And for what?

Jeff Schultz, Los Angeles

Gotta cover dance!

While the Los Angeles Dance Project’s recent premieres and historic work was praised in the New York Times, LADP’s six week festival was completely ignored by The Times Calendar Section.

The Times has admirably increased its coverage of local theater. Let’s hope more attention is given to L.A.'s large and active dance community.

Irene Oppenheim, West Hollywood

And all that jazz!

The exclusion of jazz from the Los Angeles Times is incomprehensible to me. In all of the great music that is being released today, jazz is deeply embedded.

No mention of the Playboy Jazz Festival? Central Avenue Jazz Festival? Grammy jazz nominees? Come on L.A. Times you can do better.

Anthony “Tony” White, Los Angeles

Carole’s been there, done that

In August Brown’s review of Taylor Swift’s AMA artist of the decade award [“Swift pointedly plays her older hits,” Nov. 26] he mentions that Carole King made a “subtle allusion” to Swift’s predicament by saying that “the best is yet to come.”

That is probably correct, but “The Best Is Yet to Come” is also the title of one of King’s songs on her album “Wrap Around Joy,” in which the chorus is: “And the best is yet to come, This is only the beginning, And we’ve only just begun, To realize the best is yet to come.”

Carole King knows a thing or two about heartbreak and starting over.

Lisa Marlin, Westchester

Another fine review

Regarding “‘Frozen II’ is embracing its magic” [Nov. 22]: I always love Justin Chang’s reviews. They are both incisive yet entertaining reading. But I think he really reached a new level with his review of “Frozen II” when he referred to Sven’s song, “Lost in the Woods,” as “The Iceman Hummeth.” It made me laugh out loud.

Pat Haley, Fullerton

A ‘Key Largo’ legacy

Regarding Charles McNulty’s theater review “Andy Garcia commands ‘Key Largo’” [Nov. 23]: Great review and it looks like a great show.

Bit of trivia, Harry Lewis, the late co-founder of Hamburger Hamlet, was an actor who played Toots Bass in the film version of “Key Largo.” He was one of Edward G. Robinson’s guys. I worked at Hamburger Hamlet in the ’70s and whenever Key Largo was on, every store in the chain had it on the TV in the bar.

Dan Siwulec, Pacific Palisades


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