The president’s response
Regarding “Coronavirus Crisis Plan, Trump-style: A Swab and a Side of Fries” [March 13]: I was surprised that Mary McNamara noticed, as I did, that President Trump read his speech as if he resented having to say somebody else’s words, even though those words were right on.
His flat tone and the bored look on his face was as unpresidential as anything I have ever seen or heard.
I’m sure that McNamara and I are probably not the only ones who noticed.
Even though Trump is not the best presenter at least he did something. And of course McNamara had to throw Trump under the bus for everything he had to say.
At least she did give him a kudo for taking an important step forward.
Perhaps if the Democratic Party had not tried to impeach Trump, he could have gotten ahead of the coronavirus a month ago instead of dealing with the Democrats’ ridiculous impeachment charges.
That’s not what ‘plight’ means
Regarding “Colleges Send ‘em Back. Yikes” [March 14]: I was surprised and disappointed to read Mary McNamara’s column about the “plight” of her daughter and son because their respective universities curtailed on-campus classes during the current pandemic.
That is a small sacrifice and inconvenience compared with the minimum-wage earner forced to stay home with his or her kids because of the closing of public schools and the economic hardship experienced as a result.
Instead of complaining about the “sacrifices” her children are making, McNamara should be grateful for the fact that she is affluent enough to afford room, board and tuition fees to two out-of-state universities and that the worst scenario for her kids is that they may be forced to live in what I’m sure is a lovely home with their parents.
I’ll be saving my compassion and understanding for those more materially impacted by this pandemic instead for some wealthy offspring whose only problem is a delay in receiving an expensive education.
Actor’s gathering was irresponsible
Amy Kaufman’s article on David Arquette [“David Arquette Will Not Be Taken Down,” March 15] was shocking. Not because of the revelations about his life. Because gathering five dozen guests in his living room, sitting shoulder to shoulder (an accompanying photograph showed this) to watch a documentary about his life was reckless and irresponsible considering that the screening party took place after SXSW, where his film was to be premiered, had already been canceled because of the looming virus.
What to make of ongoing conflict
In Mary McNamara’s column on the documentary “Mayor” [“A Different View of West Bank,” March 15], filmmaker David Osit states that he has no solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but, he adds, “I don’t believe that enfranchising one group of people at another’s expense is a good idea . . ..”
Presumably, he meant that the UN partition vote that paved the way to the creation of Israel in 1948 was an enfranchisement of Palestinian Jews at the expense of Palestinian Arabs. But if the UN had not voted to “enfranchise” the Jews with a piece of the British-controlled territory known as Palestine, then hundreds of thousands of European Jews left alive after the Holocaust would have had no place to go.
That same UN vote also enfranchised Palestinian Arabs to create their own state. In fact, they have had the opportunity to establish a state on six separate occasions: 1937, 1947, 1967, 2000, 2008 and this year, 2020.
Unlike Mr. Osit, I do have a solution to the conflict: For the good of their people, the Palestinian leaders should come to the table and negotiate an agreement that accomplishes the legitimate purposes of both sides as far as reasonably possible.
Robert F. Helfing
The story absolutely brought me to tears. We in the United States know so little about what is happening in Israel and Palestine. The documentary “Mayor” by director David Osit seems like a must to watch. It made me think of “The Judge,” directed by Erika Cohn about the first female judge appointed to a sharia court in the Middle East.
There is so much more to know about the conflict.
Death, not the devil
Regarding “Max Von Sydow, 1929-2020” [March 10]: Nardine Saad’s obituary incorrectly described what is probably the most iconic film image from director Ingmar Bergman and Von Sydow’s long collaboration.
In “The Seventh Seal,” Von Sydow’s character is not playing chess with the devil. The film takes place during the plague and he is playing chess with Death.
The Calendar section got it right in the photo and caption, and it was also correct later in the piece.
Saad’s penance should be, at the very least, to watch the film.
Long live Schulz and ‘Peanuts’
Regarding “Calendar feedback: Enough With the Comics Reprints” [March 15] A letter writer wonders why there is no reprint disclaimer on the “Peanuts” cartoons in The Times.
I would point out that Garry Trudeau is very much alive and well, and still producing new Sunday strips for “Doonesbury,” therefore a rerun disclaimer on daily cartoons is appropriate.
Also, because of the quasi-political nature of “Doonesbury,” many strips are reflective of their times, so a reprint notice can sometimes provide clarification. I enjoy Trudeau’s talent and sense of humor, and his new Sunday strips are a great antidote to the front page.
The world lost Charles M. Schulz 20 years ago, so there are no longer any new “Peanuts” cartoons; consequently, there’s no need to identify currently running strips as reprints.
I for one would much rather revel in the genius of a Schulz reprint than in some of the other current drivel that graces the comics page every day — has anyone read “9 Chickweed Lane” recently?
I read “Peanuts” as a kid and I enjoy the reprints even more as an aging boomer.
To the Calendar reader who suggests dumping this timeless comic strip, all I can say is “Good grief!”
Surely no one can remember specific strips from a run of four decades that ended 20 years ago. Perhaps the letter writer just dislikes “Peanuts.”
To understand the strip’s longevity, creator Charles M. Schulz once said, “There will always be a market for innocence.” Schulz is still correct. Please keep the strip.
Thomas A. Butterworth