We could all use a good laugh
Regarding “Cinemas Closing: Hard but Right Call” by film critic Justin Chang [March 22]: Thank you, thank you, thank you for a much-needed laugh this Sunday morning. The first paragraph describing Justin Chang’s memorable moment during a viewing of “Bridge of Spies” made my family cry with laughter.
We needed that. I hope for a speedy opening of the cinemas soon.
Congratulations to Jay Clendenin for the great photo of the ArcLight cinemas. It is so colorful and cheerful, especially with the reflection.
Rancho Palos Verdes
In praise of doing nothing
Thank you for theater critic Charles McNulty’s insightful piece [“Mastering the Art of Doing Nothing,” March 22]. He articulated precisely the realizations I am coming to during this crisis.
I have witnessed families, mothers, fathers, children and pets, spending more time together. Walking, talking and playing outside. I somehow feel this is the universe’s way of correcting the imbalance in our modern lives. I am looking forward to giving doing nothing a try and seeing what happens.
I think this acutely inspirational essay should have been titled “Mastering the Art of Cogitation,” which is usually analogous to doing nothing but in the company of no one. Cogitation is an art that is in drastic decline as we allow technology to do our thinking.
Yes, “creativity depends on stillness” as culture depends on slowness, which are customs that are anathema to society’s obsession for instant gratification.
I teach high school drama students and I always share with them the things Charles McNulty writes. I plan to copy and paste this column today to our Google Classroom. We were scheduled to present “Into the Woods” next week. Unfortunately, like everyone else we are down and it is very difficult for our students.
Thank you to Charles McNulty from my heart. I’ve long been looking for a good description of the craziness of this town. And “getting a speeding ticket while on the way to a lunch-hour yoga class” almost says it all. Excellent.
Dr. Michael Esser
Charles McNulty’s column refers us to a maxim by Blaise Pascal: “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
Precisely, Mr. Pascal.
Paul L. DuNard Jr.
Dig deeper into the Doors’ music
Regarding “They Don’t Light His Fire” [March 22]: As a lifelong disciple of the Doors, I sure hope Mikael Wood is successful in his attempt to like them.
But please don’t accuse Jim Morrison of being humorless. After all, the same man who was arrested onstage in New Haven and incited a riot at the Singer Bowl in New York once admonished an audience that was too noisy during a quiet section of “When the Music’s Over” by asking, “Now, is that any way to behave at a rock ‘n’ roll concert?”
Mikael Wood doesn’t understand that the Doors spoke to us. Morrison’s insouciance and obvious anger permeated the age. To sit in a crappy army barracks and listen to “Light My Fire” was visceral then, and all these years later the muscle memory is still there.
You can “OK Boomer” all you want but anyone who would tick off Ed Sullivan still speaks to me and deserves our thanks.
I have a suggestion for Mikael Wood. He should follow the advice of his colleague Randall Roberts and “Take the time to listen, really listen” [“The Lost Art of Deep Listening,” March 22].
I wish Mikael Wood well, but in the future he really should stick with what he knows, pop music, and leave classic rock to all of us who have been touched by the geniuses of rock ‘n’ roll and the way they wove their poetry into their music and into the times we were living in.
I appreciate Mikael Wood for trying to understand us.
But if he doesn’t get the brilliance of Jim’s metaphor for L.A. as a woman, then he certainly wouldn’t get “Motel, money, murder, madness, change the mood from glad to sadness,” which was a reference to the feeling during the Charles Manson madness.
Keep listening, dude, you might catch up.
John Densmore, The Doors
Online concerts better than none
Bravo to Mark Swed for his column on streaming concerts [“Can’t Get to Concerts? No Need for FOMO (Fear of Missing Out),” March 22]. I just watched OperaVision’s video of “Spring Storms” — stunning.
Also welcome are his other suggestions for streaming concerts to replace canceled performances. We’re losing half of the L.A. Phil’s “Baroque Variations” season to COVID-19.
Not mentioned by Swed is YouTube (where “Spring Storms” is hosted) and its endless assemblage of recorded concerts. My favorite recent discovery is the Paris Opera’s version of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.” And then there are the Netherlands Bach Society’s “All of Bach” performances.
Whither the stolen bassoon?
Regarding “Bassoon Went From Beyoncé to ‘Star Wars’” by Tim Greiving [March 19]: Maestro Parnther’s bassoon is in thieves purgatory. The police lack the resources to study every pawn ticket for this item. It may be traded several times before it is monetized. There is hope. The L.A. Phil’s Stradivarius cello was returned.
When my SUV was stolen my daughter’s high school loaner, a Kanstul marching French horn, was in it. The car was stopped six weeks later in good condition. The instrument wasn’t there. The marching French horn was found at a pawn shop two years later by Phil Roa, a middle school band teacher extraordinaire, who was looking to buy instruments for his students. He knew of the theft from the local music community.
I feel bad for the loss of Parnther’s bassoon. It reminds me of the story of a musician leaving his trombone in the back seat of his car just for a minute, only to return to find his window smashed and three trombones in the back seat.
The bad old days of ESPN
Re: “Season Interrupted: Virus Slams ESPN Hard” by Stephen Battaglio and Meg James [March 19]: Some of us may remember the early days of ESPN when there was little live sports. Australian rules football, log rolling, tractor pulls were aired on a continuous loop interrupted only by “SportsCenter.”
Let’s hope it doesn’t get that bad.
Thank you for printing the letters supporting the reprints of “Doonesbury” and “Peanuts.” [“Calendar Feedback: Long Live Schulz and ‘Peanuts’,” March 22].
However, one letter writer took the opportunity to also suggest that “9 Chickweed Lane” be replaced. Perhaps the letter writer doesn’t get that strip, but if given more than a cursory glance one would see that it is one of the few that celebrates friendship and love. Don’t we need more of that in these times?
William C. Turner
Can’t we all just get along?
Regarding “Calendar Feedback: “The President’s Response” [March 22]: Can’t we put partisan criticism and hatred aside for just a while and focus on what’s really important in these difficult times?
Even though his words were “right on,” the letter writer didn’t like the look on Trump’s face and the tone of his voice.
Can you just, for once, give the guy a break? Perhaps he is exhausted from working around the clock trying to deal with a situation that is threatening the lives and economy of this great nation.
It’s time to pull together as Americans and quit the hateful nitpicking.