Beach closures, dog walks gone wild: Adjusting to coronavirus life
Re: “From a Distance: ‘Our Vitamin C’” [March 29] by Daniel Hernandez: Bravo on your article. I live in Manhattan Beach and am somewhat mortified that the city has shut down every park, hiking trail and now the bike paths and the actual Strand where people walk. It’s damaging to everyone’s mental health during a time when people must decompress.
I too am an avid beach goer. Actually Sundays are my day at Corona del Mar with my L.A. Times newspaper in hand, a pen for the crossword and a walk on the sand and water. Sometimes I just sit in my car above, roll down the windows and listen to the waves and an occasional seal barking. It is my Happy Place. Your article was spot on and just what I needed today. I haven’t ventured down there in the past two weeks, but I really need to go ... I’m having withdrawals.
Gone to the dogs
Thank you for your delightful story about a dog’s perspective on shelter in place [“Dog Days of Spring,” March 28, by Mary McNamara], which brought me a lot of laughter during a very difficult time in my life.
My husband had surgery a week ago and we are not allowed in the hospital to visit due to the virus. It felt so good to laugh out loud.
I enjoyed Mary McNamara’s column and would add that our young dog has adapted to our new routine of retired seniors. Even longer walks, later than usual. No grooming appointments — looking like a sheep. And he snagged a stick of butter off the counter, while we were hunkered down in front of the TV. Bizarre times.
Once again, Charles McNulty has demonstrated that he is a great drama critic and a national treasure with his column on Sophocles’ “Oedipus the King” [“Is He America’s Oedipus Rex?” March 29].
No doubt McNulty will be accused of being another enemy of the president, an eager participant in an ongoing campaign to malign him, and “politicizing” drama, as if drama had no relevance to our current realities.
Sophocles’ play endures because he understood so long ago the limits of character and the dangers of pride and power. Drama should serve as a lens through which we see ourselves and others, and especially our leaders, so that we can empathize with their plight and judge their character and decisions more wisely.
Thank you to McNulty for showing us that drama criticism is more than review.
Oedipus, having begat where he was begotten, took responsibility and blinded himself.
In a similar position, the Donald we all know would have forced Jocasta to sign a nondisclosure agreement and then moved on to the next woman.
Charles McNulty’s piece on Trump’s tragic literary predecessor is smart and provocative. But he needn’t have gone past the children’s shelf. Trump’s clearest literary reference is “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”
Stars’ quarantine singing
Thank you to pop music critic Mikael Wood for his clever and nimble review of Elton John’s “We Are the Quarantined” show [“Pop Stars Charmingly at Home for Fundraiser,” March 31]. I appreciate him noting in the first paragraph that Lady Gaga “squeezed more compassion into 40 seconds than President Trump has mustered in weeks.” A potent reality articulated in one elegant sentence.
You tip your hand to your vast skills by pointing out Mariah Carey’s “small electric fan to blow her hair” as she sang “Always Be My Baby.” That theatrical move on her part indeed whispered hope. We may be quarantined but Ms. Carey is still going to put on a great show for her fans.
Up and down the dial
Regarding “Tuning in to a Need” [March 26]: KPFK-FM (90.7 ) was not included in Randy Lewis’ artcle about local radio responding to the COVID-19 crisis, and it is insulting.
We are a public-supported station, the Southern California outlet for Pacifica Radio. With over 10,000 watts, we are the most powerful broadcasting station on the West Coast. We are dedicated to public service.
In this town that is considered the “entertainment capital of the world,” we are the only local station that is committed to broadcasting original dramas from the small professional theaters that dot our community, using L.A.-area professional actors.
We don’t need a spotlight but we certainly should at least be mentioned with the other stations that are working to ease the community through this COVID-19 pandemic.
Julio Martinez, host of KPFK’s “Arts in Review”
Randy Lewis omitted one of the finest independent radio stations on the air today, KCSN-FM (88.5). It is commercial-free, completely independent and broadcasts about 56 minutes of music per hour. It has no political agenda (not affiliated with NPR like KCRW or Pacifica Foundation like KPFK) and offers a wonderful, eclectic mix of musical offerings.
Your former L.A. Times music critic Robert Hilburn even hosts a weekly program, “Rock and Roll Times,” every Sunday evening.
Take once a day
Re: “Feels Like a Bad Joke” by Nate Rogers [March 21]: This is a response, albeit quite late, to the closing of the Laff Factory and all other comedy clubs during the stay-at-home response to COVID-19.
I realize that comedy clubs like the Laff Factory need to close during the COVID-19 outbreak. But I thought laughter was the best medicine.
Our common desires
Justin Chang’s thoughtful review of the Netflix documentary “Crip Camp” [“Monumental Camp Memories,” March 25] exposes one of the basic and simple facts of the disability experience: that wants and desires are no different from those without disabilities; all that is needed is accommodation.
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