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What readers say about rogue TV cops, ‘Gone With the Wind’ and J.K. Rowling

Michael Chiklis in a scene from "The Shield"
Michael Chiklis, center, as LAPD Det. Vic Mackey in a scene from “The Shield.”
(Brian Douglas / Lionsgate)

Regarding [“TV’s Police Beat Needs a Redo,” June 17]: The TV writers of police shows mask the real problem of the psychological impact of violence by police and others on impressionable young people. Well-known studies confirm that before a child exits elementary school he or she is likely to see 8,000 murders on TV. By the time that child reaches 18, the murders viewed rises to 40,000 and acts of violence to 200,000.

Why some people are attracted to violence may be fertile soil for psychologists to dig into. It is obvious to me that people attracted to professions that expose them to violent behavior are ripe candidates for police work precisely because it has normalized and sanctified violent responses to conflict.

Robert Lloyd should have addressed the glorification of violent police actions on television and included the real problem of the failure of television to portray violence as it is: bad behavior attracting bad impulses in people when they are most susceptible to suggestions on how to behave in a civilized society.

Rogue cops are just those people who were not able to suppress the violence embedded in everyone who has been subjected to the glorification of violence on TV.

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More training may not be effective to stop any police officer from acting out what they saw as children: TV’s relentless portrayal of unreasonable violent responses to conflict. Pavlov’s dog comes to mind.

Duncan Webb
Riverside

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Lloyd’s column discusses many issues newly relevant to the culture at large. One series he might have mentioned, if only to contrast, is “The Wire,” which featured Blacks in leadership roles, an abysmal case closure rate, corruption, incompetence and indifference at all levels. The series made a point of showing how easy and casually police could coerce false confessions.

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Exactly [the kind of show] Lloyd says we lack now.

Randall Gellens
San Diego

‘Gone With the Wind’ in 2020

Regarding: “Don’t Get Too Comfy” by Justin Chang [June 19]: Why do we have to see a large color [photo] of a Black slave lacing up her pouty young mistress? That’s a white racist dog whistle if ever there was one, and on Juneteenth, of all days.

“Gone With the Wind” is not a great film in any sense other than its interminable running time of almost four hours, not counting intermission.

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Plagued by multiple directors and screenwriters, it feels like a botched patchwork quilt of a movie, with abrupt changes in mood and tone unjustified by narrative or character progression.

Like Veit Harlan’s Nazi historical epic “Jud Süss” (1940), “Gone With the Wind” is pedestrian filmmaking that promotes racist propaganda.

“Gone With the Wind” gives us White Southern racism as sentimental kitsch. It deserves to be toppled from its pedestal and hermetically sealed in a museum devoted to sinister propaganda films.

Leigh Clark
Granada Hills

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I was pleasantly surprised that film critic Justin Chang gave “Gone with the Wind” such high marks.

It was certainly a first for a woman of color, the memorable Hattie McDaniel, whose own father was a slave, to win an Oscar.

Like it or don’t like it, this classic 1939 film can never be blown away, not even by a tornado.

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Christine Peterson
Woodland Hills

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Bravo, bravo and bravo!

I literally cried during and after reading Justin Chang’s very eloquently and intelligently written article.

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He’s written what I have in mind but could never have expressed. More importantly, he’s brought up ideas that I did not even think about.

Well done.

Stephen Ah Mon
La Verne

J.K. Rowling and the unisex bathroom

I just read Mary McNamara’s column [“Way to Stupefy Us, J.K. Rowling,” June 18]. It was absolutely disgusting, and I consider myself an open-minded person who respects diversity.

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Forget whether anyone should care what J.K. Rowling thinks, McNamara not only completely missed the point but wrote an article in very bad taste to try to convey some strange ideas.

Did we really need to read about all of the places she has frequented while answering nature’s call or how she accepts the premise or desirability of sex in a bathroom stall because she has seen it in a movie? There must be better ways to fill your paper.

Let’s have positive and informative stories, not finger pointing with a slightly demented bent.

Robert Gardner
Mission Viejo

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I read with interest McNamara’s column condemning writer J.K. Rowling for believing the scientific fact that men are men and females are female.

Why can a biological male somehow say he is now a she and compete in sports as a female, but you if born white can’t say you’re a Pacific Islander?

Progressives are hypocritical, in my humble opinion.

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Bob Launius
Oxnard

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[By imagining Rowling is essentially saying,] “Some of my best friends are trans people — I just don’t want them using my bathroom,” McNamara compares this issue with Black segregation in the South regarding Black and white bathrooms, and she goes too far.

The idea white people had about Black people using their bathrooms was that Black people had poor hygiene and were not clean enough to use their bathroom.

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McNamara is not allowed to use this comparison and not allowed to play the Black card here.

Linda Bradshaw Carpenter
Los Angeles

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McNamara’s columns bring me great joy. She is one of the best journalists I have ever read. She doesn’t waste words. She gets to her point and quite clearly describes what’s going on and why it drives her nuts (me too), and what she thinks would be a logical solution.

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Nancy Wilson
Newport Beach

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McNamara’s column on public bathrooms once again makes me laugh and tear up and stretches my heart.

McNamara may be an entertainment columnist — but she has the best grasp on current events of anybody — and I just love the way she lays out things, especially when I totally agree with what she are saying.

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McNamara is one of the news writers who makes it possible to get through these strange days.

Beth Benjamin
Claremont

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Mary McNamara asks why author J.K. Rowling’s “thoughts about the difference between sex and gender are of interest to anyone.”

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Funny, I have the same question about Mary McNamara.

Jeff Schultz
Los Angeles

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McNamara makes a good point about the general public giving too much credence to the opinions of the famous. I have long wondered why being a successful actor or star athlete makes us all swoon over every word and tweet in areas far beyond their expertise.

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Larry Eisenberg
Los Angeles

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McNamara’s column was of interest to me in that I’ve experienced a far different attitude toward public restrooms in my travels.

In Colombia, for example, there seems to be no hangup about which sex is using what bathroom.

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Nobody paid any attention to who was going where; it simply didn’t matter to them. How refreshing! If only the uptight U.S. citizens would get over themselves about this.

Kathy Schmitt
Hemet

It’s a family affair

Regarding “She’s Ready to Leave the Nest” by Amy Kaufman [June 18]: This reminded me of the other reasons Hollywood has an inclusion problem — cronyism and nepotism.

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If young Maude Apatow wants to be a director, all she has to do is namedrop her own last name.

If that doesn’t do it, then all she has to do is get one of her parents to be an executive producer.

If that doesn’t work, then she needs to ask them to write her a script to shoot or offer to play a part in the film.

And if that doesn’t work, she just has to ask them to finance and produce the film.

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My point is, she has access. And, yes, I am a long-suffering, bitter screenwriter of very limited success who never had access.

David Brant
Lake Arrowhead

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Is there anyone out there who truly believes that Maude Apatow got to where she is today because of her talent? There are literally hundreds of actors and actresses in this town who struggle for years to get a speaking part in a major film.

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It has to gall them when Apatow skips over auditions and is able to jump to the head of the line because of her famous father. Of course, nepotism has always run rampant in Hollywood ever since Douglas Fairbanks Jr. got his first job, so it’s probably useless to criticize this latest and most blatant example.

Charles Reilly
Manhattan Beach

Hollywood haves and have-nots

Regarding COVID Relief Fund Is Lifeline for Idled Actors” [June 19]: Give me a break. There are many, many actors and others in entertainment whose net worth is in excess of $50 million. Some in the hundreds of millions. Why they make this much money is beyond me, but that’s besides the point.

Why don’t those people donate $1 million or even $5 million each to this fund and help their fellow actors, besides just helping to raise money?

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They are all sitting in their $20-million-plus homes with nothing better to do.

The disparity between the haves and have nots in this country is just too much to digest anymore. Especially in Hollywood. Sickening.

Jane Wilkens
Monrovia

Comic strips are supposed to be funny

It is well past time for The Times to retire the inane comic strip “Jump Start.”

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The current story line is especially inappropriate during a time of national outrage at police brutality directed at citizens of color. Focusing upon an ice-cream truck manned by police officers in order to foster public relations is both insensitive and clueless.

I am sure that you can find a strip that is more in tune with these tumultuous times.

Bob Lentz
Sylmar


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