Feedback: Hollywood and face mask marketing, John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ legacy

Brandon Leslie, an RN working with COVID-19 patients at Good Samaritan Medical Center, wears a protective face mask.
Brandon Leslie, an RN working with COVID-19 patients at Good Samaritan Medical Center, wears a protective face mask during a walk by Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles in June.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Mary McNamara is correct that our communication regarding the wearing of face masks has been inadequate [“Mask Marketing Needs a Flip Quip,” July 3]. However, this inadequacy goes far beyond lacking a catchy slogan.

The message has been that wearing a face mask protects those with whom you come in contact. You never hear that a mask does, in fact, provide some protection to the wearer. The reality is that appealing to self-interest will always generate a greater response than appealing to benevolence.

The choice is yours. Mask it or casket.

Bruce Friedman
Los Angeles

Open your mind to ‘Imagine’ history

By labeling “Imagine” as a “drippy ballad” “which didn’t exactly start from a place of unquestionable brilliance” Mikael Wood reveals his ignorance about the history and significance of Lennon’s masterpiece [“2020 Vision: Best, Worst of Music,” July 2].

“Imagine” is, among other things, the atheist anthem, which was groundbreaking, earth-shaking and courageous when it was recorded.

Its condemnation of war inspired by nationalism reached to the marrow of its listeners. Its condemnation of religion, consumerism and greed spoke to the hopes and dreams of the revolutionary ’60s generation.

The fact that “Imagine” is just as powerful and popular today as the day it was written speaks to its timelessness and brilliance.


Try listening to it with an open mind.

Bob Lentz

Carl Reiner’s generosity

Thank you for the obituary of Carl Reiner, and Robert Lloyd’s Appreciation [“He Was Comedy’s Swiss Army Knife,” July 1]. The outpouring of heartfelt comments about his talent and kindness speaks for itself.

As a college freshman in 1969, I wrote a review of Mr. Reiner’s generally well-received but commercially unsuccessful film “The Comic” for my campus newspaper. I sent a copy of the review to him, and was amazed to receive a personalized return letter back.

He was gracious and philosophical about the film’s disappointing box office performance but also took the time to encourage me to pursue my writing. It meant the world to me.

So sad to lose this great and vital artist. His work and good deeds will live on.

Marc Laffie
Westlake Village

Chang’s word on Hamilton

Regarding the review of “Hamilton” [“‘Hero and a Scholar,’ That’s Our ‘Hamilton’,” July 3]: Justin Chang’s résumé needs only one word: wordsmith.

John Snyder
Newbury Park

Is Saturday off the calendar?

How do you still fill six pages with sports but have no Calendar section in the Saturday paper? Yes, live concerts are on hiatus but we still have movies, books, online concerts, etc.

I would love to see The Times feature some of the events that are being offered by our local symphony orchestras, theaters and art galleries — or even some of the online opportunities from around the world. These organizations need our support as much or more than baseball teams.

Wendy Velasco

‘The Audition’s’ surprise

I was moved to share my surprise reaction to seeing the movie “The Audition,” which received such a warm review by Justin Chang [“Practice Makes Perfect in ‘Audition’,” June 29]

Though the movie was technically brilliant, it portrays a cold and narcissistic protagonist whose only “God” is her passion for violin virtuosity.

While whiplashing the viewing audience with her concertmaster’s monomania, she overlooks her son’s descent into evilness. In the end, we are left to watch her ignore the tragedy that befalls her gifted student, Alexander, and put up with the message that all is well so long as the unfeeling virtuoso with PTSD has a new Golden Child, her son.

Not a very old-fashioned Hollywood message, I would suggest. But, then, it is a modern foreign film, right?

Xavier Caro
Thousand Oaks