Feedback: Election angst and our cultural divide

Illustration: Can we bridge our cultural divide?
(Ahoy There / For The Times)

Regarding the Sunday Calendar special issue “Can We Bridge Our Cultural Divide?” [Nov. 1]: Just a quick “thank you.” The cover was extremely well designed, and the content was excellent.

I particularly enjoyed the pieces by Charles McNulty and Todd Martens. Well done!

Kirk Davis


I am a patron of 99-seat theaters. I love [Charles McNulty’s] writing and [his] wonderful piece [“When Art Gets You Thinking,” Nov. 1] about how we can use theater to try to heal in these terrible times. Keep on writing.


Carrie Menkel-Meadow

Coping with the elections

In her column [“Sweet Plan for Election Anxiety,” Nov. 3] Mary McNamara captured the feelings of millions. Absolutely brilliant writing.

I’m surprised she didn’t mention Zanex or Two Buck Chuck as possible sedatives, but chocolate cake is a world-class comforter.

Wayne Pearl
Westlake Village


Fantastic, chaotic! That’s the best — the only word[s]? — to describe this column. Seemingly stream-of-consciousness thoughts spewing forth that catch the moment like a dream catcher.

You know, something that catches the nightmares and bad dreams and holds them while allowing the good ones to filter through for the possibility of a good outcome to it all.

I generally enjoy McNamara’s writing, and this is the best one yet.

John Snyder
Newbury Park

Race and museums

When I read the headline for Carolina Miranda’s column [“Are Art Museums Still Racist?” Oct. 25] I could not help but chuckle and say to myself “Duh!”

As a Los Angeles native and one who has visited every art museum in Southern California, I can literally count on two hands (and that’s stretching it) the number of exhibits featuring African Americans in Southern California.

Yes, there has been limited, “alternative” programming at museums — a panel, book signing, musical performance (most notably during Black History Month) that featured or had content related to African American art, but actual exhibits have been primarily absent from the scene.

I think about how excited I was when the Getty was built — the beautiful architecture that was so inviting but now has become a perfect example of a racist institution. Only the “Masters” are featured there.

If it not were for the California African American Museum, independent Black art galleries, and other institutions devoted primarily to this genre, I would not know that African American art, African art or Black artists even existed.

Short answer: yes. Local art museums are racist. If they can’t answer the question, I will.

Susan D. Adams
Los Angeles

Connery, Sean Connery

Regarding “An Appreciation: Even Better Than His Bond” [Nov. 2] by Justin Chang and Mary McNamara: Sean Connery was a smart, savvy, very serious actor. There will not be another like him, and I mourn his passing.

Cy Bolton


Sean Connery was a hero to many, including myself. He was the only true James Bond.

But there were many other memorable roles as mentioned in the appreciation by Justin Chang and Mary McNamara.

One that was not mentioned was his wonderful performance in “Finding Forrester,” perhaps my favorite non-Bond role. He didn’t get much better than in his thought-provoking mentor [role] to a young Black student.

Neil Buchalter
Los Angeles

A photo for the ages

Zubin Mehta, left, Gustavo Dudamel, Esa-Pekka Salonen at LA Phil's 100th birthday at Walt Disney Concert Hall 10/24/19.
Zubin Mehta, left, Gustavo Dudamel, center, and Esa-Pekka Salonen take a bow at the gala concert for the LA Phil’s 100th birthday at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on Oct. 24, 2019.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Francine Orr’s photo of the three conductors of the LA Phil (Esa-Pekka Salonen, Zubin Mehta and Gustavo Dudamel) at the centennial [“L.A. Phil Keeps the Sound On,” Oct. 25] made me glow with warm pride and is emblematic of why I love living so close to the multicultural, urban, world-class cultural center of Los Angeles.

A Finn, an Indian and a Venezuelan clasp hands and smile joyously at each other onstage at this fall’s centennial reunion of the three maestros. A unity — a oneness.

As the grandson of Finnish immigrants the photo also reinforced a stereotype of my own cultural background. The Venezuelan and Indian both wear black-and-white formal tuxedos.

The Finn, as I expected, dons a stark, black, austere tunic. I loved it and laughed aloud.

Russell Frank

Primetime story?

Stacy Perman’s article about a sex scandal roiling Hollywood [“A War of Words,” Nov. 2] begins on the front page and takes up most of the second page.

Who cares except the people involved in these sordid affairs? A waste of newsprint.

I would rather see the space used by the prime-time TV grid, which you have on hiatus due to the coronavirus.

The TV grid would be far more useful, interesting and some of the programming might even be sexy.

Jerry Baruch
Los Angeles

Versatility onstage and onscreen

Regarding “Shape-Shifting Actress Blooms” [Oct. 28] by Margy Rochlin: I recently watched a DVD of the 2014 Globe Theatre production of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” starring Roger Allam in a terrific performance as Prospero. It took me more than a few minutes to realize the actor playing his daughter, Miranda, was Jessie Buckley, the same actor who is playing that wacko nurse in the latest season of “Fargo.”

Jessie Buckley is excellent in both roles, and I look forward to seeing her performances to come.

She’s definitely someone to keep an eye on.

Scott W. Kirby

Where reading begins

Thank you to Mary McNamara for writing such an important and moving column [“Hope for a Storybook Ending,” Oct. 27] about the oldest childhood bookstore, Once Upon a Time, in Montrose.

The owner and staff actually read and love books. Because of their knowledge, I have found books for all or my grandchildren no matter what their interests or reading abilities have been. We must save this beloved resource.

Elizabeth Berry