Culture feedback: From Dave Chappelle to Alex Trebek, a week of post-election highs and lows
Regarding Robert Lloyd’s review “‘SNL’ Holds a Victory Party” [Nov. 9]: As I watched “Saturday Night Live,” I thought to myself, “Where is Dave Chappelle going with all this?”
He was caustic, funny, angry, thoughtful and, in the end, quite profound. I also thought that, as a 69-year-old white woman, I am not the target demographic of “SNL,” though I’ve been a viewer since the 1970s.
Yet Chappelle’s final thoughts resonated with me. I thought Lloyd homed in on his message and helped me understand what he expressed. Half of our country is celebrating election results and half is not. It really doesn’t matter which side you’re on. What does matter is that we empathize with that “other” half to move forward.
More than a game show host
I have lately grown weary of most forms of media. So much mayhem, division and unseemly news.
This morning, Mary McNamara’s interview with Ruta Lee [“Before Trebek Had the Answers,” Nov. 10] about Alex Trebek’s passing deeply touched me.
It told the story of a great lifelong friendship of two people (both celebrities), and the purity of love and respect rarely mentioned in print these days. All of the people mentioned in the article had one thing in common — they had class.
Thank you for Robert Lloyd’s appreciation of Alex Trebek [“The Irreplaceable Alex Trebek,” Nov. 9]. I have a lot of fond memories of watching “Jeopardy!” with my grandma after school.
This one stood out to me among others because it did not focus on the sad story but rather the aspects of his life many people did not know. You painted him as a man of intrigue instead of a victim and I think he would greatly appreciate that.
A singular, irreplaceable and most erudite emcee.
Who is Alex Trebek?
Regarding Lorraine Ali’s column “A Remarkable Moment on a Remarkable Day” [Nov. 9]: As a white, male, senior citizen I was deeply saddened to read about [Ali’s] experiences and treatment from what in reality, metaphorically speaking, are my neighbors. Saddened, but not surprised. I too have watched in horror the past four years and the ugliness that has bubbled up in so many people.
I live in a center-right community and worked a career in aerospace (a bastion of conservatism) so I am well aware of these people. The sad thing is many of them would also give you the shirt off their backs if you needed it, so I am at a loss how to reconcile the two.
Just know that many of us white, old males also share your beliefs and perspectives and, although my dancing days are behind me, I too felt the outpouring of joy Saturday that we all saw.
Lorraine Ali points out things that must be aired and shared.
You don’t have to be a child of immigrants (though I am) and you don’t have to be Black or Muslim or indigenous or gay to be appalled at the ugly and dangerous words and behavior of “that man in Washington.”
You just have to be a rational, “normal” person to be appalled.
Clearly, millions are. Ali’s perspective is valuable — and appreciated.
Here’s hoping newspapers survive.
“It’s easier to be a parent this morning … to tell your kids character matters.”
Yes, we all want our kids to be like Nancy Pelosi, slamming the newly elected President Trump from day one of his presidency, mocking and bashing him at every news conference. Character matters, yes, we want our kids to mimic Nancy Pelosi’s character.
Also, the media attacking President Trump from day one of his presidency, that is something we want our kids to emulate, character matters.
Now that we have a newly elected president let us all come together, just like we did these past four years. Let us all treat the newly elected president with the same respect that President Trump received from the media. What a wonderful world we live in.
Regarding “Reality TV Wrestles With Race” by Greg Braxton [Nov. 10]: Calling TV shows like “The Bachelorette” and “Big Brother” reality shows is to use oxymorons.
There is nothing real about the forced match-up of two strangers under the pressure of a deadline and the scrutiny of an ever-present camera.
Although I do not choose to watch these types of unreality shows, I believe that most of the fans view them more as a form of entertainment than a civic lesson on political correctness. Ultimately, it will be the viewers and not the network heads or community activists who will decide whether these franchises will thrive or perish.
John T. Chiu
Music that refreshes
The musical “deep dive” is an oasis that doesn’t fail to enrich, inform and refresh. A welcome respite during these times. I hope it continues after the pandemic.
Eye of the beholder
Regarding “Kaley Cuoco Will Pilot This Flight” by Ashley Lee [Nov. 8]: As we try to move forward in a positive direction from a terrible year and make advances highlighted by the efforts of the #Me Too movement, I was so surprised that a large photo of Kaley Cuoco adorned the Sunday Calendar section. Are they so desperate to promote her new show by having her pose loosening her tie with her blouse partially unbuttoned?
These days we expect better from the Los Angeles Times.
Mindfulness on election night
Regarding “As the Results Come in, It’s Relaxing to Tune Out” [Nov. 5]: Robert Lloyd’s column was an enlightening description of how mindfulness can be practiced in this modern and chaotic world. Despite the rapidity of news and social media updates, we rarely live in the present moment.
A lovely example of how to do so.
Jeremy D. Martinez, M.D.
United we stand
Carolina Miranda owed herself and her readers a more sympathetic contemplation of American individualism before coming to the conclusion that it is “toxic,” as she put it [“American Myth Is Killing Us,” Nov. 1].
The individualism upon which America was founded is one of existential equality, the premise that every individual is sacrosanct and none born higher than another as far as the creator is concerned. It is not some kind of egoistic solipsism that would countenance deliberately coughing on someone, as she suggests. The person being coughed upon is sacrosanct as well. Our ethos of existential equality made it possible to abolish slavery, achieve universal suffrage and guarantee Miranda’s right to express herself.
Moreover, the tradition of barn-raising that she cites with contrasting approval requires that American conception of individualism. The joy of neighbors helping one another is only possible when individuals can associate freely. The need to do so is only clear when we are relying on ourselves, with no government office to come build our barns for us.
Besides, if you think coughing on someone in the name of individualism is bad, you should see what has been done in the name of collectivism: millions, perhaps billions murdered in collectivist projects ranging from fascism to communism and much else besides.
Individualism has to have a very bad day to catch up to the toxicity of a good day for collectivism.
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