Feedback: Divided opinions on Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo
Regarding “So, What’s Up With Bartiromo?” by Stephen Battaglio [Dec. 24]: This sloppy hit piece is sad but expected. The informed reader will deduce that it is actually an indictment of the L.A. Times non reporting and omissions in the Trump era. Along with the story of a Dominion employee being harassed in Section 1, it’s a great reveal of the bias in this once-great paper.
Since this political assassination is curiously in the Calendar section, I’ll refer readers to the Joey Ramone solo album “Don’t Worry About Me” and the great song “Maria Bartiromo.”
Marina del Rey
If longtime business reporter Maria Bartiromo has not become an advocate for President Trump at Fox News when she airs claims that the election was stolen with the help of socialists in Venezuela, then I’m the man in the moon.
Kevin H. Park, Tranquility Base
McNamara’s column hit home
Kudos to the courageous Mary McNamara for writing the profoundly personal piece on growing up with an alcoholic mother [“The Christmas Mom Got Sober,” Dec. 24].
It was both compelling and cathartic. Indeed it was brilliant writing, pulling me into her poignant memories.
Yet it was so much more than expertly crafted storytelling, it offered hope of healing and sage advice to countless similarly afflicted readers.
Thank you to McNamara for bravely baring her family’s beautifully imperfect past.
Casting light on this taboo topic is likely to be life changing for more people than we’ll ever know.
There are no words, really, for how moved I am by what Mary McNamara wrote about alcoholism, her mother, herself and the children out there suffering the double blows of pandemic lockdown and imprisonment with alcoholic parents.
Like many readers, I’m sure, I understand the story firsthand. All through this COVID-19 year, I’ve been thinking about that second, shadowy prison of addiction and the extra pain and abuse it’s causing.
McNamara has done such a huge and critical thing by hauling the issue out into the light and presenting it in such particular, personal terms. People — lives — will be affected. In such a gentle, compassionate way, she has taken away the hiding places, the excuses, the cover under which problem drinkers (and other addicts) may continue to act in ways that hurt their families.
Those who read this and recognize themselves should also recognize that there’s hope and promise here, that they’re not alone and that those they love deserve so much more of the love than they’re currently giving their addiction.
After reading this column I just wanted to say, “I know.”
I’m neither an alcoholic, nor have I ever lived in an alcoholic family. I’m just a huge fan of Mary McNamara, and she outdid herself on this one.
Mary McNamara’s column is so relevant for folks trapped at home. I didn’t have an alcoholic parent, but I can empathize with what it is like to live with an alcoholic or an addict.
The words, “this is not your problem ... and it is not your job to fix them. It is your job to get on with your life” are words I had to live by.
We are all recovering from something.
Palos Verdes Estates
Hopefully, few people, like myself, relate to Mary McNamara’s story of Christmas with an alcoholic parent. Although I’m afraid that is not the case. It is a pain that you try to forget, but moments like this bring it back.
She gave the most important advice and resources for help for the victims in the family. For me, Adult Children of Alcoholics was a turning point. Knowing you are not alone with this struggle is very meaningful.
Thanks, Mary, for shedding light on this.
McCartney used to be in a band
As stellar as Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles career has been [“Every Paul McCartney Single, Ranked” by Mikael Wood, Dec. 17], none of these songs compare with the best work of his Beatles years: “Yesterday,” “Here, There and Everywhere,” “For No One” and “Blackbird.”
Stephen A. Silver
There’s that word again
Regarding “Rhapsody in Blues,” Justin Chang’s review of the movie “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” [Dec. 2]: What bothered me most about “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” was the frequent use of the N-word.
It’s all right, apparently, in a 1927 period piece when spoken by one Black person to another, but not in other classic works of literature like “To Kill a Mockingbird” or “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”
Could someone please explain this?
Art sale with purpose
We respectfully disagree with art critic Christopher Knight’s commentary on the Museum of Latin American Art’s (MOLAA) action to engage in deaccession of limited works by overrepresented artists to promote a more diverse collection for the museum [“When a Museum Acts Like an Art Dealer,” Dec. 15].
Contrary to his assertion that the museum was selling part of its collection due to financial considerations, the reality is that the sale was part of a strategic long-term initiative to diversify the museum’s collection, making it stronger, more relevant and gender balanced. The museum’s goal is to acquire more work by female artists; modern and contemporary work by Latin American, Chicanx and Latinx artists, and more pieces by emerging artists. All are paramount to the museum’s plan moving forward to create a collection that is more relevant to our location and reflective of artists in the U.S. and a 21st century museum.
Importantly, in conducting our sale, the MOLAA Board made a conscientious decision that all the money generated from the deaccessioned works will be assigned to a restricted account dedicated to the acquisition of other remarkable artworks for our collection.
Finally, MOLAA always invites comments on our mission, function and operations because we believe it helps make us a better and more pertinent institution. However, in the case of this particular commentary, the actual facts matter.
Lourdes I. Ramos-Rivas, PhD, president of the Museum of Latin American Art
His rant got it right
Regarding “Amen, Tom Cruise” [Dec. 17]: Amen, Mary McNamara. I support Tom Cruise speaking out for those whose jobs, homes, and lives have been lost to this pandemic. Someone needs to do it, and he is famous enough that people will listen.
Could you imagine how many jobs, homes, and lives would have been spared if Donald Trump had blown up at anyone who didn’t follow the strictest safety protocols in the White House?
Although written several decades ago, several of the Christmas’ songs in Jody Rosen’s “Christmas Playlist” [Dec. 18] from years past sound like a tribute to Christmas 2020: “If We Make It Through December” (1973), “Another Lonely Christmas” (1984), “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)” (1989), “Amarga Navidad” (Bitter Christmas) and “Christmas Eve Can Kill You” (1972).
Hopefully “Happy Holidays, Pts. 1 & 2”(1975) will prevail.
Ignoring Charles Brown when compiling a list of Christmas songs is tantamount to omitting Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays from a Who’s Who of great baseball players.
Please do yourself — and your readers — a favor by listening to “Merry Christmas, Baby” and “Please Come Home For Christmas.” You’ll soon see why Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Elvis, and Springsteen covered the former and why the Eagles, Bon Jovi, John Legend, and Aaron Neville the latter.
Stick to politics, Senator
Regarding Carolina Miranda’s column “This senator got it wrong on Latino Museum” [Dec. 21]: Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) demonstrated his total ignorance regarding his knowledge about the Latino experience, development and culture. Hyphenated names? He must have been thinking of Latinos who arrived after the nineteenth century. Santa Fe, New Mexico, was settled in 1610 well before the Mayflower.
For starters many states, cities, towns and streets are named in Spanish, including Florida, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, California and New Mexico. Most of these states were once part of Spain and Mexico.
Mountain ranges such as Sierra Nevada and the Sandia in New Mexico as well as the Sangre de Cristo range in Colorado and New Mexico are named in Spanish.
Western cowboy culture is filled with Spanish words such as rodeo, arena, chaps, Rancho, adobe, corral and lasso.
Many words in Spanish are accepted as part of the English language such as siesta, fiesta, sombrero, casa, junta and guerilla.
Of course you can’t overlook the Latino influence on foods, such as guacamole, enchiladas, tamales, tacos and burritos as well as chiles like jalapeños and chipotle.
It is clear that Sen. Lee is unaware of the whole enchilada. He must have been taking a siesta during his U.S. history class.
What’s his excuse for blocking the Women’s Museum?
Richard C. Armendariz
Regarding Greg Braxton’s “Holiday TV’s Alternate Reality” [Dec. 20]: This year has been a very hard and challenging year.
The COVID-19 pandemic, racial injustice, job loss and a contentious presidential election have been on all of our [minds]. My 90-year-old father had COVID-19 and survived it. So maybe in this time so dire instead of complaining [about] the Hallmark and Lifetime movies, we can think for a brief moment of a kinder and more gentle time. Sure the plots are predictable. The acting can be cheesy.
But don’t we deserve a break from the continuous heartbreaking news?
Aren’t there enough serious shows on TV anyways?
The TV Christmas movies are basically fantasies and modern-day fairy tales. So what? I don’t believe they are forced cheer as Greg Braxton writes. Maybe they are just cheerful and that is okay by me.
Rob Tannenbaum’s commentary “[“Disco is Ah, Ha, Ha, Ha Stayin’ Alive,” Dec. 17,] about how disco symbolized progressive cultural changes in our country in the late 1970s and led to a backlash against it was terrific.
It seems, however, that over 40 years later we still have a long way to go to fully accept those who don’t fit the image of a “true” American. It largely explains the election of Trump after eight years of Obama.
If you’re not a straight, white, Protestant male without mental or physical disabilities, you’ve had to fight for the rights that should have been yours the day you were born. Perhaps this is why disco lives on, because the struggle for true equality lives on.
I wonder if Rob Tannenbaum is correct in stating that Disco Demolition Night, an event in Chicago in 1979 where lots of people who professed to dislike disco music blew up disco records, came from white people disliking disco because it was mostly started by gay, Black, and Hispanic people.
Probably that was some people’s motives, or part of their motives. I remember a lot of music critics at the time disliked disco (including Robert Hilburn, pop music critic for The Times) because they didn’t think the lyrics were very interesting or the musical part of the music very interesting either.
I also disliked disco for the same reasons. I was a white 19-year-old, but never particularly thought about disco mostly being made by people of color.
I hated racism, having grown up in the civil rights era of the ‘60s. I mostly listened to rock, but rock sounded pretty Black even if mostly made by white guys, and I think I was aware that Black people had been very instrumental in creating rock, and there were definitely current Black rock and pop hits. Rock potentially was anti-racism. And people who liked rock and disliked disco may not have been racist.
A Stanford dance professor, Richard Powers, claimed that in 1978-1979, when the disco movement peaked, “the demographic was predominantly white, heterosexual, urban and suburban middle class.” And the Bee Gees and stars of “Saturday Night Fever” were white.
As the years have gone by, I have come to enjoy disco more. In fact my musical tastes have opened up and become very broad. But why people disliked disco in the ‘70s may be more complicated than Tannenbaum is saying.
Wonder Woman’s history gap
Regarding “A Wonderful Escape,” Justin Chang’s review of the movie “Wonder Woman” [Dec. 16]: I hate to rain on Gal Gadot’s parade, but has no one noticed how utterly ludicrous the story’s premise is?
In the first film, Wonder Woman plausibly, for a superhero fantasy, not only helps end World War I but seemingly vanquishes Ares, the God of War, himself.
At the end we flash-forward to Wonder Woman flying off in what has to be taken as the contemporary period, given her laptop computer.
So what about World War II, the Holocaust, Vietnam, 9/11, and all the other intervening human catastrophes?
And now, logic and compassion be damned, we have the 1984 version, which will likely also gloss over this inexplicable discrepancy. Making any meaningful sense was clearly not a top priority with the writers of this mega mind-boggler.
An early California book
Regarding “Golden State’s Literary High” [Dec. 22], David L. Ulin’s list of the 10 best California books of 2020: There is another excellent book about California that is not included on this list. It is titled “The Squatter and the Don” by Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton.
Originally published in San Francisco in 1885, it is the first fictional/historical narrative written in English from the perspective of the conquered Mexican population.
Despite being granted the full rights of citizenship under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildalgo in 1948, they were, by 1860, a subordinate and marginalized minority.
Ann C. Hayman
Editor’s note: The article referenced books released in 2020.
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