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Feedback: Does Marilyn Monroe statue belong in Palm Springs?

The 26-foot-high "Forever Marilyn" statue by Seward Johnson is back in Palm Springs.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Keep watching movies

Regarding “The Sun Comes Out” [June 20]: I hope Justin Chang knows he has a lot of fans out here and we are rooting for his movie life to continue unfolding on these pages and hoping maybe for a book someday.

The rare, great writer writing about what he loves.

JJ Flowers
Dana Point

Does Marilyn belong in Palm Springs?

Marilyn Monroe’s story is not “barely relevant” as art critic Christopher Knight writes in his online commentary about the “Forever Marilyn” installation [“Marilyn Monroe Statue in Palm Springs Is an Offense to Pride Month”]. It is in fact central to our appreciation of the sculpture.

In the scene from “The Seven Year Itch” that’s been so lovingly and skillfully immortalized by sculptor John Seward Johnson, Marilyn has just come out of a movie theater on a hot summer’s night. She’s chatting with her neighbor on a largely empty street when she hears a subway car drawing near. “Oooh! You feel the breeze from the subway? Isn’t it delicious?”

She’s a joyful, confident woman in that scene who simply wants to enjoy the cool breeze afforded by a passing subway car. She doesn’t care if someone might ogle her or if they might deem her behavior inappropriate. She’s in charge of her body and her pleasure and doesn’t give a damn if those around her may be offended or titillated by it.

She refuses to be shamed.

That affirmation of an outsider’s freedom and power is what the sculpture represents for us.

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The theater Marilyn was walking out of just before her iconic subway moment was showing “The Creature From the Black Lagoon” and her last line of dialogue before that subway car passed was, “I felt sorry for the creature. I think it just craved a little affection — you know, a sense of being loved and needed and wanted.”

Our community welcomes Marilyn with pride. As outsiders ourselves, we share those feelings.

Steven J. Scott
Palm Springs

Product placement in news coverage?

Just what we need: a breathless gobsmacked article about Disney using its marketing muscle and Tom Hiddleston’s star power to hawk a gas-guzzling SUV as the planet burns [“Loki’s Latest Trick: Touting SUVs,” by Ryan Faughnder, June 15].

Shouldn’t The Times show a little more critical judgment and at least question the choice of product? Is it any wonder the Earth is hurtling toward climate catastrophe when everyone is so oblivious to the threat?

Bill Carey
Ventura

::

This so-called compact SUV weighs in at about 4,000 pounds. My Kia Spectre weighs about 3,000 pounds.

That means when it’s parked at a corner you can’t even see around it. As Tiger Woods found out, SUVs are more prone to rollovers.

Harvey Pearson
Los Feliz

Equity and the box office

Regarding Ashley Lee’s commentary “Studio Games Hurt Films Like ‘Heights’” [June 21]: Positive reviews by critics intent on equity in the movies do not make a movie sellable to the public.

Mark Walker
Yorba Linda

Speaking of John Stamos’ film career...

Robert Lloyd writes that John Stamos “never had a film career to speak of” [“Stamossance is On,” June 21].

Many of us very much enjoyed Stamos’ work as a Harley-Davidson-riding soldier who helps the U.S. Army transition from cavalry to motorcycles in the 1990 WWII drama “Born to Ride” from Warner Bros.

Michael Pardridge and Janice Hickey
Vancouver, Wash.

A valuable relic from the distant past

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the release of “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” The product of a true Hollywood “dream team” — directed by Steven Spielberg, written by Lawrence Kasdan based on a story developed by George Lucas, Philip Kaufman and Spielberg, starring Harrison Ford and with music by John Williams — it was the pinnacle of the greatest era for action films in Hollywood’s history from “Jaws,” 1975, to “Jurassic Park,” 1993.

Stephen A. Silver
San Francisco

Words, not symbols

Regarding Sunday crossword puzzle “Elementary” [June 20]: What are you thinking? It really is grossly unfair to spell your crossword clues with elements.

Please use words and not elemental symbols. This is a puzzle for people, not physicists.

Lillian Mizrahi
Los Angeles


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