Calendar Letters: ‘Westworld’ confusion, Arroyo Seco vibes, ‘Roseanne’ fallout and border politics
Regarding [“Pasadena’s Low-Key Comfort Fest,” June 25]: Arroyo Seco Weekend is not fussy. The beer is good, the food a cut above average and, yes, it felt like a day in the park with a rich soundtrack. But pop music critic Mikael Wood mistakes a “lack of tension” for a lack of substance. This lineup was not a festival replicant like so many that just change scenery. Name another fest west of the Mississippi where one could take in the spiritual sonics of Pharoah Sanders and cap the day with Neil Young.
In Steve Appleford’s review [of Sunday’s Arroyo Seco performances], “Whole Lotta Love” [June 26], there was not a word about Alanis Morissette. Steve must have been munching on a lobster roll during her set. Too bad.
Neil C. Erickson
Feels lost in ‘Westworld’
Regarding “Finale Disorients Robots, Humans” [June 26]: Thank you, thank you, thank you. I thought I was the only person who was totally lost in the finale of “Westworld.” As a devoted fan and follower of the show, I was looking forward to the resolution of at least some of the conflicting scenarios. To my dismay, confusion reigned supreme, resulting in more questions and few, if any answers. We all deserve answers, even if it’s provided only in dribble amounts.
Gary A. Green
At home with the Conners
Regarding “Conners Without Mom Can Work” [June 23]: Thanks for Robert Lloyd’s commentary. A spinoff focused on the daughters could really work well. Those moments this season between Becky and Darlene were among the most watchable and enjoyable.
It’s also a great chance for John Goodman to shine as Dan.
The revival of “Roseanne” was such a joy and success. What a shame that a single, offensive tweet could end it all.
If Roseanne Barr is going to be fired, then let’s be fair and get rid of everyone else who displays horrible behavior online and on TV — starting all the way at the top, in the White House.
Lawrence H. Stern
What it means to build a wall
Regarding “A Wall? Please Ask Berliners” [June 24]: Carolina Miranda gave me an idea. Let’s gather all of the Berlin Wall pieces at museums and community spaces around the United States and use them to build the wall on the Mexican border. It will be cheaper and amplify the folly.
Miranda’s description of the two men attempting to escape from East Berlin in 1962 evoked powerful memories of news film clips I saw as a teenager.
While many Americans are concerned about our country being overrun by aliens trying to enter the U.S., I still feel fortunate to live in a country where people are risking their lives trying to come in rather than to escape.
But with conditions in this country becoming more and more inhumane and intolerant, will President Trump need his “big, fat, beautiful” wall to keep people in instead of keeping them out?
How do you spell gratuitous? By putting a passing reference to Trump’s “big, fat, beautiful wall” in an article on an art exhibit in Italy about the building and fall of the Berlin Wall. What do those two walls have in common to call for such a reference? The Berlin Wall was erected to keep the people in East Berlin, and Trump’s wall is to keep illegals out of the U.S.
George A. Vandeman
Playa del Rey
Miranda repeatedly equates the Berlin Wall with the proposed U.S. border “wall” or “fence.”
That comparison is outrageously specious. The Berlin Wall was a lethal barrier erected to prevent East Berliners from escaping to freedom. With the wall in place, East Berlin was essentially a massive maximum security prison.
In total contrast, the U.S. barrier is intended to prevent illegal immigration across the U.S.-Mexico border. No nation in the world — including Mexico — has open borders/immigration, and Germany’s recent experiment with allowing in all Syrian refugees has proven to be disastrous.
Clooney gift underwhelms
Regarding “Quick Takes: Clooneys Unveil Hefty Donation” [June 21]: Mr. and Mrs. George Clooney donated $100,000 to help victims of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. Wow, the price of one of Amal Clooney’s designer handbags! That will show President Trump what a mean man he is and how good we are.
D.J. Fontana still stirs pop’s pulse
Randall Roberts’ fine eulogy for D.J. Fontana, Elvis Presley’s storied drummer [“Setting a Beat for Rock,” June 18] left me wondering whether I, as a rock-crazed 1950s teen, had overlooked Fontana’s rare talents.
Then I chanced to hear “Don’t Be Cruel” on a local oldies station. I must have been so distracted by Presley’s and the Jordanaires’ vocals and Scotty Moore’s guitar as to not fully appreciate the inventive percussion that Fontana added.
My thanks for yet another reason why Presley’s hits never seem to get old.
A need to see policy’s effects
Regarding “Images Make Border Policy Visible” [June 21]: Lorraine Ali’s article references reports of children held “in undisclosed centers.” This remains the case, even since Trump’s decision not to engage in further separations.
I agree that media play an enormously important social role, and that media and the public have responded to the cries of distressed children who have been separated from their families.
I urge you to continue to cover this issue of the more than 2,000 children whose whereabouts are unknown. They have been “disappeared,” to use a term from the Dirty War, and must be found and reunited with their families.
I have wondered why there has been almost no mention of Potemkin villages, to put a facade of decency on a hideous system. How can we know, since reporters are only allowed to visit certain cages, interview no one, and take no cameras or recording equipment with them?
Is this what Trump talks about with his dictator friends?
I would like our press to enjoy its 1st Amendment right to visit each and every cage and child and talk with the caregivers who cannot touch their suffering charges. Then we can trust the news is not propaganda.
But what was your opinion?
Robert Lloyd has always seemed to be an observant commentator on the current television scene, which is why his review of “Yellowstone” [“Their Country Cred,” June 20] was so unexpected. When I finished reading, I was so confused as to what he thought about “Yellowstone” that I read it again, and I’m still confused. I could read it again, or maybe I’ll just watch the show and make up my own mind.
What will bring us together?
Regarding: “Who Says Whom a Film Is for?” [June 24]: I remember a reviewer of T.C. Boyle’s novel “Drop City” observing that when the spirit of his fictional commune began to dissipate and groups splintered off and realigned, it was not by race, age or gender but rather by character.
I think good reviewers help to bring films and potential viewers together by this same principle.
Comedy in film? Surely, you’re joking
Regarding “Looking for a Hit Summer Screen Comedy” [June 22]: I wonder if there is another factor at play: the raunchiness and mean-spiritedness of comedy today. There are a lot of churchgoers, Republicans, families with children, etc., who have money too. When my children were small, there were few movies we could enjoy together. “Beethoven” came out, and then the Disney juggernaut that started with “The Little Mermaid.” Someone discovered the audience that had been turned off by the movies.
Does anyone disagree with how out of touch Hollywood is today?
People will go see movies if they are good.
It remains to be seen if Hollywood can connect again to the vast “wasteland” between New York and California.
I hope so. I love movies.
The conversation continues online with comments and letters from readers at
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