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Entertainment & Arts

Reader feedback: Did Mary McNamara overstate Megan Rapinoe’s value?

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Marat Daukayev’s ballet school is among dance studios being pushed out.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

I really enjoyed Makeda Easter’s article [“L.A.’s High Rents Tap Dance Studios Out,” July 7].

When I lived in San Diego, I used to take lessons at Pattie Wells Dancetime studio, enjoying classes from East Coast swing to Argentine tango, pretty much everything covering ballroom, salsa and all the Latin dances.

I certainly hope there’s a reversal in this trend and dance studios pick up again.

When I first started taking dance lessons, I had been divorced a few years. When my ex-wife found out I was taking dance lessons, she asked if I would be willing to teach her dance on the weekends. We would meet at a community center with CDs and boom box for music.

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Those dance lesson get-togethers led us to getting remarried.

Anthony Raumos

Vacaville

As valuable as she thinks?

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I enjoyed watching the U.S. Women’s Soccer team’s victory, but I believe Mary McNamara overstated Megan Rapinoe’s value to the team [Winged victory: Megan Rapinoe’s post-goal pose stood for more than just another World Cup win]. One of the calculations used today in measuring the value of professional athletes is WAR: “Wins above Replacement.” The U.S. team did just as well as with Rapinoe on the bench as it did with her on the field.

If Rapinoe worried about money, she shot herself in the foot with her Colin Kaepernick act. Like Mia Hamm, she could have been a hero to every young female soccer player. Now, like Kaepernick, her appeal is limited to leftys on the West Coast. She could have made millions in endorsements.

One final note about Megan Rapinoe and the real reason I dislike her: She’s a grandstander. There is no “I” in “team.”

Dan Ford

Encino

Agent-writer relations

Regarding “Agents, Writers Need a Swift Kick” [July 10] by Mary McNamara:

The issues here are very complex, given the long tradition of agencies behaving as they are. And I appreciate to write your column, you need to simplify for your readers. However, what was missing was a quick paragraph on how extraordinary these long traditions in entertainment are.

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Most industries featuring specially talented people are not unionized (lawyers, professors, software app developers). In most industries that are unionized, the union — acting under federal labor law as the “exclusive bargaining representative” of workers on all matters of wages, hours or working conditions — does all the negotiating for their members.

The closest analogy to entertainment is sports. Like the WGA, players’ associations have democratically chosen a system where core terms are collectively negotiated but, above those, wages/hours/ working conditions are negotiated individually. And, to provide necessary representation, the associations have democratically chosen a system where individual members can choose their own agent, subject to democratically determined rules and regulations.

As a law professor, I can attest that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of very talented attorneys who would welcome the opportunity to, subject to WGA rules, zealously represent the interests of writer-clients without any hint of economic involvement in production or packaging.

Without regard to the legalities involved in the prior conduct by WGA or the agencies, it seems clear to me that whatever benefit writers get from representation by a large agency is far outweighed by the costs, and they would be well-served by a system of zealous representation by skilled attorneys who, with regard to entertainment clientele, represent writers, and only writers.

Steve Ross

University Park, Pa.

Remembering Rip Torn’s ‘Life’

I was saddened to learn of the death of Rip Torn.

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His performance in Albert Brooks’ brilliant 1991 film “Defending Your Life” was Oscar-worthy.

Stephen A. Silver

San Francisco

ALSO: Rip Torn fan account Rip Torn Outlives still has something to live for

Drama has this viewer on the edge of his seat

Regarding “The women of HBO’s ‘Big Little Lies’” [June 9] by Yvonne Villarreal: Mary Louise (played by Meryl Streep), the nosy, mean-spirited mother-in-law from hell seems to be the likely candidate.

The only thing missing from her repertoire is a broom.

Like the murder of Julius Caesar, maybe the band of rich housewives will make it a group effort.

Kenneth L. Zimmerman

Huntington Beach

High Life’ is a real low, actually

Regarding “The Best of 2019 (So Far)” [July 5]: “High Life” was a miserable film that moviegoers stayed away from for good reason — it was unwatchable. I should have taken a cue from the couple that walked out midway through the film. The director may have had some good work decades ago, but this film began with an improbable story line that just became more stupid as it progressed.

I will seek out “Peterloo” — although I haven’t heard a word about it.

I like going to the movies, but it’s getting harder to keep trying new ones after the many disappointments.

Ben Blair

Tigard, Oregon

The color that lets us see light

Regarding “Feedback: Sanders Not So Simple to Sum Up” [July 7]: What does it mean that something is “like the pot calling the kettle black?”

What’s wrong with being called black?

I like being black; I like being called black.

So if the kettle is black and the pot is black and it wants to call the kettle black, I think that’s rather a complement, don’t you?

Black as a starlit sky because you’re only going to see the stars of the sky is black.

White has no shape without black.

The world has no shape without shadow.

Rich black soil brings forth wonderful produce.

Without beautiful big black clouds, there is no rain, no water, no life.

Black is, after all, Beautiful.

Linda Bradshaw Carpenter

Los Angeles

Appreciation of Peter Tork among the best

Regarding “Why Peter Tork, the Stealth Monkee, Was My Favorite” [Feb. 22]: I have been reading extensively about Peter Tork recently. I have been a Monkees fan for years, but never read much on Peter. Robert Lloyd’s appreciation was probably the most well-thought and written article I have encountered. From everything I have read, it is spot on in every aspect. A great piece of journalistic work. I was lucky enough to see Tork with Micky Dolenz in 2016. The magic endured.

William Cole

Rural South Dakota

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