Reader letters: Reacting to Theodore Sturgeon, 'Doctor Atomic,' 'Saving Private Ryan' and more

Reader letters: Reacting to Theodore Sturgeon, 'Doctor Atomic,' 'Saving Private Ryan' and more
Author Theodore Sturgeon in the late 1950s. (Theodore Sturgeon Literary Trust)

There were other rewards


Although Scott Bradfield rightfully deplores the lack of attention for Theodore Sturgeon’s centennial [“Worlds Formed by His Words,” Aug. 5], this merely mirrors the literary establishment’s ignorance of the author during his lifetime. If the lack of fame and fiscal rewards was painful for Sturgeon, he never let it impede his life’s work. The one time I met him, I thanked him for “A Saucer of Loneliness,” and he told me about a fellow he once met at a party who had special reason to be thankful to Sturgeon for his poignant tale.

This stranger, according to Sturgeon, had once spied a shy young lady at a party and was moved to write Sturgeon’s key “Saucer” message on a napkin, which he then sent across the room to the young lady. The upshot, he explained to Sturgeon, was that he and the lady were now married. He then introduced Sturgeon to a little girl, their first child. Recalling this, Sturgeon grinned at me and said, “Who the hell needs a million dollars?”

Preston Neal Jones



I enjoyed Bradfield’s celebration of Sturgeon, but how could he forget the man’s most lasting legacy, Sturgeon’s Law, which goes: “90% of everything is crud.” If those aren’t words to live by, what are?

Jim Dawson


The sensations were explosive

Reading Mark Swed’s review of the Santa Fe Opera’s “Doctor Atomic” [“‘Atomic’ Tale for Our Time, Aug. 6] on the 73rd anniversary of the U.S. dropping the A-bomb on Hiroshima was spine-tingling. Swed’s review of this powerful and important opera was amazing; his depiction of the performance in the midst of the storm was staggering. Thank you for printing the dispatch from Santa Fe.

Armida Star Thomson

Joshua Tree

A film to add to actress’ list

What a nice article [“All the Little Pieces Fall Into Place,” July 31] by John Anderson about Kelly Macdonald. I was disappointed there was no mention of the movie “The Girl in the Cafe,” in which she costarred with Bill Nighy. She was simply terrific playing a just-released-from-prison woman meeting up with a high-ranking official in the British government. What takes place after they meet in a cafe is pure pleasure.


Terry Kennedy


Praise for a war hero’s strategy

Los Angeles Times take heed of Steven Jay Rubin’s article recounting the creation of the movie “Saving Private Ryan [“‘Ryan’ Became a War Hero,” July 20]. Now that’s a news article. Just straight, informative, enlightening journalism. That is the quality that used to encompass every article in the Calendar section, and that is the standard that the Calendar section must return to.

Andrew Rhames

Los Angeles

This comedian is an all-time great

Regarding “TV This Week ‘History of Comedy: Gone Too Soon’” [Aug. 5]: I know they can’t cover everyone, but how could they omit Richard Pryor? He was of our greatest comedians and someone whose humor our culture misses enormously. What happened?

Donna Brown Guillaume

Studio City

Description gave away a plot point

The “TV This Week” item on the season premiere of “Better Call Saul” seemingly give away the fate of a major character from last season’s cliffhanger finale. Next time include a spoiler alert.

Michael Sohcot

Santa Clarita

Editor’s note: AMC advance press materials indicated that the character did not survive the season finale and no cliffhanger was intended.

Not a fan of singer’s remake​​​​​​​

After reading Gerrick D. Kennedy’s article on Christina Aguilera [“Listen Closely as an Artist Is Reborn,” July 5] I felt I just had to write The Times. I have been following the brilliant vocalist for 20 years (we are almost the same age).

I purchased her new CD, “Liberation,” and found it to be one of the worst CDs I have in my collection. The lyrics, the songs, the production are horrible. I don’t need my favorite singer cursing foul, F-word language in my music.

No mention was made that the back cover photo has Aguilera wearing a T-shirt that states “Suck my … .” Really? How sweet. And a topless photo inside. She just needs to record some real music and not the hip-hop, rap silliness that is not her. Rethink it, Christina. The record-buying public, which is certainly dwindling, does not need trash like this. I’m a fan, but maybe a former fan.

James Geoffrey

West Hollywood

A twisted and complex tale

Regarding “Who is Anna March?” [July 29]:

What an amazing, convoluted life this person (not sure what name to use) has lived. It’s amazing that she has managed to deceive so many, even in this world of practically instant news alerts bombarding us from so many directions/outlets. Well written story by Melissa Chadburn and Carolyn Kellogg on the many lives and organizations she’s allegedly affected. Studio alert, this could be a movie.

Carol Rice

Laguna Niguel

What happened to the listings?​​​​​​​

Thanks for a basically useless Sunday Calendar section. I pay for the print edition because I don’t have time to browse your hopeless website.

Where are listings for the week’s upcoming movie openings, theater suggestions, etc.? I spend a lot of money in this town going to theater productions and movies. The movie theater info is mostly on the internet now. I realize this gives them flexibility in changing show times. However, this gives you no reason to stop giving us that page of things to do or maybe a review or two of the many local theater productions.

Connie Elliot

Studio City


Editor’s note: The Guide listing page for movies, theater, music, dance and art ran on Page F10 in the Aug. 5 Arts & Books section. Those listings run every Sunday in either Calendar or Arts & Books section. Theater reviews appear in Calendar throughout the week, every week.