Letters for July 29, 2010

‘Screenworld’ all too real

Re “Screenworld” (Cover story, by Michael Ventura, July 22):

Ventura’s “Screenworld” article hit the nail on the head. Our generation is so fixated on iPhones and Facebook that we literally forget we can actually talk to people … face to face!

As much as I love my random texting, it’s annoying when people cop out of serious conversations by texting them instead. Texting is fun, until people start using it as a crutch. I once had a guy in my class who would walk past me out the door without so much as saying a word, only to text me, five minutes later in his car, to say “Hey, what’s up?” Dude … we were just in the same room together!

It can be easy to use the constant “screens” of our world as a distraction to “real” life and problems, something of which I have even been guilty. Interpersonal relationships are hard and becoming more difficult with electronic overload. It’s a good reminder to take a break and catch yourself before you become a screened-out zombie! Ventura’s article is a perfect wake-up call.

Kayla Gallagher

Michael Ventura’s article addresses an important and somewhat invisible issue, due to the extreme pervasiveness of our electronic devices. Though “Screenworld” has grown to epic proportions, there are examples of humankind’s tendency to simulate our world that predate the TV and movies that Ventura mentioned. Story (written or oral) and painting are ancient examples of this.

Whether in Screenworld or in the therapist’s office, I think what we are trying to do is discover who we are. In the therapist’s office, we are doing this consciously through examining and analyzing our unconscious minds. In Screenworld, we add links, searches, images and videos and Wikipedia articles, and an ever-evolving story of humanity emerges.

Screenworld may be the unconscious world of the collective human psyche. It may represent the male/intellectual perspective of humanity, while the natural world and our immediate environment would represent the feminine/intuitive perspective. Hopefully we can balance the two.

Ben Linzmeier

Say something, Ms. Flynn

Re “Flynn announces candidacy” (Downstroke, July 15):

Chico, are we going to re-elect a person who had a past drug problem? Mary Flynn crashed into a wall of a business in Chico because she was high on prescription drugs. I bet the parents of CAVE would like to know.

Ms. Flynn (or do your students call you “Merry Mary”?): I believe if you plan to run again, a public statement is in order. The rest of Chico may have forgotten, but I did not.

Ronald Wootten

Editor’s note: In a Nov. 5, 2009, Guest Comment in this paper titled “What I have learned,” Ms. Flynn explained what happened on the day she was arrested and why she chose to accept a plea bargain in the case.

Obama anti-Israel? Hardly

Re “Are we a Christian nation?” (Letters, by Dave White, July 22):

Anyone claiming that the Obama administration is turning its back on Israel is “refudiating” the facts. While it is true that Obama turns away from the hideous evil that propels Israel’s Janus-like crimes against humanity, Obama embraces wholeheartedly all things Israeli, even recently stating that it was his Jewish friends who got him his job.

And Obama has in turn given nice jobs like chief of staff to Rahm Emanuel. Rahm, an Israeli, is now here enjoying the fruits of his father Ben’s terrorist acts. Ben was a Jewish terrorist who smuggled guns for the Irgun, a Zionist terrorist group that killed Palestinians and British soldiers and blew up buildings like the King David hotel in Palestine from 1931 to 1948.

And if Israel kills foreign civilians today, including a New Yorker, in international water? Biden: “What’s the big deal?”

Sounds like the current administration is prepared to back Israel no matter how depraved and internationally ill-received its actions become.

David Kiefer

False claim, false journalism

Re “A Star-crossed tizzy” (From This Corner, by Robert Speer, July 15):

As a Vietnam veteran myself, I am certainly as outraged as Bob Mulholland over the false claim that he didn’t receive the Bronze Star.

Let me explain something: When the clerk is typing up your DD214, said clerk isn’t going to check your military records to make sure you got all your medals; he just wants to get back to his coffee and jelly donut. And a lot of awards aren’t bestowed until after you depart from service, so the DD214 is not reliable. Many veterans have decorations coming to them that they don’t know about.

By my reckoning, Bob should also have received the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry Unit Citation, the Vietnam Wound Medal and any other unit citations his outfit may have earned. (We were receiving medals from two countries, the U.S.A. and South Vietnam.) I think the message here is clear: Don’t mess with anyone who earned the Combat Infantrymen’s Badge (CIB).

Historical note: the Bronze Star was initiated in WWII and was originally going to be called the Ground Medal as an equivalent to the Air Medal. By the way, the U.S. did not lose the Vietnam War—we left by March 28, 1973, and two years later, on April 30, 1975, the South Vietnamese lost the war, not us.

Michael M. Peters

I read Bob Speer’s comment about the Dolan/Mulholland and Clements feud, and think Speer missed the point. This matter is all about the defamation of a nonpublic official, Mulholland, and not about an ancient feud.

The prime culprit in this debacle is the Chico Enterprise-Record. The E-R has, over the years, devolved into a publication more resembling a gossip sheet than a newspaper. Their focus is not on investigative reporting at any level. In this reader’s opinion, it is this devolution of the E-R into an apparently reckless gossip sheet that resulted in its defamatory publication about Mulholland’s Bronze Star. This is because their focus is not based on responsible fact-checking, but rather on seemingly irresponsible republication of opinions.

The fact that Bob Mulholland, in his capacity as a consultant to the California Democratic Party, has played hardball politics on behalf of his clients is not relevant in this situation and is just a red herring. I call on the E-R to amend its policy by reining in the obnoxious Topix postings they encourage, and by tightening up their own publication policies in a way that is more responsible to this community.

I also encourage Bob Mulholland to take the E-R and Clements to task for their outrageous and obnoxious behavior.

William Sheridan

Short story of sorts

Re “Why Dolan lost” (Newslines, by Tom Gascoyne, July 22):

There once was a woman who wanted to hold elected office, so she married a genius in campaigns and elections. The man she married was paid big bucks to run national campaigns and even help presidents get elected. Time and time again, the woman was re-elected with help from her husband, until she had been in office for 30 years and was the longest elected county officer in history.

During her time in office, she changed her district boundaries to protect her re-election. The area she represented had become known by a national economist as the most overvalued housing market in America. Meaning that out of all the areas of America, people in her district made the least amount of money and paid the most for living. But on the 30th year her husband became ill and he could not run her campaign. She lost but will run again in four years.

Sean H. Worthington

Editor’s note: By the time she leaves office at the end of December, Jane Dolan will have been a Butte County supervisor for 32 years.