Letters for July 6, 2006

CGI wank-off
Is Bob Grimm a critic or the author of a press release for the latest CGI wank-off known as Superman Returns? How good can a movie of this ilk be? By its very nature, it is merely an exercise in empty spectacle (which Aristotle cited as the least important aspect of the dramatic arts in his still-relevant “Poetics"). Grimm ranks and sorts out recent comic book-inspired blockbusters with the seriousness of a film scholar comparing Welles with Renoir. Why is Spider Man 2 accorded the same painstaking analysis that most critics would lavish upon Fellini? Dostoyevsky gave us Crime and Punishment, Shakespeare wrote a few plays of note, and Christopher Nolan delivered unto the unwashed Batman Begins. And now, Bryan Singer joins the ranks of Ford, D.W. Griffith and Scorsese.

Dude, what about movies for grown-ups?

Robert Ellis

Students go hungry
There was a time in America when low-interest college loans were available and a college education was an attainable goal for all qualified students.

Today, tuition rates are considerably higher—they have risen 40 percent since 2001 when adjusted for inflation—and low-interest loans and college tuition tax deductions are no longer available. Thus, a majority of Americans are finding paying for college much more difficult, if not impossible.

While the Republican-controlled Congress has taken the time to debate emotional non-issues like gay marriage and flag burning, they have ignored the Miller-Durbin bill that would slash interest rates on new loans in half. While the Republicans in control have continually pushed for tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy, they refuse to help make college affordable for the non-wealthy. While the typical student borrower takes on $17,500 in loan debt, the conservative-controlled Congress chooses to fight for the upper 1 percent of Americans (that would be those 10,000 very wealthy campaign contributors) who don’t want to pay an inheritance tax. While the Republicans claim to represent all economic classes of Americans, it seems they actually would prefer those without money not to be educated.

We need to reverse these skewed priorities of Congress. The failure of the current administration to make college affordable for all qualified students not only impacts the hundreds of thousands of individuals priced out of a college education annually, but it also weakens our economic competitiveness.

If the war in Iraq, NSA spying, prisoner abuse, national debt, refusal to acknowledge global warming, and the many other failures of this administration are not reasons to vote the Republicans out of office, then perhaps their refusal to help make college affordable is.

Kris Engstrom

Short but sour
So it seems our Congress is allowing student-loan rates to rise.

One more piece of extracting money from the less able in this country so there’s more available for Halliburton contracts. Making education more difficult to attain is bad for all of us.

Joe Killian

Tasteless eulogy
Re “Planets, stars and darkness,” (Notes from Neon Babylon, June 29):

“Notes from the Neon Babylon” was a most tasteless tribute to Harry Reynolds or anyone else for that matter. Do you really think that your readers want to know any of the details as to passing of Harry Reynolds?

Bruce really went off the reservation with this one. Let’s face it: You weren’t even there so just pay tribute to the man and his accomplishment to the world of radio in Reno.

I don’t know about the inner workings of the X but you started something special in the world of radio, and as far as I know, Harry was able to keep it going, which should be enough of a tribute.

In closing, RN&R and Bruce Van Dyke should leave the tabloid journalism to the grocery store checkout lines.

John Rudolph
via e-mail

Missed the alert
I live in Sun Valley and on a recent Sunday around 9 p.m. It was dark, and we were sitting outside when a search-and-rescue van came around. The people went to every door in a five-block radius asking if anyone had seen an 8-year-old girl who was said to have been abducted from a nearby park. When my daughter asked if they had already put the announcement out on Amber Alert, they said it had been. If that was the case, why did it not merit an interruption of local programming and an announcement to the public to be on the lookout? Why was nothing said on the news? Is the life of a missing 8-year-old child not of as much interest as the capture of some lowlife who has the funds to travel to Mexico to escape the law or the life of some judge or brushfires in the area?

Is it because she was of Hispanic heritage and not the white child of some celebrity that the news media didn’t mention it? If that is the case, I find our local police departments and news media to be totally without any redeeming value and basically disgusting.

Vickie Vera
Sun Valley