Lay Off Mac
I read Mac’s book Rare Earth and I couldn’t disagree more with Robert Finkle’s “review” [“You Can’t See Mac Parker’s Film, But You Can Read His Book,” May 2]. I wonder at the choice of that interview, given that he admits to being “so angry and disgusted by Mac Parker that anything he attempts in the guise of creativity is repulsive to me.” I just think there’s been enough judgment already. It’s a rare article that pauses to see things through Mac’s eyes.
Which is the other side of the story. I honestly don’t know how Mac has gone on in the face of the brutal reality he wakes up to every day. But, God bless him, he does everything in his power to repay the lenders in whatever way possible, while being a responsible father and husband, friend, brother, and son. He still has to feed his family, keep them warm and dry. I appreciate Robert and Sharon’s positions, but suggesting he should live in a tent? Really?
Fiennes Is no Olivier
What a feast! Three letter writers struggling with erudition to review the same film [Feedback, “Three Kicks in the Coriolanus,” May 9]. They take issue with Rick Kisonak [Movie Review, April 25], but I agree basically with him and chide their scholarship. Shakespeare wrote entertainment for the masses, not essay material for the cognoscenti. Regardless of cultural milieu, we should judge on that basis first, and this is a ho-hum film.
Also, in our context, it’s a message film, and, while some people thrive on message art, I don’t. Moreover, Ralph Fiennes is too one-dimensional to be tragic, even by today’s standards. Historically, would an audience of those Greek simpletons rate Coriolanus with Agamemnon, Antigone and Medea? Or would they laugh and give Fiennes a half-star for effort? The other acting is uniformly good, of course, and Vanessa Redgrave approaches classic stature, but in a role so brief that I’ve already forgotten it.
The other two writers seem to argue from the same Wikipedia article, making its points in even the same language. Apology to Barry Snyder, but shame on both of you! The article references the stage performances of Laurence Olivier and Richard Burton, among others (who weren’t on film, so we’ll never see them, to our loss). Those were actors who could wring poignant humanity from even a mundane speech. Fiennes isn’t of that pantheon. Whatever such potential he saw in the play, he clearly lacks the insight and subtle reading to express it. Still, a better script might have helped. I can imagine him as Marc Antony in Julius Caesar, although not as Hamlet.
Fred G. Hill
F-35 Is Pro-War
The statements by local residents regarding the noise and environmental impact of stationing F-35s in Burlington reveal the pervasiveness of the military mindset in U.S. culture [“F-35 Fighter Jets in South Burlington? Air Force Idea Bombs and Soars,” May 16]. Dismissing the roar of the jets and the consequent disruption of human thought processes that occurs because of the roar ignores reality. However, the aspect of this debate that bothers me the most is the one that is barely discussed by anyone. That is how towns in the jets’ flight path are so willing to prostitute themselves for the supposed economic benefits of these latest unnecessary contrivances of the war economy.
While one expects businesspeople near the base and various promilitary citizens to champion the F-35, St. Michael’s College president Neuhauser’s statement that the college welcomes the jets, their noise and their murderous capability not only denies the very real concerns of local residents, it contradicts the very teachings of the Catholic Church regarding modern warfare.
Furthermore, left unsaid in the debate about these planes is their role in supporting an upgrade in U.S. nuclear weapons capabilities — an upgrade that is supposedly less possible without the F-35. Vermont would be better off without these planes, even if it means the end of the Air National Guard base at Burlington International Airport — a very unlikely consequence.
F-16s have been operating out of Burlington International Airport for more than 20 years and now residents are complaining about the noise [“F-35 Fighter Jets in South Burlington? Air Force Idea Bombs and Soars,” May 16]? Get real. If that’s the case, tell some of these punks driving around town with their radios blasting to move out of town.
Too Close for Comfort
As a resident of Winooski at Keen’s Crossing, I cannot give my support to the F-35 fighter jets coming to our towns [“F-35 Fighter Jets in South Burlington? Air Force Idea Bombs and Soars,” May 16]. Rumbling buildings, shaking windows and near misses, along with nightly flights — is 9 p.m. really necessary? — are some of the experiences that the current F-16s bring. The F-35s are supposed to be “bigger and badder.” Three weeks ago in the afternoon, an F-16 was flying lower than normal by our complex, and the vibration was so intense that it actually knocked a plant from my windowsill. Then came the loud after-burner noise as it disappeared. Was this a near miss? I think so, but, of course, nothing was mentioned in the papers.
The fear is always there that an inevitable crash will occur in these close precision flyovers of a very populated area. If we are all to live respectfully with each other, couldn’t a new flight pattern be designed which would not fly over heavily residential neighborhoods? I’m sure the monies we would be getting for these military jets could support that plan. And I wonder if Leahy, Welch and all the other “pro F-35ers” would be so supportive if they lived here?
Support for Stiller
In the early ’80s, I worked for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters as the sales manager for the wholesale division [“Shaky Grounds,” May 16]. Although I was let go by the company, I had the opportunity to work for Bob Stiller. He was not an easy person to work with, perhaps because he was always so far out ahead of everyone else. I have never met a person who worked harder or had more quiet passion for what he was doing than Bob. He led by example and taught me more valuable lessons about business than he will ever know. I am grateful to him.