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Letters to the Editor - Yes, I am September 09 2004

John Sugg's article reads like it was written by a "spin-meister" for the Democratic Party (Fishwrapper, "Are you better off today?" Sept. 2). Unfortunately for the truth, he is as dishonest as that party. While I could go on to point out many false and misleading statements he makes, this letter would be too long for you to publish as written.

Sugg's underlying theme seems to be that capitalism is bad and socialism is good. The U.S. is a capitalist nation and that has resulted in its citizens having the highest standard of living in the world. The more socialist a nation is, the lower its standard of living.

If Sugg thinks that socialism is a better system, he should migrate to one of the socialist countries, preferably the most socialist, Cuba or China.

The answer to Sugg's question: Yes! I, and most U.S. citizens, are better off today than we were the day Bill Clinton left office. (No, I am not a billionaire.)

-- Arthur M. Richard

St. Petersburg, Fla.


br>?Keep your agenda to yourself
Your recent review of Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut was way off base (Flicks, "Through a glass darkly," Aug. 25).

As usual, Creative Loafing didn't miss an opportunity to bash Christianity and Republicans despite the noticeable disadvantage of neither one having anything do to with Donnie Darko. You wrote that the film resonated with "younger viewers weaned on Reagan-era platitudes masking a darker undercurrent of religious fanaticism and cynicism." Huh? More likely, the audience was nostalgic for Halloween parties and mid-'80s goth music.

You also referenced the "repressed Christian gym teacher." Would you be referring to the character of Mrs. Farmer? (Not to split hairs, but she's not a gym teacher.) Nowhere in the film was it alluded to or explicitly stated that she was a Christian. In fact, she is never seen without a copy of Jim Cunningham's Cunning Visions, which is a clear parody of America's self-help obsession and not Christianity.

As for the "crisis of faith" and "adult hypocrisy," Donnie's parents were portrayed very favorably. A notable scene in which Eddie gives advice to his son was deleted from the original film and can be found on the DVD; it shows that his parents were respected, sardonic or not. Only Jim Cunningham and his disciple, Mrs. Farmer, are portrayed as insincere charlatans, which again points the finger at New Age gibberish, not adults, Christians or Republicans.

One of the appealing things about the film is that Donnie, like most teenagers, is apolitical. He does not take a side when his sister and father debate about the election at the dinner table — this point was lost on you because CL is unable to set aside its agenda for even a simple one-page movie review.

This needless politicizing rivals David T. Lindsay's reviews of such polarizing political hot potato films as Legally Blonde 2 and The Princess Diaries.

Please don't sink to his level and keep the agenda out of the Flicks page. You come off as a freshman film student spiting your parents when you don't.

-- Steve Schifini, Atlanta


br>?One of the best
As a progressive liberal radio talk-show host, I try to keep an eye on alternative news sources throughout the country.

I have to say that Creative Loafing is one of the best. Not only do you do an outstanding job covering your local news, reporting on subjects probably not found anywhere else, but your national news and views are always on the mark. Keep up the great work!

-- Dickey Green,

host of the "Liberal Power Hour"