I don't read your paper for the politics, though those sections generally hold some fascination as a sideshow. I find most of the national-issue opinions execrable. However, after checking out the issue with Big Fish on the front, I wanted to thank you for leading with a story which actually espouses some doubts about opposition to the war in Iraq, and admits it's a good thing that Saddam is no longer in power ("In the bleak midwinter," Dec. 17). That shows editorial integrity and open-mindedness that I didn't think you had. Or perhaps the story slipped just over the "minimum gloom content" hurdle. Also, thanks for the excellent-as-always entertainment news.
Thank you for Maria Pramaggiore's piece on Southern accents in the movies ("Y'all makin' mah ea-uhs huht," Dec. 17). One thing to add is that while Hollywood no doubt loves to pander to stereotypes about Southerners, the feat of authentically feigning an accent of any kind is nearly impossible. As the meanings and nuances of any given culture are only accessible to people who grew up in that culture, so accents can be studied and mimicked but never really reproduced. Put-on accents are either too perfect and hence unreal (the technically brilliant Meryl Streep) or just plain ridiculous (Dick Van Dyke's excruciating cockney in Mary Poppins). Anyone who has seen an otherwise wonderful film or theater production ruined by bad accents knows that the best approach is not even to try it.
But then, people love to giggle at a character who "luuvs Reeshurd Payhuty."
It was with much interest that we read Todd Morman's article about the graffiti artists whose work had been appropriated by a painter who had a recent showing at Glance Gallery ("Painting from snatch," Dec. 3). Neither Todd nor the painter, Christin Kleinstreuer, are aware, perhaps, that two of the graffiti artists who had many images "borrowed" are seniors at Jordan High School in Durham.
They are Scott Bennett, our son, and his friend, Josh McBride. Both are quite talented and passionate about their work. They have been driving to Raleigh to paint at Polk Youth Center and the wall at N.C. State for years.
Each summer they spend several days each week and usually one weekend day per week throughout the year painting for the public's appreciation and their enjoyment. They record their work in volumes of photographs. It would be nice for the painter and Todd to know that these young men are responsible for a great many images that were appropriated into the recent paintings on display (valued in the thousands.) I would like to see both of these fine young men given some credit for their work. They put their own time and money and sweat into what they love!
Dewey Bennett and Mary Rogers
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