The Independent has decidedly gone downhill in terms of the film criticism ever since they took Godfrey Cheshire on as their main critic. It's bad enough having to listen to this blowhard who is obsessed with the childish auteur theory and who takes film way too seriously. I've attacked him in the past for neglecting the most important element to a film review: the film itself. Now he's making a movie--and I admire anyone who undertakes such an operation--however, I am deeply annoyed by this "cover story" ("Moving Midway," July 27). The text of the "article" was no more than a page filled with photographs of God (as I like to call him) himself posed, hands on his waist, hands on the camera--the auteur moving the camera like an author his pen. Anyone who has had anything to do with any type of filmmaking knows these images to be BS. There was a chance here for God to reveal to us the intricate and unexpected difficulties in making a movie. But to God that would show weakness--something a critic can't give up. What's more obvious to me is that the article was more a shout-out for financing; free publicity for his own personal operation and I think that just stinks. Why do we need this New Yorker to be our reviewer? The Independent had some great ones before he was here. Am I the only one who is annoyed or feels like I could do better? It is just sad to see this in the wake of the great Carolina Theatre [in Chapel Hill] closing. Where's the cover story on that travesty? Cheshire is a travesty we all know too much about!
But my sister liked it
First words first. I always begin under a spell of positive subtleties: I'm often bowled over with the depth and deconstructive qualities of Independent articles--I read them even when I'm out of the Triangle (as is the case today).
The article slightly badgering me, however, is Byron Woods' haphazard account of the whole Burnt extravaganza ("New neighbors dance. (Rough edges included." Aug. 10). The piece seems to have been written by the hand of a man with too much caution, and a cautious man never stoops low enough to glimpse the underside of the underbelly. Or to put it positively: a silver lock takes a silver key.
Byron extends us at least this reaction: He felt forced, for the first time ever, to walk out on a band, its dancers--namely Boyzone. (First he compared us (perhaps with some disrespect) to Vietnam (to each his own)). Unbeknownst of course to the reader (and probably to Byron himself), I tried to walk out on him first, but there happened to be too many fans in the way--including, also for the first time ever, my one and only sister.
It seems that the cautious man is never aware that the stranglehold is part of the struggle, and that the struggle always codas with a lifting, a bringing to light, a gentle expiation and atonement (something let slip, herein the haphazardry by the one who walks out). In Boyzone's case it was that old traditional Irish folk tune about the sandmen stealing the shores of the sea, roll ocean roll, and all that. Afterward, Boyzone delicately conjoined beneath their table and, you know, zoned out.
All I'm asking for is not a larger (but a wider) understanding of the boundaries of caution. When I see children fighting, I think, wow, that's a lot of irrational and misdirected aggression, but I don't scold it; I know that the time will arrive when they will lay down with that same child of their yoreday. And at the end of my night, over the buzzsaw hum of a Ford Focus on 40, my sister said she liked it.
Ignoring the experts
I find puzzling Mr. Parker's assertion (Back Talk, July 27) that those who disagree with Paul Valone of Grass Roots North Carolina (GRNC) make up "in colorful insults and misinformation what they lacked in statistics and empiric data." I particularly appreciated the cited studies and evidence included in the letter by N.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence Policy Specialist Beth Froehling (Back Talk, July 20).
Mr. Parker follows Valone's lead in ignoring the information experts like Ms. Froehling present about firearms and domestic violence, as he asserts that guns do not intensify violence but are the solution to it. Rather than support the Homicide Prevention Act, which requires domestic abusers to surrender their firearms in high-risk cases, GRNC is pushing HB 1311, which seeks to add guns to already volatile situations.
Despite Parker's claim, a woman's possession of and ability to use a gun does not guarantee her safety in a life-threatening domestic violence situation. As Kit Gruelle explained (Back Talk, June 22), there are complex psychological and physical dynamics between abusers and their victims that cast serious doubt on the benefits guns offer to battered women.
Far from being a simple solution to the problem, as Ms. Froehling notes in citing the HELP Network data, guns escalate domestic violence and too often lead to the death of female victims. It just makes sense to remove guns from the picture.
Some determined offenders may inevitably find ways to get a gun, but this does not mean that our elected officials should not do everything possible to prevent that from happening. As advocates continue to work toward comprehensive, systematic solutions to domestic violence, we must take any step necessary to prevent violent men from killing the women they abuse.
North Carolinians Against Gun Violence Education Fund
An article in last week's Triangles section, "Forum examines public broadcasting," incorrectly said the program NOW was no longer on PBS. It continues to air and is hosted by David Brancaccio every Sunday at 2 p.m. on UNC-TV. As of the first week of October, it will move to Friday nights at 8:30 p.m.