To take a first class "Independent" paper and merge it with a "Spectator" paper not worth picking up because of integrity insulting "news," along with advertising cigarettes and alcohol to college students, was ... brave? To then incorporate the "trashy" reporting, such as News of the Weird to attract, appease, entertain, insult your readers was unnecessary. Are you going to advertise cigarettes next? Did The Independent really have to stoop to such low standards to feel unity with the Spectator? Please, please return to classy well-informed worthwhile reporting and drop the carnival standards preying on people's misfortune. Stand by the integrity of The Independent your faithful readers have long trusted.
KAREN SORENSON, CHAPEL HILL
I would like to thank David Fellerath for giving his attention to Paul Greengrass' film Bloody Sunday [Oct. 23]. I believe David's review raises a few questions about a part of the world that most Americns have been oddly shielded from. One reason for this could be the lack of an American News Bureau presence in Northern Ireland for so many years.
The events surrounding Jan. 30, 1972, in the city of Derry are indeed politically charged and Fellerath was considerate and brave enough to engage some of these topics with his review of this fine film. A good critic gets people talking, particularly when they are reluctant to be counted. Here is my 2 cents worth.
Fellerath mentions a "leader of a Catholic civil rights movement," that person being Ivan Cooper, who is actually a Protestant. Many of the best and brightest minds from the universities in that region were involved in Northern Ireland's civil rights movement, including a contigent of Protestants. Fellerath points out that "unruly youth were a big problem," an easy line to draw to a similar situation that took place in Kent, Ohio, during the same era. Social injustice often times fires up the human spirit. The reviewer also raised my eyebrows a bit by the comment, "at present, British historians are raising alarms about alleged fabrications" (in regard to Greengrass' depiction of Jan. 30, 1972). Certainly many more British historians are alarmed with their own governments' fabrications throughout the history of their colonial attempts. There is no comfort from British historians who speak of alleged fabrications to the families who lost loved ones on that fateful winter afternoon in Derry. The people I know, from that great city, long for Britain to be accountable and responsible and futhermore worthy of the name Great Britain. They are so capable of justice; this would be a great time to give some of it to the people of Derry. Finally, I believe Paul Greengrass' Bloody Sunday is indeed a film for all those who congregate around Franklin, Hillsborough and Ninth streets, and even more for the communities around N.C. Central, Shaw and St. Aug's. I wish to again thank David Fellerath for reviewing this film. He certainly is no coward.
MCKAY COX, DURHAM
I am appalled by the reference made to foie gras (among other things) in Eat Beat by Sharon Kebschull Barrett ["Is it Peanut Butter or Thai Pasta?" Oct. 16]. Her vision of having "the kind of child ... who was delightfully eating foie gras at 4 months" was shocking, even in its playful tone. Since she is a food writer I will venture a guess that she is more than aware of the sins involved in its production. How would this article read if she included the horrific fact that foie gras is actually enlarged liver taken from ducks and geese who hae spent their brief lives trapped in crowded cages being force fed huge amounts of grain through tubes that are rammed down their throats repeatedly. They suffer severe and bloody damage to their throats and internal organs. Because ducks lack the ability to vomit, they gain weight rapidly to the point where they cannot stand and their immobile legs often rot away underneath them. This "delicacy" is actually a very enlarged, fatty liver, a result of overloading the system with food. It should also be noted that the liver is meant to process toxins in the body. An enlarged, malfunctioning liver is, of course, full of toxins, which privileged humans then pay a large amount of money to consume.
In the remainder of her article, Ms. Kebschull Barrett only condones and perpetuates our misguided belief that small children should be given any and only food that agrees with picky palates, regardless of its lack of nutritional value or even toxicity. Feeding a child exclusively white, refined, (most likely non-organic), glutenous pasta is most certainly indulgent has little to do with responsible or interesting food writing.
TRACEY OLIVETO, RALEIGH
It's interesting that you say Jimmy Bowden's experience as a law enforcement officer doesn't rival Richard Webster's [Endorsements, Oct. 30]. I guess serving on federal drug enforcement agency task forces, working as an undercover agent, organizing undercover operations, saving taxpayers over $100,000 through confiscation of drug property and being involved in twice as many investigations as his opponent doesn't count for much. Or is it just not enough for the Independent Weekly to overlook the (R) behind Mr. Bowden's name?
The sheriff's race shouldn't be a partisan affair, it should be based on past performance in law enforcement, unfortunately that doesn't appear to be the case in your endorsement.
MICHAEL BUCKNER, PITTSBORO