To the Editor:
I would like to commend Lesha Hurliman for her article, "Satan's Helpers" (Viewpoint, November 22nd issue), which addressed the so-called religious problem of the Harry Potter books. I have four kids, aged 13, 11, 9, and 7. My 11-year-old daughter has read all of the Harry Potter books at least four times. I took all my children to see the movie the day it opened. They didn't have any kind of nightmares nor are they social outcasts, and the last time I checked I have not been magically transformed into some sort of demon.
If fundamentalist types are going to target Harry, why not some other critters also? Barney uses magic. So do Casper the ghost, Pokemon, and Dragonball Z. And almost all Disney movies have magic of some kind in them. Even Mickey Mouse had a problem with a broom when he was the sorcerer's apprentice. (Could that have been Satan's broom?) And let's not forget the most magical movie of them all -- The Wizard of Oz.
These zealots need to wake up and take a look at the world we live in: murder, gangs, drugs, guns in school, metal detectors, cops at 7th- and 8th-grade dances, terrorists crashing planes into buildings, deadly diseases being sent through the mail, etc. When we were young we didn't have to deal with half of the crap our kids do today. The cesspool of our society is crammed down their throats every day.
And now people are saying if you read Harry Potter you are satanic? I say give children their fantasy world because often it's better than the real thing. They're smart enough to know the difference.
Olive Branch, Mississippi
To the Editor:
I would just like to give a "Go, Girl!" to Lesha Hurliman for her piece. Those "spiritual leaders" probably should take a look at Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Pinocchio, and Cinderella, too. Those stories also show outstanding evidence of people doing the Devil's work.
Hardly A Debate
To the Editor:
As a practicing artist, an instructor of art, and a resident of the Edge/Art Farm community, I was shocked upon reading the article "A Game of Tag" (City Reporter, November 15th issue). The alleged debate -- "Where does graffiti end and art begin?" -- may be something Sabe wrestles with regularly. Most artists understand graffiti is an art form. This is hardly a debate.
In a successful work of art, the media used match or support the message. If Sabe's claim that his art centers on words and their different meanings were true, then perhaps word puzzles would better suit him. It is the artist's responsibility to create with a comprehensible form, embed the message, and present the work. If this is done and the work does not "stand up" then it has a weak foundation. Fragile artists make fragile art. Welcome to the arena of art criticism.
Art and artists have traditionally stood for freedom of expression, but you can't go into a community where artists live and work, repeatedly scrawl your own name across their buildings, and call it art without expecting some criticism. Communities exist of like-minded individuals. They reserve the right to maintain an appropriate appearance for their neighborhoods. Water-based paint is benign. So is the word "Sabe". But "Art Farm Kills Art" is far from benign. It's vicious and spiteful.
To the Editor:
Some people are currently debating whether government agents should be allowed to torture suspects in the interests of our national security. I have to admit that torture is a wonderful way to get confessions. The only problem is that people confess to crimes they haven't committed to stop the torture.
Take me, for instance. Threaten me with torture and I will be very happy to confess that I am married to Jennifer Aniston, that I wrote The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and that I assassinated Abraham Lincoln. Threaten me with torture, and I will be happy to make up whatever you want to hear. Under torture, I am very willing to confess that the Backstreet Boys are currently plotting to overthrow the United States government.
Anyone who is pro-torture needs to experience torture first to know what they are talking about.
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