Letters for December 10 

Readers sound off on Changeling, our new eco column, and slow fashion.

"Power Still Corrupts," Movies, 11/5

She's No Actress

Anyone who thinks Angelina Jolie is gunning for an Oscar at any time in her life is projecting their own delusions. She is much too undisciplined (or was anyway) and too spontaneous for that. Have you checked out her filmography? She would have made different film choices and calculated a different career path if she was Oscar-starved. Ms. Jolie chooses to balance serious roles in films such as Gia; Girl, Interrupted; and A Mighty Heart with brain-free action roles in movies like Gone in 60 Seconds; Lara Croft; and Wanted. She doesn't want to do two intense movies like A Mighty Heart and Changeling back-to-back — especially during the year her mother died and she was nursing a newborn. Ms. Jolie said in a recent interview that she chooses her roles in part if she would find the character interesting if they met in real life. In any case, acting isn't the be-all-and-end-all of her life anymore — if it ever was. She has higher priorities now — her family and her work as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, as well as her philanthropic work as co-chair of the Jolie-Pitt Foundation. Ms. Jolie has said she wants to be remembered for her humanitarian work, not as an actress.

Ligaya Lucero, Oakland

Check the Lurid Facts

I wish to take issue with your critic's smug, self-satisfied review of the new Clint Eastwood film Changeling. Indeed upon viewing, the events depicted seemed so bizarre that I felt compelled to research the historical record behind them, only to find that the circumstances, popularly known as the "Wineville Chicken Coop Murders," were actually more lurid and sensational than the film implies. That if the movie can be faulted, it is for what was left out. That in fact it wasn't just an "axe wielding drifter" but a young man AND HIS MOTHER that were convicted of atrocities against young boys. That she confessed to killing the missing boy Walter Collins, although it was never proven, and was sentenced to life in San Quentin. That at her sentencing the judge declared it was only her gender that kept her from going to the gallows as her son did. That in fact her "son" was the product of incest, the result of her husband sleeping with his own daughter. That the young man was a homosexual pedophile who rented out the boys to other pedophiles before murdering them. Perhaps rather than taking Mr. Eastwood and the scriptwriter Mr. Straczynski to task for their cinematic excesses, they should be commended for exercising restraint. Look it up for yourselves.

Peter Davis, Alameda

"Saving the Tuolumne River," Full Disclosure, 11/12

Activists Matter

Thanks to Peter Drekmeier and the Tuolumne River Trust for thwarting the water grab by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, and saving the scenic beauty of the Tuolumne. Public agencies need to know that in a democracy, they cannot act with impunity but must subject their plans to scrutiny by the people, and serve the common good. By choosing to conserve water, not divert more of it from our vulnerable rivers, we're all better off; and by winning this battle, the TRT strengthens our faith that activists still matter.

Charlie Stephen, Oakland

David vs. Goliath

Thank you once again for your article that shows what one person can do against a seemingly Goliath agency. Just like your piece on the Oakland LADD tax, your articles continue to give me hope that individuals can and do make a difference. I am grateful that East Bay Express profiles matters like this one. Sadly, we can't get important news like this from our conventional newspapers or TV media anymore.

Linda Forde, Oakland

"Slow Fashion," Feature, 11/12

Slow & Sexy

I really appreciated the "Slow Fashion" article by Kathleen Richards in the East Bay Express — it was informative and humorous. I think getting more young people to understand the value of supporting their homegrown indie businesses, especially in the areas of fashion, will have strong positive outcomes for the local economy. Be it through direct youth education about consumerism and slow fashion or a citywide marketing campaign that features various local indie fashion brands — it will have to be just as sexy and glamorous as any H&M display.

Letitia Ntofon, Oakland


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