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Having personally experienced the wrath of small-town mindedness
I could relate to Kathleen Norris' article, "Native Evil" (Winter
2002). By placing the subject of evil in a personal, historical
context, Norris is able to discuss the manifestations of this undeniable
force in our world; otherwise, as I found in the other two articles
(Joyce Carol Oates's "Demon Evil"; Nathan Englander's "Evil by Choice"),
it remains an abstract concept begging relevance.
JACK HARRINGTON '79
Your reviewers were a bit harsh in judging the TV show Boston
Public (Camille Dodero's "School for Scandal," Winter
2002). While admittedly some of the story lines do approach the
bizarre, the series takes a responsible view of some very serious
issues. Sure, they're dramatized, and they crop up every 10 minutes.
But those who demand that a fictional series accurately reflect
the day-in, day-out reality of their lives may want to ask themselves
whether they'd enjoy an hour spent watching the ER doctors
wrangling on the phone with HMOs or NYPD Blue detective Andy
Sipowicz catching up on his paperwork.
JOHN WHELAN '64
For a school guidance counselor not to know what an "R-A-V-E" is
sadly shows how out of touch she is with the lifestyles and decisions
of teenagers today.
Trust me, raves are happening--along with substance abuse, unprotected
sex, violence, depression, and eating disorders.
LYNNE NARDIZZI MS '97
I enjoyed Tim Heffernan's "Over There" (Winter 2002), but Boston
is absolutely not "on a broad plain beside the English Channel."
Boston, England, lies very close to a small body of water called
the Wash, which leads directly into the North Sea.
A. KATHER MS '63
Re Alan Wolfe's "What Are We Fighting For?" (Fall 2001): I cannot
believe a professor of political science actually thinks that the
terrorists who struck that vicious blow did it out of envy for the
generosity of the American system that "opens our doors to people."
Reality is so different and the current role of the United States
in the world, from the Third World point of view, so controversial.
LETECIA PEREZ NC'51
Re Tim Townsend's profile of John McCann '99 ("At Ground Zero,"
Fall 2001): The night of September 11, I called John's house with
my heart in my throat. When his mother answered, she was thankful
for the inquiry and proceeded to add my name to the very long list
of people who had already called. John has always been passionate
about firefighting--but merely as a subset of the passion he has
for life in general.
SAM WHOLLEY '99
If the four letters in Postscript ("Recollected," Winter 2002) express
the sentiments of only those four people (and that is extremely
doubtful: they more than likely represent the feelings of thousands),
then the 3,000-plus will not have died in vain. A measure of goodwill
has come from this tragedy.
ROBERT N. SILLARS, JR P'82
Wilmington, North Carolina
I would like to respond to Norm Phelps' letter in your last issue
regarding John Motoviloff's "Driftless, Wisconsin" (Fall 2001).
I must assume that Mr. Phelps has no leather products in his home,
if he feels so inclined to pass smug judgement.
Motoviloff and millions of other hunters, including me, are not
involved in a "charade." Certainly no hunter or outdoorsman I know
has ever used the pejorative phrase "primitive chic." We spend our
time pursuing a passion, enjoying nature, and contributing time
and money to land and wildlife conservation.
GREGORY CARPINIELLO '88
Pawling, New York
Correction: The cofounder of the Boston College Club was misidentified
in the Winter 2002 issue. He is John E. Joyce '61.