Feedback from the issue of Thursday, August 7, 2008

TEXTING HELL

Enough with the text-messaging: I always appreciate Robrt L. Pela's honest reviews. I've been a theater director and teacher since 1962 in the Valley and I become especially enraged when audience members disrupt. Your depiction of the young girl [in the audience] is so true today — text-messaging has become an addiction and is destroying conversation, listening and effective communication among all ages, but mostly with students ("Gone South," July 17).

A psychiatrist friend of mine told me about a husband and wife who text-message each other in bed at night. Come on now, there must be something better to do?

I thank you for your South Pacific experience. I've directed the show twice, and it is not a favorite — although I did enjoy the script changes made in the Glenn Close TV version.

Oh, yes, a few years ago I was fortunate to see Dame Judith Dench in London, and when a boob talked on his cell phone, Dench stopped the show by saying directly to him: "You finish up, and then we'll continue!"
Jim Newcomer, Phoenix

Might be time to dump the loser already: Text-messaging has become a cancer on our existence! I don't get it. Why can't people (mostly young people) just talk on their phones, or e-mail on their computers/laptops? I guess "texting" is quieter in, say, a movie theater than actually gabbing on the phone (I've heard people, and not just teenagers, do this routinely), but it's still annoying.

People who discover texting suddenly become obsessed with it. They fall in love with their phones! My boyfriend used to be a great conversationalist, but now, whenever I try to have a heart-to-heart with him, all he does is read and send text messages, while saying to me: "What was that that you just said? Or, "Unh, huh."

I want to grab his fucking phone and throw it in the pool.

As for your experience at South Pacific, however, the young girl may have done you a favor by giving you something to do. Getting annoyed at a hot honey was probably much better than watching another rendition of this horrible chestnut.
T.A. Grabowski, Scottsdale

Bravo to Robrt: I wanted to compliment you on your South Pacific, um, review. I'm guessing the entertainment from the audience member was more entertaining than the show — unfortunately for the show. The way you interspersed tidbits about the show into the front-row twit's drama was hysterical. Bravo!
Jeff Riddle, via the Internet

VOUCHER VULTURES

Public education is at stake: Lawyer Don Peters was right in Sarah Fenske's column ("The Kids Are All Right," July 7): If voucher proponents want to be angry with anyone, they should be angry at the Legislature for setting up this unconstitutional program to begin with.

The Arizona Constitution holds: "No tax shall be laid or appropriation of public money made in aid of any church, or private or sectarian school, or any public service corporation."

It's pretty clear that the Legislature can't fund vouchers for private schools. This is the proverbial camel's nose under the tent, and the fate of public education is at stake.
Gern Blinstin, Phoenix

It's the GOP that's wasting money: So Sarah Fenske thinks the Republicans are the stalwart champions of disabled children's rights?! Forgive me; I threw up in my mouth at that sad howler!

My nephew's profoundly disabled, and because of the Republicans' dismal lack of interest in his welfare (and all disabled children), my sister had to move to liberal, Democratic Massachusetts for him to get the schooling and rehabilitation he required. At least until Mitt Romney gutted the funding!

Don't attack hard-working Democrats like Janet Napolitano because they won't support right-wing efforts to force school vouchers down the voters' throats on the backs of these unfortunate children. It's Republican legislators like Jim Weiers and Karen Johnson who are shameless in using these children to further their own agendas.

What's Sarah Fenske smoking [to make her think] that the Republicans have the right idea? They're the ones wasting voters' money on a corrosive and unnecessary anti-gay amendment that was already defeated by the majority of Arizona voters. Think of what purposes all that money could [achieve] for disadvantaged children.

After the Hugh Hallman love-fest she wrote ("Revenge of the Nerd," July 3), I thought Fenske was sadly misinformed, but now I think she's some kind of mole who's infiltrated New Times from the GOP National Committee (or at least the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth)!
N.V. Cohen, Tempe

It's no one's fault!: Thank you for recognizing that not every child is going to be able to thrive in a public school. Sure. it would be easier if they did, but we're glad there are options!

Well, there were options. Now, we parents are scrambling like crazy to try to find money in this economy. All the parents I know are breaking their backs working overtime and trying to find ways to support their kids who happen to need specialized education.

It's not their fault if the public schools can't give them what they need. It's no one's fault, but it sure would be nice to have some help.

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