Wheels of Progress

Waste not: Thank you for your article ("Big Scam Theory," Michael Lacey, December 18). Extremely interesting and insightful. As a native son, I am often appalled at what passes for progress in this city. Interesting that what is professed to be such an economic boon to Phoenix must rely on tax subsidy. It begs the same questions that came to mind when the taxpayers shouldered much of the load for America West Arena and Bank One Ballpark, those being where is all the private capital for these projects? We now know the answer, don't we? Anyway, thanks again and keep up the great work.

Pat Mertz

The King and I

No beating around the Bush: I enjoyed reading your review of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, a movie I am looking forward to seeing with great anticipation ("Upper Middle Earth," Gregory Weinkauf, December 18). That is, up until the point that I had to endure your vitriolic ranting about our current president.

Excuse me, but as you're an entertainment reviewer, I don't understand your desire to include your own personal political views in a movie review. Referring to our current president as a "total nutcase fraud" clearly disqualifies you as somebody who can give any type of non-biased opinion on anything. To then suggest suicide via conflagration is simply tasteless.

Why so much venom that you feel you must include such hatred in your "supposed" movie review? After all, a majority of Americans have a favorable opinion of our president, which is not to suggest a silencing of the minority, but simply a request to offer dissent based on reason and fact versus simple partisan hatred. I never did agree with most of what President Clinton did, but I never felt hatred toward him, and most certainly never wished him dead. At least President Bush has returned a sense of leadership, dignity and morality to the highest political office in the world. On that point there is simply no argument. Unless, of course, you are a liberal journalist who is simply titillated by the thoughts of illicit sexual activities taking place in the Oval Office. In the future, please do us a favor and keep your personal rantings to yourself, and instead focus on the subject at hand.

Steve Ryan
Via e-mail

Bush whacked: Needless to say, I immediately stopped reading your review of The Return of the King when you suggested that President Bush commit suicide. It's a shame you had to ruin what seemed like a pretty good piece with your snide and totally inappropriate political venom. Maybe you think it is cool, like the Dixie Chicks and the Hollywood types, to make egregious remarks about our president, but it is way out of line. I will be sure to "give it a miss" whenever I see your byline again.

Bruce Hitchcock
Via e-mail

Presidential pardon: If I wanted political commentary, I'd read the politics section. Comments (and certainly unflattering ones) such as insinuating our president jump off a large cliff in a "movie" review are wholly uncalled for.

Perhaps the author should consider the fact that our president is actually "rooting out evil" in a similar fashion to the heroes of this movie, which he lauds.

Very disappointing.

Name withheld by request

Mind games: Gregory, I love you for your mind!!!

Cynthia Prator

Elijah would: I am writing in regard to Gregory Weinkauf's review of The Return of the King and his criticism of Elijah Wood as too young for the role of Frodo.

Perhaps Mr. Weinkauf should reread the first two chapters of The Lord of the Rings. In the first chapter, J.R.R. Tolkien states that, at the age of 33, Frodo was only just coming of age. At the age of 50, he says that Frodo "retained the appearance of a robust and energetic hobbit just out of his tweens," just as Bilbo, at age 90, was "much the same as at 50."

Why? Because of the Ring, says Gandalf. "A mortal, Frodo, who keeps one of the Great Rings, does not die, but he does not grow or obtain more life, he merely continues, until at last every minute is a weariness."

Name withheld by request

Think piece: Finally, a review with teeth. Either slavish devotion with a few caveats, or weightless arguments about the very things other critics love. That's what's de rigueur. But, for once, a reality check: You are spot-on about Saruman. You're wrong about Frodo/Elijah Wood, though, he's fine. Another opinion.

At least you thought about your review. Thanks.

Dale Emery
Via e-mail

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