Letters to the Editor
Three, Wait for Hell to Freeze Over
I AM WRITING this letter as a result of reading an article by Eric Johnson in your paper about the budget crisis in California ("California's Money Is Burning," News&Views, July 16). It was enlightening. I see only two options here: One, get certain Republicans to change their minds for the betterment of all of California citizens; two, appeal to every living person in California (even in the country) to cry out for an additional small tax on each income-receiving person (the type of tax could be up for debate) in order to cover the deficit and get the state (even the country) rolling again.
JUD VAN GORDER ("A Dirty Trick," Letters, July 2), brother, fellow, friend: thank you. It's not that using "hopefully" to mean "I hope" is unacceptable just because it violates some rule; it is unacceptable because it is ambiguous.
"I hope she dishes the dirt" cannot use the exact same words as "she will dish the dirt, and she will be full of hope when she does it." If one uses "angrily" instead of "hopefully," then one feels the awkwardness of the sentence: "Angrily, she will dish the dirt." English is a dynamic language which changes lexicon, usage, style and grammar. The changes I respect must not eliminate the functionality they replace.
When I hear "aggravate" used to mean "irritate" or "annoy," I sigh and smile and say nothing; I do not engage strangers in the cultural intricacies of "got," "gotten" and "have;" I have not corrected anyone's use of "which" when they mean "that" in months. Well, weeks (one of KQED's sponsor's tag lines, and Michelle Blair thanked me for it, honest).
While I prefer correct grammar, I don't insist on it (or expect it). I do expect a newspaper to use language to communicate clearly. And I hope that it does.
Richard C. Haven,
Forgive Him, for He Knows Not What to Do
I WANT TO BELIEVE (to borrow a conceit from Steve Palopoli of Metro Santa Cruz)--I want to believe that Chris Carter hasn't run plumb out of good ideas for The X-Files (Film, July 23). I want to believe that all the strict secrecy as to the script and imposed upon the actors was justified in the final product. I want to believe that what I saw, when I went to see this long-awaited and much-hyped sequel, was not just a gloried episode about nefarious organ-collecting having nothing to do with the larger X-Files myth. However, believing is one thing, seeing is another.
And what I saw in the latest X-Files movie was the ghost of the former X-Files TV program (and the earlier movie). Yes, admittedly, there were entertaining spots--Mulder's and Scully's kibitzing, the insider jokes, Mulder and Scully standing in front of pictures of Bush and Hoover in the FBI offices--but these choice moments didn't seem to add up to much, nor save the plot from its utter conventionality or predictability. Left wanting to believe that there must be some good reason why this new X-Files movie played no better than a filler episode in the series, I came up with the following.
Carter may be in the same position as his protagonist in the movie. Mulder, adrift, has left the FBI behind and sits in his little room nostalgically cutting out newspaper articles of his former glory and tortured by his inability to recapture his purpose. Yes, the fulfillment (or should I say "consummation") of Mulder's and Scully's relationship has progressed the plot, but perhaps at the expense of the dramatic "tension" that gave the series its edge. Thus, like Mulder, Carter might be saying: "Well, where do I go from here?" It just may be, like Mulder discovers, that Carter can never go back--it's over and he may just have to go on alone from here, wanting to believe that the truth is out there somewhere (but, alas, for him it's no longer about The X-Files)!
Not wanting to end on a pessimistic note, I want to believe I learned a few new things from The X-Files: I Want to Believe: One, that Scully is as nagging as ever to Mulder, but now she gets to do it properly--as his girlfriend; two, that pederastic Catholic priests suffer from a pedophilia, which is an "uncontrollable urge" of unknown origins (and maybe, after all, from "God" himself); three, that "stem-cell" research actually may have the nefarious background the Bush administration suspects it does; four, that blood-red tears can be made to look like black oil in a movie trailer.
In conclusion, I want to believe that Chris Carter, as much as his Father Joe, can be forgiven for buggering his would-be audience with false hopes for the The X-Files: I Want to Believe.
Send letters to the editor here.