With all due respect to D.J. Tice (“Today’s rhetoric? A pillow fight,” July 20), he is wrong, wrong, wrong!
Tice assumes that most people get their news through the polite media of newspapers, television and radio — nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, people shape their opinions based on the snarky snipings of the gossip grapevine, Internet blogs, AM radio flamethrowers or satirical news programming. I will concede his point that we do not have anyone yet who can match the journalistic pugilistic rhetoric of an H.L. Mencken, but it’s certainly not for lack of trying.
And how long do you think Mencken would stay gainfully employed as a journalist today when newspapers have become entertainment tabloids instead of making news events intelligible to their readership? (About a New York minute!) I will leave you with some Mencken chestnuts and let you decide if there is anyone around today who can fill the breach:
• Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
• Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.
• For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.
• In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.
Benjamin Cherryhomes, Hastings
Just remember what columnist didn’t
Dennis Anderson should check the rules before his next trip into the Boundary Waters. The National Forest Service says: “The maximum group size in the BWCA is nine people and four watercraft. You may not exceed either limit at any time or at any place in the BWCA, including portages, campsites, or waterways.” In his July 20 column (“Heavenly moments”), Anderson lists 10 people in his group traveling from East Bearskin into Moon Lake.
David Carpenter, Minneapolis
How do you get there? Pay up — it’s that easy
For years, scientists have argued as to whether practice or native talent plays a more important role in the development of elite performance. The July 20 article “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Talent” reported that contrary to the previous view that practice accounted for 80 percent of elite performance, a recent comprehensive literature review shows that practice time only explains 20 to 25 percent.
While this talent/practice debate will likely continue, the answer to the question of how best to get to Carnegie, or even to our own Orchestra Hall, is neither practice nor talent. The answer is “rent it.” Renting can save a lot of the time, energy, frustration, years of practice and even the need for native talent. I can attest, personally having played Orchestra Hall.
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