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Reviewer missed point of "Lebensraum", Enlightened elite at it again


Reviewer missed point of "Lebensraum"
D.L. Hintz's review of "Lebensraum" Theater, Feb. 22 is disturbing.

From his early remark about history buffs onward, he fails to see that it's a contemporary social commentary reflecting humanity's unlearned lessons. To call Israel Horovitz's script a "reckless jumble of political irony and interpersonal conflicts" exposes Hintz's inability to grasp or watch or review socially significant art.

What was present for the audience to interact with was a series of vignettes containing well-defined characters which rapidly moved to form a mosaic while sustaining the meaningful plot.

The lack of in-depth focus on a single character or element was critical for allowing the viewer to take in each piece of horror and still continue to view the whole.

"Lebensraum's" "conclusion" was far from "regrettably didactic." There were few dry eyes or unchoked throats when the production ended. Sometimes a piece of art raises more questions than it answers. Sometimes what is stirred up emotionally by the interaction between art and viewer goes home with the viewer and continues to transform. "Lebensraum" is such a piece of art.

Katharine V.R. Smith

Enlightened elite at it again

After reading Jim Watkinson's essay Back Page, March 14, the only thing I could do was roll my eyes and say here we go again.

To be generous, the only redeeming quality of his work was that it does not take a large amount of intellect to understand. It represents a school of thought that is quite popular among the more enlightened elite: If you disagree with someone, insult them. Call them names or stereotype them in such a way that you come off as their intellectual superior, and thus any position of theirs that you happen to disagree with is just plain stupid.

Let's inventory Watkinson's key points.

First, if you are conservative and a Christian, you are guilty of following tinpot evangelists. Let's see, I go to church about once or twice a month, and I will probably vote for Gov. George W. Bush this fall. I fall into this category, so my views obviously have no value.

Next, if you even remotely believe in school prayer you are a fool. And of course anyone who doesn't believe that gun control will stop violence is just a simple redneck. Once again, I fall into this category. Some 20 years ago, I used to take my shotgun to school (I was on the skeet team). I often wonder how we survived back then without some 20,000 gun control laws that are currently on the books. But today the enlightened ones assure us that only gun control laws will stop the violence. Never mind that 20 and 30 years ago when gun control laws were virtually nonexistent school shootings were unheard of. The cause of violence, we are told is simply that there are not enough gun control laws.

While we're on the subject of laws, Watkinson tell us that Sen. Madison Marye (who speaks with a Southwestern Virginia accent, so he is obviously a fool) is a "porcine politician" because he was against a bill outlawing open containers in vehicles. He then concludes that Sen. Mayre's position makes him an embarrassment to the state.

Never mind that this would have been another feel-good law that would have little or no impact on the safety or quality of life for Virginians. Drinking in an automobile is already illegal. Driving while intoxicated is also illegal, and the penalties for doing such are no slap on the wrist.

I remember a popular saying, "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend, with my life, your right to say it." That notion has since been replaced with the notion of diversity. Diversity is a wonderful thing, as long as you believe exactly what you are supposed to.

But then again, I'm just a drinking-while-driving-gun-toting good ol' boy and damn proud of it!

Steven Clark

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