You nasty-baiters have apparently struck a raw nerve. Judging from the first round of letters (Calendar Letters, June 28), the Nasty Ueber Alles credo is prevalent. Alas, so many places to jump into the fray.
First, Lawrence Christon's assertion that the '80s have yet to be tagged with a moniker overlooks the disturbingly accurate potential of "The Age of Numbness." Sheila Benson alluded to the new uncivility in her review of "River's Edge," a movie that graphically explored loss of individuality and the outer boundaries of selfishness and insensitivity. As the bulk of humanity compare unfavorably with herd animals (sheep were mentioned in one letter), it is not surprising to see snide behavior manifest itself as a vain attempt to bolster individuality.
What is obviously missing from our culture is a set of values that would promote health and joy as opposed to decadence and misery. This ethic would discourage greed and focus on the concept of love, which has always been the artist's true domain.
If such an ethic were to flourish, some people might see that the concept of love neither began nor ended with Jesus Christ and others might realize that love is infinitely more complicated than an orgasm, which is complicated enough. One could not reasonably expect such an ethic to develop in the near future, but it is worth thinking about.
RONALD A. BRUNO