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SATURDAY LETTERS : MTV Should Aim Higher Than 'Beavis and Butt-head'

July 24, 1993

In Howard Rosenberg's column "Beavis and Butt-head: Cool? Or Yet Another Blow to Civilization?" (July 9), he refers to the main characters as being "too exquisitely absurd and vacuous to be resisted," yet this is precisely why they should be.

Fighting all rational impulses, I tuned in to an episode of "Beavis and Butt-head" armed with only a college education, morbid curiosity and a six-pack of Pepto-Bismol. It is extremely disheartening to see the onset of unabashed ignorance as a trend in '90s pop culture. More and more on television, the blatant glorification of mediocrity and inarticulate rambling dominate.

The incredibly annoying monotony of Beavis and Butt-head's respective chuckles only serves as a testimonial for the notion that the ratings success of MTV is equated with the lowest-common-denominator audience having the ability to grasp the punch lines of these two juvenile jesters.

Since the 14- to 25-year-old demographic group virtually depends on MTV to fashion its tastes and attitudes, MTV programming executives must assume responsibility for this power of persuasion and offer material with integrity and which appeals to a higher link on the brain chain.


Executive Creative Consultant

Hanna-Barbera Productions Inc.


The Prime-Time Drift

Regarding Rick Du Brow's column "Prime Time Continues Its Vulgar Drift" (July 10), in which he criticizes and condemns the state of prime-time network TV: Turn off the TV set and read a book. People aren't being forced to watch something they find offensive or vulgar.

Parents of young children who have a problem with network programming should take an active role in their children's lives and monitor what their children watch. Better yet, perhaps these parents might consider reading to, and with, their children, introducing them to different forms of music and art or maybe playing a game.

The idea that the TV set is the end all and be all of the American family is ridiculous, just as it is absurd to assume that we all must spend every evening glued to the tube. It is time Americans took a little responsibility for themselves and their children; expecting institutions and corporations to do that for us is frivolous, shortsighted and foolish.


Long Beach

* Thank you to Du Brow for "Prime Time Continues Its Vulgar Drift." If TV justifies its use of vulgar language on the theory that everyone talks that way, that TV is merely a reflection of the way people speak, then we, the people, need to do some vigorous vocabulary housecleaning.

Not only am I turned off by most offerings on TV, I, in turn, switch off the machine or find a channel that is not offensive. I am not alone. Let the advertiser beware.


Rancho Palos Verdes

Pricing a Movie Matinee

Re the July 3 Saturday Letter from Bill Dial ("Why the Movie Audience Is Shrinking"), his arithmetic became somewhat mixed up computing the cost of going to a matinee movie at a Sherman Oaks shopping mall theater.

If in fact Dial went to our theater in the Sherman Oaks Galleria, his cost for two matinee admissions, two small popcorns and two soft drinks would have been only $14.80, a far cry from $27.

Two hours of entertainment for two people, plus refreshments, for less than $15 is a whole lot cheaper than any other form of entertainment available outside the home. Additionally, even if Dial did not attend the bargain matinee, the total cost would have been $20.80, not $27. MILTON I. MORITZ

Vice President, Pacific Theatres

Los Angeles

Gangsta Rap's Ideas

Regarding "Rap Defense Doesn't Stop Death Penalty" (July 15): If companies spend millions to advertise their products and in 60 seconds can persuade you to buy them, then why is it so hard to believe that continuous listening to hostile gangsta rap lyrics could be a contributing factor in Ronald Ray Howard shooting a Texas state trooper?

It seems that ideas you continually put in your mind usually come out in your words and/or actions. I think that's something gangsta rap music artists should consider.



Nature Club

Re "Nature Club: Too Much of a Good Thing" (July 16): After reading Michelle Huneven's less-than-enthusiastic review of the Nature Club, my wife and I decided to ignore her comments and visit this new vegetarian restaurant in West Hollywood anyway. I am now convinced that Huneven wound up at a different cafe than we did.

All the food was excellent. Rather than rely on what our waitress might recommend, we decided to order what sounded good to us . The stuffed bell peppers with brown rice and vegetables were delicious, and the spinach and ricotta roll-ups with sun-dried tomatoes were incredibly good. The prices for these entrees were surprisingly reasonable, (roll-ups $7; bell peppers $6.25).

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