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LETTERS

Adolescent lie

August 30, 2003

Two months ago I read about the production of "Thirteen," and I could have predicted Manohla Dargis' review ("Girls Go Wild," Aug. 22). Of course, she would fawn all over the movie: how illuminating, how enlightening, how brutal and frank.

But the movie is a lie. It is as much of a lie as discussing human behavior based on watching two drunks fight in an alley. It may have happened, but it has nothing to do with how the rest of society lives.

I know 13-year-old girls. I'm actually raising one. I know her friends, her classmates, even the ones who don't particularly like her. I even know 13-year-old girls that my daughter doesn't know. None of them show up in this movie. Here is the truth about 13-year-old girls: The vast majority go to class, study, make friends, avoid drugs and alcohol, play sports, go to church, listen to their parents and try to figure their way in an increasingly adult world. The frightening little monsters of "Thirteen" are cartoon characters. Oh, there may be some teens like them, but some teens also murder their parents. They hardly represent teenage America.

Martin Zaehringer

Ventura

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