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Give more credit to documentaries

June 16, 2007

Re "Don't make me watch!" Opinion, June 10

Jon Queenan's primary objective may be to amuse rather than persuade his readers to avoid documentaries. However, he is admitting to the same corrupting mental laziness of millions of other Americans who expect the media to amuse rather than inform them. Poor Queenan may be marked for life by "hair-raising memories" of being forced to watch documentaries in "steamy, smelly" high school auditoriums, but this does not diminish Thomas Jefferson's common-sense warnings still relevant today: "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."

No doubt our founders' own "hair-raising memories" and newly won freedom gave them a preference for "enlighten" and "inform" rather than "amuse."

JUNE MAGUIRE

Mission Viejo

*

Admittedly, I haven't watched "An Inconvenient Truth." After reading Queenan's article, I am more compelled than ever to watch the film, which none of us probably really wants to face deep down. Though I applaud Queenan's candor, his escapist sentiments strike a raw nerve. If all of us are too busy living our lives to become engaged in this very important discussion, whose lives will we be living if corporate greed and global warming obliterate life as we know it?

KRISTEN BIBBY

Solana Beach, Calif.

*

So Queenan says he can't watch "An Inconvenient Truth" because "I've got a life." I'll bet he's wasted a lot of that life seeing crummy Hollywood movies. To compare what he saw in high school decades ago with modern documentaries is ludicrous.

What's the matter, Joe, don't want to find out the truth? You're a writer. Get a life.

STANLEY GORDON

Canoga Park

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