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Sick Society

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NEWS
February 19, 1999 | MIKE DOWNEY
Here's how sick our society has become: Calvin Klein has had to call off an advertising campaign that features children in underwear. Why? Because "it's nothing more than pornography," one protester reportedly claimed. A number of complaints caused Klein to discontinue ads and billboards that show boys and girls romping in their drawers. The company backed off because of increasing concerns about pedophilia.
ARTICLES BY DATE
ENTERTAINMENT
October 10, 2009
Re "Polanski, Seen Through His Own Lens," by Reed Johnson, Oct. 5: This was so long overdue. Thank you for addressing the real issue here. This is so much more than "Hollywood versus Middle America, liberals versus feminists, hardliners versus apologists." At issue is a fundamental perception of the artist and his role in society. Artists must by definition redefine their own moral universe, and this can be a terrible, ugly and devastating process. But what they "pay back" to us, what they contribute to society are enduring legacies we would barely fathom in our quotidian lives.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 4, 1993
I cried when I read the story about Dylan, the golden retriever who was bound with electric tape and left to suffer a long and agonizing death ("Threat Becomes Real--Someone Kills Family's Dog," June 29). Did Dylan bark so much that death was the only justifiable sentence? I think not. Sure, my dog barks a little. But if I ever thought someone was going to kill her because of it, I'd definitely remedy the situation. Wouldn't it have been decent to have given the Hutchinson family the same choice?
OPINION
July 10, 2003
Re "Iraqi Puppies Wiggle Way to U.S.," July 8: Am I just getting old and crotchety or is this a truly sick society that can bomb Iraq and condone collateral damage, i.e., kill some innocent civilians -- but that's all right because we can rescue a bunch of Iraqi dogs and bring them to America? In addition, someone should advise the servicemen and -women in Iraq who come from Los Angeles to stay in Iraq, where it is relatively safe, especially over long weekends. Eleven people were murdered over the Fourth of July weekend (July 8)
ENTERTAINMENT
September 14, 1986
My compliments to Michael Wilmington for his accurate assessment of "The Fly's" many merits ("Top Quality Horror Films: A Shocking Development," Aug. 31). This splendid film has been attacked by several critics whose knees jerked predictably at the sight of blood; no doubt audiences afflicted by similar delicacies will denounce "The Fly" as yet another product born of, and appealing to, our sick society. Wilmington had the sense to look deeper, and the sensitivity to find something there.
OPINION
July 10, 2003
Re "Iraqi Puppies Wiggle Way to U.S.," July 8: Am I just getting old and crotchety or is this a truly sick society that can bomb Iraq and condone collateral damage, i.e., kill some innocent civilians -- but that's all right because we can rescue a bunch of Iraqi dogs and bring them to America? In addition, someone should advise the servicemen and -women in Iraq who come from Los Angeles to stay in Iraq, where it is relatively safe, especially over long weekends. Eleven people were murdered over the Fourth of July weekend (July 8)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 4, 1991
This past spring, a merchant shot a customer. This past summer, a merchant shot a robber. This fall, a robber shot a merchant's daughter. What can we say about this? Are these racial tensions or manifestations of a sick society? Our leaders claim that they are racial tensions or cultural hostilities. But they are not racial. They are sicknesses of our society. We should not blame "race" for the pain and heartache brought forth by individuals. We must not ignore the fact that it is our responsibility as people to make our world a better community.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 30, 1989
It is clear that Goodwin has courageously reached into the core of what he described as the United States being "on the verge of a national deterioration." Goodwin mentions several symptoms of our decaying society, including the alarming increase in political and government corruption, crime, greed and the expansive use of drugs. He appropriately points to the fact that our "current epidemic of lawlessness and random violence" is due to "an erosion of that sentiment--best known as empathy--that links our feelings to the distress of our fellow human beings.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 10, 2009
Re "Polanski, Seen Through His Own Lens," by Reed Johnson, Oct. 5: This was so long overdue. Thank you for addressing the real issue here. This is so much more than "Hollywood versus Middle America, liberals versus feminists, hardliners versus apologists." At issue is a fundamental perception of the artist and his role in society. Artists must by definition redefine their own moral universe, and this can be a terrible, ugly and devastating process. But what they "pay back" to us, what they contribute to society are enduring legacies we would barely fathom in our quotidian lives.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 19, 1998
Shawn Hubler ("Explaining to the Children," Sept. 14) stated, "If we care so much about adultery, why didn't we insist on a classier guy?" Bingo, we elected a man who clearly defines who America has become. We have applauded ourselves for our nonjudgmental, "live as you may" attitude for so long that we have gotten trapped by that very ideology. If we, as a culture, condemned Bill Clinton for his actions then we ourselves would have to be judged. Maybe if this country saw its fair-haired boy do a little growing up and change his ways, we might just mimic him and do the same.
OPINION
April 13, 2003 | JOHN BALZAR
In case you've missed it, our promise of nation-building hasn't been going well, at least as regards to our own. Here are a few timely dispatches from experts on the front lines: Among large companies, 22% say they are about to eliminate health-care coverage for employees who are nearing retirement. An additional 13% already have. About 44% of these companies have raised the health-care premiums paid by retirees, and 36% now demand that retirees pay a greater share for medical treatment.
OPINION
May 28, 2002
This spring, Mark Charles Volpa Jr. locked himself in his grandmother's bedroom. His mother, Anita, was frantic but not surprised. Three times in five years her 21-year-old son had tried to kill himself. He said he was hearing voices. After three days, Anita broke in through a window. At her home, his condition worsened. According to the Fresno Bee, he told his mother he was injecting drugs straight into his head. She eventually took him to Fresno County's psychiatric assessment center.
NEWS
February 19, 1999 | MIKE DOWNEY
Here's how sick our society has become: Calvin Klein has had to call off an advertising campaign that features children in underwear. Why? Because "it's nothing more than pornography," one protester reportedly claimed. A number of complaints caused Klein to discontinue ads and billboards that show boys and girls romping in their drawers. The company backed off because of increasing concerns about pedophilia.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 19, 1998
Shawn Hubler ("Explaining to the Children," Sept. 14) stated, "If we care so much about adultery, why didn't we insist on a classier guy?" Bingo, we elected a man who clearly defines who America has become. We have applauded ourselves for our nonjudgmental, "live as you may" attitude for so long that we have gotten trapped by that very ideology. If we, as a culture, condemned Bill Clinton for his actions then we ourselves would have to be judged. Maybe if this country saw its fair-haired boy do a little growing up and change his ways, we might just mimic him and do the same.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 4, 1993
I cried when I read the story about Dylan, the golden retriever who was bound with electric tape and left to suffer a long and agonizing death ("Threat Becomes Real--Someone Kills Family's Dog," June 29). Did Dylan bark so much that death was the only justifiable sentence? I think not. Sure, my dog barks a little. But if I ever thought someone was going to kill her because of it, I'd definitely remedy the situation. Wouldn't it have been decent to have given the Hutchinson family the same choice?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 4, 1991
This past spring, a merchant shot a customer. This past summer, a merchant shot a robber. This fall, a robber shot a merchant's daughter. What can we say about this? Are these racial tensions or manifestations of a sick society? Our leaders claim that they are racial tensions or cultural hostilities. But they are not racial. They are sicknesses of our society. We should not blame "race" for the pain and heartache brought forth by individuals. We must not ignore the fact that it is our responsibility as people to make our world a better community.
OPINION
May 28, 2002
This spring, Mark Charles Volpa Jr. locked himself in his grandmother's bedroom. His mother, Anita, was frantic but not surprised. Three times in five years her 21-year-old son had tried to kill himself. He said he was hearing voices. After three days, Anita broke in through a window. At her home, his condition worsened. According to the Fresno Bee, he told his mother he was injecting drugs straight into his head. She eventually took him to Fresno County's psychiatric assessment center.
OPINION
April 13, 2003 | JOHN BALZAR
In case you've missed it, our promise of nation-building hasn't been going well, at least as regards to our own. Here are a few timely dispatches from experts on the front lines: Among large companies, 22% say they are about to eliminate health-care coverage for employees who are nearing retirement. An additional 13% already have. About 44% of these companies have raised the health-care premiums paid by retirees, and 36% now demand that retirees pay a greater share for medical treatment.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 30, 1989
It is clear that Goodwin has courageously reached into the core of what he described as the United States being "on the verge of a national deterioration." Goodwin mentions several symptoms of our decaying society, including the alarming increase in political and government corruption, crime, greed and the expansive use of drugs. He appropriately points to the fact that our "current epidemic of lawlessness and random violence" is due to "an erosion of that sentiment--best known as empathy--that links our feelings to the distress of our fellow human beings.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 14, 1986
My compliments to Michael Wilmington for his accurate assessment of "The Fly's" many merits ("Top Quality Horror Films: A Shocking Development," Aug. 31). This splendid film has been attacked by several critics whose knees jerked predictably at the sight of blood; no doubt audiences afflicted by similar delicacies will denounce "The Fly" as yet another product born of, and appealing to, our sick society. Wilmington had the sense to look deeper, and the sensitivity to find something there.
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