Letters: Don Schrader, Film Critic

Don Schrader, Film Critic

4 min read
Share ::
I would not watch most movies even if I were paid! Most movies are a stupid waste of time, talent and money. Most movies are saturated with glamorized murder, money-addiction, rape, robbery, booze, revenge or war! Why would adults who damn violence on our streets enjoy watching movie violence for entertainment?

Regardless of how many jobs and dollars, most movies made in New Mexico are nothing to celebrate. Spiritually, they are
crap! Sadly, most actors sell their talent with little or no conscience about how violent or how shallow the movie is. If the pay is high enough, most actors will take the role regardless of the movie’s poison message. Why should actors make more money than farmworkers in the hot sun harvesting fruit and vegetables to feed us?

I compliment movies about forgiveness, about enemies becoming friends, about working for justice and peace. I compliment movies about honoring nature, growing food, changing how we live to slow climate change, enjoying living simply. I compliment movie about natural healing, naked body freedom, passionate sex and romance between María and Pedro, or María and Juanita or Pedro and Felipe. I treasure certain movies that move me deeply to tears and to good action.

Letters: Shares In America Shares In America

I am increasingly aware of the “growing divisions” in our nation, and I agree with David Ignatius (in the Albuquerque Journal, Jan. 6) that these fractures “may bear bitter fruit.” Our candidates for national office speak often of the Stock Market and the middle class, but—since John Edwards tried to call our attention to the “Two Americas” 14 years ago—hardly anyone speaks at all about the homeless (who, to judge from another Journal article of Jan. 1, must now number about 10 million—since homeless children and adults over 25 must double that statistic). This neglect of attention may be explained by the fact that the homeless are deprived of the right to vote, and even the working poor, sometimes living in their own cars, are too preoccupied with survival to know who to vote for. Fearful that this situation can only be exacerbated by the recently passed legislation about tax reform, I hasten to offer a “Modest Proposal” which I’ve been pondering and which I hope could offer some slight alleviation.

I recall that when former Governor of Alabama Bob Riley was voted into office (2003) he proposed a tax plan to help, in his words, “the least among us.” Not surprisingly, only one in three voters supported the legislation. And yet it occurred to me that if we could do as well at the national level with one in three adult citizens willing to help, we might extend a hand to those Americans who live in poverty without further dividing them from those who don’t.

I have in mind a voluntary program to be called “Shares in America.” If one third of our adult citizens volunteered to purchased a $20 Share in America (and thus receive a “certificate” of thanks) to aid the “least among us,” we might then salvage some good will that we currently overlook. Indeed, some might even buy more than one share, bringing our yield to at least a billion dollars ($20 x 50 million) to be invested in an endowment, so that nothing would ever be lost, and our good works could be accomplished as the dividends allowed. Not enough, some will contend, to solve the problem.

But wait. Since research now shows that the richest one percent of Americans own nearly twice as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent combined, could we not cajole this top percent (
Forbes Magazine reports that the current man at the top is worth $90 billion) to contribute a “matching fund,” bringing our endowment to a startling point of at least $2 billion? Enough, surely to get started. And don’t forget we could conduct this drive annually (starting from Easter, say, and peaking at the 4th of July) and thus produce more “tiny home” communities for the homeless at a faster rate each year, since our endowment—and thus our dividends to work with—could only grow.

It could perhaps be said that nothing raises the standard of living as much as the mutual good will of those who are doing the living. The voluntary “Shares in America” program could demonstrate at least a gesture toward surviving good will, and should a trend be thereby encouraged, the dividends might well surpass expectations

Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number via email to letters@alibi.com. They can also be faxed to (505) 256-9651. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium; we regret that owing to the volume of correspondence we cannot reply to every letter. Word count limit for letters is 300 words.

1 2 3 455