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        Entertainment & Arts

        Calendar Feedback: Season tickets support of the L.A. Phil

        Gustavo Dudamel.
        Gustavo Dudamel conducts at the Hollywood Bowl.
        (Los Angeles Times)

        Re: “Renew Season Tickets? Uh-oh” [May 4]: This article portrays the Los Angeles Phil as insensitive in moving forward with ticket sales for the 2020-21 season while facing the greatest challenge in its history (the COVID-19 pandemic).

        The public should be even more supportive now, not less. Season ticket holders have access to free ticket exchanges should they feel ill or for whatever other reason. I fear that this article will lead to fewer people renewing when the L.A. Phil needs us the most.

        Further, the last paragraph of the article quotes L.A. Phil fan Robert Rootenberg as saying, “I’m especially looking forward to ‘Einstein on the Beach,’ the Peter Sellars opera.”

        “Einstein on the Beach” is a Philip Glass opera and is not part of the L.A. Phil’s ’20-’21 season.


        I look forward to two operas that will be part of the ’20-’21 season: “Nixon in China” and “Girls of the Golden West” (for which Sellars wrote the libretto).

        Renew season tickets for the L.A. Phil? Yes. Support the arts when they are on life support. And support the musicians of the L.A. Phil, who provide us with the greatest balm for the soul of all the arts, music.

        Jonathan Breton
        Mission Viejo

        Sharing freedom taken for granted


        In TV Critic Robert Lloyd’s review of Netflix’s new series “Hollywood” [“1940s ‘Hollywood’ Was Not Like This,” May 1] he writes “[W]e are not quite in our world.”

        This is true. We’ve had decades of Hollywood films where women and black, LGBTQIA and people of color are disappeared or disparaged, essentially depicting a white male filmmaker’s fantasy world.

        Lloyd is complaining of the same in this series, only this series promises a world where the stories of the marginalized are central.

        I, for one, will watch because the marginalized should be afforded the same latitude and freedoms white males were given for decades.


        Cybele Garcia Kohel

        Rhapsodizing about Gardner

        Thanks for R.J. Smith’s profile of Bill Gardner [“‘Rhapsody’ in R&B,” April 28]. No other radio show in the area plays the old music that Gardner plays on KPFK. The music is great, the host is very mellow. I’m sure KPFK can use the publicity that your article brings.

        Until Gardner can get back into the studio music lovers will enjoy his reruns, as well as the other fine programming produced by KPFK.


        Donna Leslie-Dennis
        Long Beach

        Take astrology with grain of salt

        I was shocked by Zan Romanoff’s review of astrology books [“Astrology’s Appeal a Sign of the Times,” April 26]. I think it’s irresponsible to uncritically present the idea that astrology is a way to know oneself.

        What could this powerful complex force be that was somehow missed by centuries of scientific endeavor?


        Astrology dates back to when we thought the stars and planets were lights in a heavenly sphere and the Earth was the center of the universe. Today we know that stars, like our sun, are large dense emitters of light of many different sizes at varying great distances. Constellations are just patterns we make from our Earth location from their mostly random spacing.

        One can explain how astrology “seems to work” by human psychology that sees patterns and remembers matches far better than mismatches. So in knowing a person’s astrological sign before getting to know the person, many “see” those astrological sign characteristics. But personality tests done first cannot be matched to astrological signs any better than random.

        All scientific tests of astrology have failed miserably. Please don’t try to characterize or pigeonhole anyone based on their astrological sign.

        Tom Gingell
        San Diego


        Two varied takes on quarantine

        There were two great but very different articles in the Monday, April 27, Calendar. [“Quarantine Diary”] was a clever, funny satire by author Lionel Shriver of a highly fabricated tale of the wonderfully beneficial rewards of the lockdown, interlaced with hilarious vignettes of the actual experience. It was brilliant.

        The other, by art critic Christopher Knight [“Napoleon a Pioneer in Plague Spin”], chronicles how famous French painter Antoine-Jean Gros falsely depicted Napoleon’s actions, propagandizing Bonaparte as a “miracle worker” in a plague that may well have been started by his wholesale slaughter of countless prisoners and the execution of many of his own troops who were sick from the plague during his siege of Egypt and Syria.

        It’s an engaging, well-written, informative article on how even fine art can turn truth “into feel-good fiction,” which Knight identifies as “disinformation.”


        However, I wasn’t a fan of the comparisons to President Trump in the last two paragraphs.

        Joseph F. Paggi Jr.

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