7 minute read

The People’s Princess
Thank you for commemorating Diana, Princess of Wales, and her untimely death 10 years ago with a heartfelt cover story [Aug. 27]. The saddest aspect of Diana’s destiny is that if Prince Charles had devoted to Diana one-tenth the affection and support he has lavished on Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Diana would probably still be alive, and the two would be a formidable team as popular parents of two royal princes and as king- and queen-in-waiting. Diana was an invaluable asset to the British monarchy and a leading light for many humanitarian causes. Her tragic death is an incalculable loss for us all.
Karl H. Pagac,
Villeneuve-Loubet, France

Diana mattered mostly because Britain’s royal family lacked her vigor and exquisite charm. She stole the hearts of millions of people around the world with her wit, beauty and abundant grace — attributes that enabled her to sway public opinion regardless of the project she was engaged in. She had urbanites from big cities and tribal people from the remotest regions eating from her hand — sometimes literally — as she preached compassion for the needy, hungry and destitute. Her legacy can be found in the charities she so brilliantly promoted and administered to make the world a better place. May she rest in peace.
Kris Sahay,
Winnipeg, Canada

Rove’s Curtain Call
The Sultan of Spin, Karl Rove, may be leaving the White House but not with his tail between his legs [Aug. 27]. Writer James Carney reminded us that Rove brushed aside George W. Bush’s failure in bipartisanship because of what Rove called the hostility of the Democrats. Rove also discounted polls that portrayed a damaged American image in the world as politically imprecise. He will spend a little more time with his family of two, cut a bit of Texas brush with his buddy at the Crawford compound and continue to pursue his dream of “a durable Republican majority.” “Out of the Picture” Rove shall never be.
Celine E. Riedel,
Avon Lake, Ohio

Considering that Bush’s presidency may go down in history as one of the most incompetent, on both foreign and domestic fronts, I’m not sure that I would want to be considered “the architect” or “Bush’s brain.” The stupidity and lack of forethought in all that this Administration has attempted have been shocking, to say the least. Can someone please tell me where was “the genius” in all this?
Loretta Korsmo,
San Diego

Broad Appeal
I’m a 15-year-old, and Zac Efron’s face immediately grabbed my attention [Aug. 27]. James Poniewozik’s description of the Disney Channel’s High School Musical was accurate. It’s a Disney movie that every kid loves, with its inspiring message to follow your dreams. I tuned in to watch the sequel, High School Musical 2, and while I again sang along with the musical numbers, I felt disappointed at the end. Unlike in the original, Efron’s character, Troy, was willing to sacrifice his promising future just because his teammates and girlfriend became a little jealous of his newfound success. Disney could send a more consistent message, especially considering its influence on young, impressionable minds.
Abha Gallewale,
Lexington, Massachusetts

Thank you for the article on teen heartthrob Zac Efron. I recently became a big fan of his after seeing his performance in Hairspray. He is extremely talented and very sexy yet wholesome. I haven’t been this excited about a celebrity in a long time. And he isn’t just for the tweens and teens. I happen to be a 41-year-old mother of two boys.
Amanda Posito,
Chatsworth, California

All the News That Was Fit to Fake
I am happy to see that such a highbrow publication deigned to write about the passing of the Weekly World News, a tabloid that will truly be missed by Americans stuck in the checkout line [Aug. 27]. But I disagree with Joel Stein’s claim that it’s “a sign of progress for a society to go from inventing gods and monsters to seeking catharsis in the real life of Paris Hilton.” That’s as laughable as Bat Boy running for President. The Weekly World News lost readers because people turned to the Internet. Instead of waiting for a weekly paper to suspend disbelief, they write blogs, generate websites and post videos on YouTube to publicize their ignorance. You will never convince me that reading about Paris Hilton is progress.
Vicki E. Green,
Fullerton, California

Kudos to Stein, with a shared sigh of relief, for his farewell to the Weekly World News. One can only hope that its demise does in fact signal the decline of American credulity and not just a shift to other fairy tales still told in churches, mosques and temples across the country.
Jonathan Chong
Colorado Springs, Colorado

In the Clouds of Jet Exhaust
In “The Fog of Flying” [Aug. 20] Pico Iyer described his “week in the clouds” on business flights. I fail to understand what the purpose of such frenzied flying might be. Iyer apparently assumes that such behavior will impress people, but it certainly doesn’t impress me. Sorry, but such senseless jet-hopping has nothing to do with cultivated travel — plus it adds significantly to environmental pollution. And who the heck pays for that?
Gerhard L. Mueller-Debus
Frankfurt, Germany

Betrayed by the Bureaucrats
Thanks to Jeff Israely for his blunt, revealing discussion of Italy’s misruling class [Aug. 13]. Sometimes you need to see a situation from an outsider’s point of view to become aware of something relevant. Reading Israely’s merciless words, I reconsidered the recent shameful behavior of our politicians, and by the end of the article, I felt very embarrassed. So this is the way the world sees us! Yet I would really like to put in a word for a politician who is trying to do his best: Pier Luigi Bersani is striving to put an end to some of the most striking anomalies in the wasteland of the government. Unfortunately, he is more and more alone in his quest.
Roberta Fazzi,
Motroni, Italy

Millions of honest and hardworking Italians have to fight a daily battle against the arrogant and corrupt ruling class just to keep their heads above water. While the Italian population is getting progressively poorer, the local and central misruling class is getting richer and more arrogant and behaving as though it is above the law, while demanding more money from taxpayers. Italians are fed up, but it seems impossible to get rid of this crooked ruling class. Thank you, TIME, for verbalizing what millions of us feel and would like to see reported by Italian newspapers and television.
Arturo Abbiati,

Reviving Tradition
Te Toko Sekiguchi’s “Relax, The Company’s Buying” [Aug. 20]: From the 1960s to the ’80s the Japanese believed that workplace success was the top priority. Corporations rewarded employees for their service by applying the seniority wage system and guaranteeing lifetime employment. But the country’s economic slump in the ’90s destroyed this close-knit corporate culture, undermining the traditional work ethic. Despite signs of Japan’s improving economy during the past several years, workers have become suspicious of employers’ proposals for bringing back conventional labor policies. Younger salarymen came to value career moves over lifetime employment because they lost trust in their employer, who may very well let them go at any time, regardless of their contribution to the firm. It will be difficult for Japanese companies to revive traditional business customs and boost worker loyalty.
Chiaki Yamazaki,

Kids of Courage
The article about young cancer survivors spoke to me [July 30]. I had cancer when I was 13. Now I look at life very differently, and I can understand how to help others reach their own milestones in life. I too had chemotherapy and radiation and a host of side effects. I have been free of cancer for nearly 20 years, and with the medication I’m on, I stand a good chance of a normal life. Survivor Karen Dyer, featured in your report, is a wonderful role model. She has shown that one can survive cancer and live a normal life thereafter. The only difference between Karen’s story and my own? Mine takes place in South Africa.
Timothy Wallace,
Ermelo, South Africa

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