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Letters: Feb. 2, 1998

8 minute read


“The Seinfeld show is not about ‘nothing’; it is about manners and the breach of social contracts. Jerry Seinfeld is the Moliere of our time.” DAVID EVENSON Springfield, La.

I respect and understand Jerry Seinfeld’s decision to make this his show’s last season [TELEVISION, Jan. 12]. An ardent fan, I find myself disappointed that there won’t be any future episodes in which I could see Jerry in a puffy shirt and discover whom Elaine finds sponge-worthy. But Seinfeld will go out with dignity. Yada, yada, yada. NANCY HAMILL Alberton, P.E.I.

I almost feel as if there has been a death in my family. I do have a life, but I want Jerry in it for half an hour a week. CELESTE PIERCE Newport Beach, Calif.

There have been too many incredibly exaggerated media lamentations over Seinfeld’s departure. This isn’t the death of a President, just the self-elected termination of a program by a comedian with passing humor and little in the way of acting ability. The world will little note nor long remember… RON RIBBLE San Antonio, Texas

The Seinfeld show has succeeded in spite of Jerry, George and Elaine. Its popularity is due primarily, if not exclusively, to the unique character of Kramer. Without the original and inimitable personality of Michael Richards in this role, Seinfeld would not have survived its first season. If NBC is smart, it will replace Seinfeld with the Kramer show and let this refreshing talent continue to entertain TV audiences. WILLIAM C. ELLIS Groveland, Calif.

As Seinfeld’s show gained popularity among the staff at the public school where I teach, the day after Seinfeld became a time for everyone to laugh together at lunch about the antics of the prior evening’s episode. So many people are Seinfeld fans that phrases such as “master of my domain” or “it’s in the vault” bring immediate recognition and response even among strangers. Seinfeld has given us nine years of original, intelligent comedy and four unforgettable characters without a trace of American-sitcom sugarcoating. Seinfeld has made us closer as a nation by giving us something we can all laugh about. LISA M. PALUMBO Northampton, Mass.

Enough with the pop-culture thing! The media have outdone themselves with overkill of the Seinfeld-decision-to-quit “news” story. What is happening to journalistic standards? THOMAS BEYER Holland, Mich.


Michael Kennedy was an expert skier, and his death was not the result of reckless behavior [NATION, Jan. 12]. I was one of several fathers participating in the ski football game the day of the accident. I would certainly not have played with my 11-year-old son if there had been any evident danger. None of us were told not to play by any official of the Aspen Skiing Co. Ski-patrol members invariably skied behind us to complete their afternoon sweep, and ski-lift personnel routinely ferried our ski poles to the bottom of the mountain. Michael was the best all-terrain skier I have ever seen. He was skiing at a moderate speed on a well-lit and well-groomed intermediate slope, playing a game with his children, something many of us have done without incident for nearly 20 years. Like all sports, including ski racing and ski jumping, ski football has an inherent risk, but Michael’s death was far from reckless; it was a tragic accident. BLAKE FLEETWOOD New York City

Skiing is a hazardous sport, and the last hour before the lifts shut down is the most dangerous. Legs are tired, vision is impaired and judgment can be poor. The expert skier knows this. The Kennedys should never have been allowed to play their game. This death was not just another Kennedy tragedy; it was an act of sheer stupidity. DICK KENT Encino, Calif.

Members of the Kennedy family for the most part have quietly dedicated their lives to helping the disadvantaged. This to me is the Kennedy legacy. Whatever its flaws and human frailties, the family is still an example to the rest of us that a life of service is a higher calling. DIANE LEY San Diego


As a pilot, I was disappointed in your report on the T-3, the propeller-driven trainer flown by cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy that has killed six people in three crashes [NATION, Jan. 12]. By suggesting that the failure of the plane’s single engine has caused the aircraft to fall and corkscrew into the ground, you perpetuate the misunderstanding that flying and airplanes are inherently dangerous. The truth is that a good pilot will almost always walk away uninjured from an engine failure by finding an open space on the ground and gliding the plane to a forced but safe landing. LAWRENCE D. MARTIN Naples, Fla.

Thanks to Mark Thompson for turning the spotlight on the safety problems with the T-3. Our son, Captain Dan Fischer, mentioned in the report, was the first instructor to die in a T-3 crash. It is clear to us that the T-3 is a flawed “dream” plane, promoted by an arrogant Air Force general, Merrill McPeak. He expected inexperienced students to be able to do spins and rolls without parachutes. These young people were the victims of a program hurriedly begun before the T-3 was adequately adapted for the thin Colorado air, before instructors were sufficiently trained, before safety and mechanical problems were solved. Losing our son in such a senseless way has undermined our trust in this nation’s military leaders. American taxpayers should question the use of their money for such dangerous planes. LINDA and EARL FISCHER Jupiter, Fla.

What kind of military stupidity allows the top brass to decide the merits of training techniques in a proven inferior aircraft? A plane with 66 engine failures and 119 recommended “fixes” by its English manufacturer is a certain invitation to disaster. Even more asinine is the fact that the people in charge ignored the flight instructors’ declarations of danger. Maybe the top brass should have been forced to fly in the questionable T-3. That would have educated or eliminated our faulty decision makers. DANA VICKERY Gardner, Mass.


Your short piece on the marriage of Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn [PEOPLE, Jan. 12] said Mr. Allen is writing an off-Broadway show for Ms. Previn. This so-called news, based on nothing more than an item published in a New York City newspaper, is totally erroneous. LESLEE DART PMK Public Relations New York City

And so now Mia Farrow is Woody’s mother-in-law? RAY FISHER Miami


As a person with a mother and an aunt who have Alzheimer’s, I very much related to the accuracy of Roger Rosenblatt’s description of this horrid disease [ESSAY, Jan. 12]. Being with my mother is like encountering 10 different people at the same time. Which one will be at the other end of the exchange? The nasty one? The childlike one? The confused one? The hostile one? The loving one? Or, hardest of all, the one who seems as if she is the same sweet person I have always known? For whatever consolation it is, I believe that her awareness of pain flees as quickly as rational thought. But the pain for those of us who watch the process is unending. It is comforting to know that someone understands. MARGIE WAKEMAN-WELLS Culver City, Calif.


For California to outlaw smoking in bars is ludicrous [AMERICAN SCENE, Jan. 12]. It is one thing to ban smoking in restaurants, public buildings, malls, stadiums, hospitals, but in bars? Cigarettes and alcohol go hand in hand. The tavern, pub and bar have been smoke-filled environments for centuries. C’mon, give us smokers a break! I bet the next thing we’ll hear is that people who go outside to puff a cigarette are polluting California’s air. I’m sure glad I don’t live there. JENNIFER KRAEMER Dublin, Pa.

I’m amazed to find myself, a 65-year-old female, in agreement with a man who wears green fingernail polish, a feather boa and a skirt. But yes, dude; as weirdly dressed drummer Traci Michaelz said, It is all about control. Wake up, America! LOIS R. TAYLOR Widefield, Colo.


How sincere can Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin be about the U.S.’s taking a more active role in aiding hard-pressed Asian nations [WORLD, Jan. 12]? Isn’t this the guy whose links to an investment bank that underwrote Mexican bonds came under scrutiny after he mobilized the financial rescue of Mexico that included $20 billion from the U.S.? By destabilizing foreign currencies, Rubin and his ilk have done more to propagate human misery than the worst despots. They charge high interest rates to foreign countries, knowing that the U.S. taxpayer or the International Monetary Fund will aid these nations. JERRY JUNG Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

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