Shaken and stirred
I read with initial interest David Templeton's ultimately souring advice for acquiring what he insists on misrepresenting as a "martini" ("Hot and Cold," March 3). Alas, inserting vodka into an otherwise fine martini glass has evidently become so fashionable that even our media outlets are allowing this rampant deterioration to the sanctity of our nation's greatest libation.
A martini is composed of gin and dry vermouth. Period. All other pestilential swill of vodka, or cranberry juice, or lawnmower oil masquerading as a "martini" is an offense against piety and should be viewed as a microcosm of our crumbling American goodwill.
"It has to be, of course, a vodka martini," the writer boasts in the same ignoble manner that mentally stifled men might declare that "Spiro Agnew was a national treasure" or "Women adore a husband who beats the children." He goes on to insult the great spirit by association, in decreeing that gin "just makes a burger taste weird." Had his brain tissue been not knackered with the pitiful poison of the potato he might see facts.
To wit, that there is nothing on this great planet—no ominous rainclouds, no out-of-tune song, no boorish, frumpy girl—that cannot be made exponentially more pleasant with the simple addition of four ounces of gin.
I trust you will print my letter to set the record straight, and may God have mercy on this misguided new generation of irreverent tinkerers.
Silver Lining bunkery
Your cover story on the flowering of the arts during the recession was illuminating, but barely touched on the problem of creative minds unable to find paying work ("Silver Lining Special," March 10). Yes, it is heartening to see vacant buildings used for galleries and music venues, and free-for-all "jamboree" events surely promote a valuable cross-pollination of otherwise disparate artists, musicians, painters, writers, dancers and actors. But the time has come for these people to get paid. Too bad that as more of our talent is given away for free, the less companies will expect to have to pay for it once the economy bounces back. If I have learned anything as an artist, it is that there is no "silver lining" in devaluing your field.
Great nefu desert of cinemascope
After seeing the photo of Peter O'Toole in your movie capsules (March 10), I was really looking forward to the screening of Lawrence of Arabia at the Spreckels Performing Arts Center. Alas, it became obvious in the first few moments that the film was being projected to fill their screen's 16-by-9 aspect ratio, not in its original Cinemascope glory. I couldn't bear watching it, so I walked out. The manager at first didn't seem to understand my complaint, but then got it and explained that they couldn't "do" Cinemascope. Since on the next two Sundays they're featuring Camelot (Cinemascope) and Ben-Hur (Ultra Panavision), I thought I'd warn any film buffs out there not to waste their $6 and time.
Have you heard the political radio ads that Meg Whitman has been airing? Meg, as you may not know, is running for the Republican nomination for governor of California, and she has a solution to California's problems. Is the problem about jobs, after all our unemployment rate is higher than the 10 percent nationwide average? No. Certainly it is about healthcare, which is on everbody's mind? Nope. Perhaps it is about schools or libraries or closing parks? Nah. The problem is single mothers with a couple of children who are on welfare. Meg's solution is to limit the time that they can be on welfare from five to two years. There you have it folks, the Republican level of consciousness.