(5 of 5)
Your interview with Clint Eastwood and your glowing review of his movie Flags of Our Fathers [Oct. 23] disparaged the idea of war heroism at a time when the U.S., in the hard years to come, is going to desperately need heroes and patriots. Although the movie is ostensibly about the World War II battle of Iwo Jima and our government's propaganda campaign around the famous flag-raising photo, Eastwood obviously meant it as a comment on the Iraq war and the cynical machinations of the Bush Administration. I hold no brief for Bush and the Iraq war, but to attack them by sneering at the heroism and patriotism of Americans who served in an earlier, moral war is despicable.
AL RAMRUS Pacific Palisades, Calif.
James Poniewozik's essay "Postapocalypse Now" [Oct. 23] was an interesting look at pop culture's fixation on doomsday fantasies, but what we should take from the current visions of mass destruction is not the notion that we're getting too comfortable with Armageddon but the realization that fears of Armageddon have always been with us. Our time is little different from all the eras in which people believed the end of the world was imminent. Yet here we are in a world that somehow has not come to an end, resurrecting ancient symbols to describe our modern doomsday and thinking that things have never been this bad.
GLENN MEYER Union City, Calif.
I enjoyed Poniewozik's essay, but I don't think the U.S. is really "comfortable with the apocalypse." Despite all the bad things going on now, I think most Americans are oblivious, as they rarely read a newspaper or magazine and spend way too much time watching television sitcoms. But then, who am I to say that they don't have the best approach to handling impending doom? I guess I'll have to be worried for everyone.
BILL HAMELAU Charlotte, N.C.