HEDGING THEIR BETS
Response to “Welcome to Donkeyland!” August 8:
It’s certainly the case that elections are partly about different sectors of capital jostling for power (although it’s also striking how much they hedge their bets: Energy — a classic Republican sector — has given $1.3 million to Obama along with $1.9 million to McCain, according to the diagram. The same is true of most other sectors, spread out between the two candidates). But it’s a fallacy to believe this is the only or true meaning of elections. “Civil society” groups — labor unions, single issue advocacy (gun rights, abortion rights, health care, etc.), religious groups — are also part of each candidate’s coalition. This also needs to be taken into account when activists approach this election.
COMPLETE CORPORATE NEGLIGENCE
Response to “Bhopal Takes Action,” August 8:
Although the movement has achieved a lot these past few years, Union Carbide has yet to fully compensate the victims. The company’s attitude towards the disaster exemplifies the complete corporate negligence of a company willing to set up a potentially dangerous chemical enterprise in the developing world. They deserve to pay for destroying peoples’ livelihoods, their environment and their health. The water around the site is still contaminated, and yet the people have no choice but to drink it.
Response to “The Macktivist” column, August 8:
I think there is a big difference between people, usually men, who like sex with strangers outside, because that is where the strangers are (as in “bush cruising”) and people, often straight couples, who like having sex with a partner outside because it’s just plain wonderful. Nature is sexy, no two ways about it. There is also a big difference in the attitudes of the cops between the two different groups. Cops will often give straight couples a tap (not a slap) on the wrists and say, “Go forth and don’t let me catch you again, doing what I’d be doing if I weren’t in uniform!” They will say a lot less kinder things to gay men caught in the bushes with their pants down and their private parts doing stuff “agin’ God.”
OUR OWN WORST ENEMY?
Response to “Invincible Men Crush U.S. Anxieties,” August 8:
You failed to acknowledge the complex nature of these heroes, particularly in Iron Man and Batman, which is shown in both of these films’ somewhat ambiguous endings. There is a deep cynicism expressed in both films about the nature of the hero and the myth that the battle between good and evil only happens between the hero and the villain. Throughout Batman in particular, the Joker and Batman depend on the actions of regular folks, which both surprise and perplex the hero and the villain at times. But in the end Batman is forced into the shadows to protect a myth, a national lie to maintain hope. In contrast to your view, it seems to me that Hollyweird is actually reinforcing the notion of a nation full of insecurity and anxiety filled with larger, deeper troubles and that even superheroes cannot always protect us from our worst tendencies.