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Where's Counterpoint?

I am disgusted by the photo on the front of your rag of film critic Matt Brunson with a crown of thorns on his head and the sarcastic headline about "Bashin' the Passion." You would think that since you went to the trouble to insult Christians with that photo and a bad review of The Passion of the Christ, you would at least run a counterpoint to Brunson's "bashing," after all it's an important movie. But I guess CL's phony "open-minded" views aren't open enough to allow for that.

-- Mac Lipscomb, Charlotte

Editor's Reply: Actually, Brunson's review of Mel Gibson's film was situated next to a positive review by film critic Felicia Feaster from our sister paper in Atlanta.

Doesn't Like Counterpoint

Although I am absolutely shocked that Creative Loafing gave a negative review to The Passion of The Christ ("Far From Heaven," Mar. 3) I can't believe we get a counterpoint to Matt Brunson's point of view. Despite the incredible sensitivity to Christians Mr. Brunson exhibits with his cover photo, his review says he doesn't like the film. But at least we have the other point of view written by Felicia Feaster to lend balance. In her review, we learn that somehow despite Mel Gibson "or anyone else who might use Christ as ...a martyr of tax cuts for the rich and war in Iraq" that the film succeeds, sort of. Can't miss a chance to bash those Republicans, even in our film reviews, so good going, Felicia!

The truth is, as the Bible says, those in darkness hate the light. What other movie has made audiences both young and old, black and white, Protestant and Catholic weep in conviction? Or leave the theatre saying, "I'm so sorry Jesus, thank you, thank you, thank you"? This film succeeded because so many knew that if the majority of the media was attacking it so vociferously, then in some profound, authentic way it must be doing something right. Something that unfortunately I don't think Matt or Felicia will ever understand.

-- Joe Alexander, Charlotte

Walters' Hissy Fit

David Walters couldn't be more off-base in his March 3 hissy fit "The Fool on the Hill." The Democratic National Committee, in league with the John Kerry campaign and their friends in the media, has fooled independent and third party voters into believing that what matters most in the upcoming presidential election is that they unify with Democrats to remove (what is essentially) a moderate Republican from office.

The true imperative for independent voters in this election is the same as it has always been: to eliminate the strangle-hold grip the two parties and the media have had on the throat of American politics since 1856 -- not to replace one member of the ruling class with a virtually indistinguishable member from the other party.

While it may be true that a third party challenge would most likely split the Democrat vote in favor of the incumbent, a long-shot Democrat victory assures the monopoly of the two-party system for at least another decade.

The Democrat Party of today is on life support, flailing about for independent voters in a desperate attempt to stay relevant and retain its diminishing share of the power, influence and money in Washington, DC. I am not alone in my belief that a defeat for Democrats in November will be a decisive blow for a party that has abandoned its progressive principles. The power vacuum created from the collapse of just one party will accelerate the emergence of an independent movement that advances the cause of peace, justice, civil liberties and the fulfillment of human potential within a sustainable environment.

-- Susan Dwightman, Charlotte

Ringling Does Mistreat Animals

Sorry, CL, but you are just wrong when you write: "...activists have yet to produce convincing evidence that Ringling's animals are being mistreated" ("See & Do," Mar. 3).

Your definition of mistreatment may differ; however, most compassionate people consider the routine use of chains, ropes, whips, bullhooks, muzzles, electric shock, and beatings to train, dominate, and control circus animals to be abusive.

Anyone interested in the brutal reality of life for a circus animal should go online to There are numerous eyewitnesses to, and video documentation of, circus animals being tormented, beaten, and injured (some fatally) by their trainers/handlers. Tell Tom Rider, former Ringling elephant handler, that there's no mistreatment of circus animals. Tom is the lead plaintiff in an ongoing civil suit against Ringling for animal cruelty. If he wins, it could mean immediate confiscation of all Ringling elephants and the beginning of the end for animals in circuses.

The only ones "debating" the mistreatment of circus animals are Ringling, other animal circuses, and the people in their pockets.

-- Barry Wohl, Charlotte

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