Letters

Clunker Concerns
D.J. Wilson's article "Clunkers R Us" [News, January 12] captures the irony of the poor shouldering the costs of reducing industrial pollution excesses. Clearly, someone forced to drive a worn-out car is unlikely to have the money to go out and purchase a new car.

However, the article fails to point out two key points. First, the age of the car is not as important as its tune condition. California has found that the computer-filled cars made since the early '80s are much more likely to go to a "full pollution mode" as sensors in the fuel and emissions system fail.

Secondly, parts from cars made prior to 1980 are critical to the car restoration business. Auto hobbyists depend upon recycling the parts from discarded cars. Programs that crush cars for pollution credits spell doom for the parts supply for car restoration.

Two years ago, California's Bureau of Automotive Repair believed that pre-1980 cars accounted for at least three-fourths of the state's "gross polluting" vehicles. That position helped fuel enthusiasm for the cash-for-clunkers schemes now being carried out by Unocal and other companies. Now, it seems, the California Bureau is changing its mind.

Basically, what California has learned from its smog check program is that gross polluting vehicles cannot be isolated into any convenient categories -- certainly not by age. Other studies have shown that 50 to 60 percent of all vehicle pollution is caused by just 10 percent of the vehicles, a minority that includes vehicles of all ages, and the experience in California has tended to bear that out.

G.P. Hamel
Houston

MegaMad
Recently, I read an article from your magazine concerning the Megadeth show in Houston [Critic's Choice, "MegaStoopid," by Brad Tyer, January 19]. The author of the article, I believe it's Brad Tyer, seems to be rather disturbed at the title, as well as the artwork, on the new Megadeth album Youthanasia. He even makes a vague attempt to tie the title to an old saying, youth "in" Asia. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Mr. Tyer really has no idea as to what Mr. Mustaine and company imply by their new album's title and cover artwork.

Immaturity seems to bother Mr. Tyer. I recall him stating: "I thought that the unfortunate play on words had been left in the permanent dust of adolescent humor." This may come as a surprise to the author, but he should really look in the mirror if it's immaturity that he's looking for. If the author needs to lower himself to the point where he's criticizing someone's looks, he's pretty hard up for reasons to critique that individual as well as short on something called maturity. Not everyone does their hair like you Brad.

"Way back in the old days," people used to care about politics, care about children, care about other people, and think before they spoke. MegaStoopid? Try the article.

Keith Clear
Houston

MegaMiffed
This letter is written in response to a column written in your paper entitled "Megastoopid." [Critic's Choice, by Brad Tyer, January 19] Well, not only does that make the author out to be megastupid, the article showed he has no understanding of what Megadeth is all about. Youthanasia has nothing to do with 'Youth in Asia,' but rather represents the band's feelings about how the youth of the world are being treated. Euthanasia is killing of older people, Youthanasia is the killing of our youth.

And about the Food Drive, had it been a band like REM or something, you probably would have written about how great it was they are trying to feed the homeless. However, since it's Megadeth trying to help, it's just a promotion.

In conclusion, your paper made Megadeth out to be some trendy, do anything to sell records and get in the spotlight band, and that is just not true. Megadeth has been around since 1984, and has never been a hairband. Next time, get your facts straight.

Mike Hill
Houston

Edith Hits the Mark
Edith Sorenson's piercing review of Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle [Film, "Dorothy Done Dirty," January 5] was right on target. What might have been an interesting movie about a wonderful writer and her fellow literary members of the famous Algonquin Round Table, by virtue of its most interesting subject, was a distasteful disaster. The movie denigrated the intellectual exchange of the Round Table to little more than repartee over drinks.

Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle also trivialized Dorothy Parker's life, portraying a talented and successful writer as a clever drunkard with suicidal tendencies. Perhaps the omission of Dorothy Parker's passionate conviction that the world could be made better for others was the real tragedy of the movie. Mrs. Parker was involved in and supported a number of causes, including civil rights in America and the unsuccessful effort to defend democracy from fascism in Spain. There was no sign of this Dorothy Parker in Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle.

Stephen Chicoine
Houston

Sappy Slop
No way Immortal Beloved is "one of the most passionate and eloquent films about art ever made" [Film, "Sounding the Soul," by Matt Zoller Seitz, January 5]. Bernard Rose's Immortal Beloved is about as passionate as a soap opera and as eloquent as an MTV video.

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