Banned Books in Prison; Best Movies of the 1980s

Our online readers responded to Richard Connelly's Hair Balls item ["Book Learning, April 3] on the books the Texas prison system is banning for its inmates.

Brilliance: Ah, the brilliance of unelected bureaucratic standard setters.

I once heard of a study recommending complete banning of "explicit" magazines after claiming that 75 percent of death-row inmates perused such — to which I retorted that water should be banned as well since it was virtually certain that 100 percent of all prison inmates had used this addictive substance.


Ignorance: The article only helps to highlight the ignorance of those responsible for rehabilitating Texas's criminal offenders — no big surprises there. The comments concerning the article, however, shine a blinding light on the ignorance of the general public regarding our prison system.

Our state is quickly headed to becoming a police state, not only populated by poor minorities, but by suburbanites as well. We can thank our overeager elected judiciary for that, as they try to secure their bench seats for yet another term.


Geography: Hey, it is Texas, after all. The "authorities" are only on the free side of the bars temporarily. Then again, considering how it is Texas, what difference does it make?

Stuck in Texas

Movie Picks

And from other online readers we had a lot of response to a Miss Pop Rocks column on the best movies of the 1980s.

Beetlejuice: How could you forget Beetlejuice, MPR? It offered a totally different view of death (and a very thin Alec Baldwin), and included all my favorite stars at the time: Winona Ryder, Jeffrey Jones, Catherine O'Hara, and Michael Keaton.

Every once in a while, when I'm alone, I still say, "Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, ­Beetlejuice."

[email protected]!

Ferris Bueller: Ah, Miss Pop Rocks, I couldn't agree with you more on Ferris Bueller. I even thought that ultra-cool and hot chicks like Mia Sara were just a-waitin' for the picking. Sad, oh so sad...

Bob Ruggiero

The Lost Boys: The Lost Boys — great '80s soundtrack, cool horror and what about those glam rock hairdos and Kiefer Sutherland's bilevel haircut I believe I had back in the day? The other great movie would be Robocop, with its over-the-top violence and references to Reaganomics and the excesses of those days. Everything a teenage boy loves!


More Ferris: Miss Pop Rocks, I wonder if we might know each other from our youth as I, too, grew up middle class and Catholic and experienced severe depression, grade anxiety and massively low self-esteem during my high-school years.

That said, I still have a crush on Cameron Frye from Ferris Bueller. I just wanted to cuddle with him and listen to the radio and let it happen naturally, y'know? I think the hockey jersey did it for me.


Back to: Oh my gosh, how could you leave out Back to the Future! I had such a crush on Michael J. Fox — oh hail to the Power of Love! Now that's heavy, Doc. :)


Good golly: Isn't that Molly Ringwald????


Fast Times: Omigod! How could you not mention Fast Times at Ridgement High! I had such a crush on Phoebe Cates! Omigod, I Judge Reinholded in the shower for years to the image of that beautiful hunk of woman disrobing. And I had a crush on Molly Ringwald, too, though she wasn't in that movie. And I had a crush on Kelly McGillis in Top Gun. Hell, I even had a crush on Jessica Rabbit! Wow, I could write about my crushes for days, even weeks. Maybe even years!

Again with the avocado!


Unimaginable: I'm 46 and I have managed to not see E.T.


Purple Rain: Pretty dumb no one mentioned Purple Rain if you are going for '80s non-PC, but the soundtrack was bigger than anything mentioned so far.

Also Fast Times, like mentioned before, and Valley Girl. And Less Than Zero (good book, bad movie with great soundtrack).

JJ McClure

Pink: Pretty in Pink is one of my favorite '80s movies. I identified with Molly Ringwald's character; she was an outsider who didn't take shit from anyone. However, I didn't have guys (rich or poor) hanging around me or a cool job at a record store. But I did wear a pink dress to prom.


Michael's Fan Club

Online readers didn't much like Craig Lindsay's review of Michael Jackson's anniversary album ["Remaking Michael," April 3].

Thumbs down: Crap review, and very bitter-sounding.

Simon Paterson

Freak: If you can not write a decent article on Mr. Jackson without the same old tiresome, stupid, ignorant, remarks about old rumors and tabloid press remarks, do not write about Michael Jackson at all. The only freak I see in this article is you, with your stupidity about a great artist.


Loser! All I want to say here is the T25 album still reigns on top. This author obviously doesn't know anything, since he's bashing the ultimate musical genius on earth.


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