Letters

From 'Incredibles' director: animation a medium, not genre

The March 11 article "Hollywood sings a new kind of 'toon" refers to computer- generated animated feature films as "a hugely popular genre." Animation is not a genre.

Whether it's feature-length or short, whether it's computer-generated, hand-drawn, claymation, stop-motion, or anything else, animation is a medium, an art form that can tell stories in any genre.

Perhaps if the press (as well as film executives and filmmakers themselves) stopped confusing a method of storytelling with a single kind of story, the medium of animation would expand its horizons.
Brad Bird
Writer/director, "The Incredibles"
Emeryville, Calif.

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Time on the monkey bars still important

You write about school districts trying to make kindergarten students go to school all day ("Public schools follow the market, pitch all-day kindergarten," March 9); maybe you should write about how children need recess time, which many districts all over the US have taken away. You can't expect a kindergartner to sit all day, can you? I had recess when I was in elementary school and it made a world of a difference in how much attention I paid in the afternoon.

We all worry about obesity in small children; well, we obviously don't care enough because we are taking away recess time and maybe even phys ed time.
Tracey Baker
San Jose, Calif.

Flat tax on unearned dollars, too

In the March 8 article about the flat tax being adopted in many Eastern European countries, no mention was made as to whether the tax was just on earned income or also on unearned income. In former Communist countries there may not be many people with unearned income from interest, dividends, or capital gains. However, there are many taxpayers in the United States who have such income. When Steve Forbes proposed his flat tax, it was to be levied only on earned income.

Having just worked on filing my 2004 income tax, I can appreciate the simplicity of the flat tax. However, I cannot envision our country taxing wage earners but not those for whom all, or much, income is unearned - whether from inheritance or from prior income and investments.

In a democracy, everyone should share the responsibility and fulfilment of the country's needs - whether for defense, education, or other social needs.
Lorraine Anderson
Lawrenceville, N.J.

Education helps keep ex-cons out of jail

Regarding the Feb. 23 article "A shift to easing life after prison": Parole and supervision in one's life is not a normal paradigm. As such, even the most willing and obedient parolee has a great probability of violating his or her terms of supervision.

Transitional release programs do not make life any easier for the ex-convict, nor do they aid the offender in getting off to a better start. If we are to change, it must be with contracted faith-based programs and education.

Education has been proven to reduce recidivism significantly and yet education is being cut from many prison budgets. Allowing people to stay ignorant is not the answer, and is not harmonious with wanting to reduce crime by ex-convicts. Prisoners should be made to go to school for their entire commitment, and college courses should be made available to prisoners.

Because I've been in prison for a while, I was able to earn a college degree. Most of the men and women leaving the prison system of today will have no education, plenty of supervision, and fifty bucks. I like my odds of not coming back to prison a whole lot more than theirs; whose do you favor?
Carl Ridgeway
Arizona State Prison Complex
Winslow, Ariz.

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