TV Violence Appeals Only to Emotions

TV Violence Appeals Only to Emotions

Regarding the front-page article ''Washington Turns Up the Debate on TV Violence,'' July 14: Capital Cities/ABC spokeswoman Julie Hoover's disclaimer that ''my violence could be your thoughtful program,'' is as disingenuous as tobacco company claims that no one has yet proven smoking to be harmful to health. Graphic violence does not appeal to thought; it appeals to the emotions and the senses and is used only to attract viewers and to sell products.

Today's debate over television violence centers on children and suggests that discretionary viewing (ensured by a ''V-chip'' if necessary) will protect individuals from unwanted sensationalism. However, the climate of sensationalism on television is so pervasive as to be almost inescapable.

Censoring television violence may be no more viable than banning cigarette smoking, but defending either is inherently antisocial. After all, what is bad for children is usually not good for adults.

Kathe Geist Brookline, Mass.

Writing to Congress - by hand

The article ''Constituents Unleash Mail on Congress, Taxing Staffs,'' July 10, is truly discouraging to those of us who write letters of persuasion to our representatives in government.

For years we have written to them mostly by hand. We rarely use the prewritten, preadressed postcards mentioned in the article. We average a letter a month, and the replies are often evasive, generalized, and bland. Yet the reponses always assure us that representatives hear from us.

We wish that more people wrote individuals letters to representatives about their concerns. We wish, too, that a large percentage of people registered and voted.

Hope and Frank Scrogin Corvallis, Ore.

Taiwan, the PRC, and missile testing

The article ''China's Shot Across Bow of Taiwan Riles Asians,'' July 24, is a poignant reminder that the People's Republic of China (PRC) continues to be a threatening force in the Asia-Pacific region.

Since July 21, the PRC has launched a week-long surface-to-surface missile test approximately 85 miles off Taiwan's northern coast. Concern over such belligerent tactics is not limited to Taiwan; there is great concern that they will lead to instability in the entire region.

The government of the Republic of China on Taiwan recognizes that China is divided at present. It seeks, however, to establish a unified China which is democratic, free, and equitably prosperous as outlined in its guidelines for National Unification; it has never advocated independence. In the interim, however, for the purpose of nurturing the nascent cross-straits relationship with mainland China, it's imperative that the PRC not resort to the use of force to settle this issue, a view strongly supported by the international community.

Eddy Tsai Boston Director of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office

Gill net ban serves useful purpose

I was very much offended by the slanted rhetorical writing in the article ''Fisherman Flounder as Gill Net Ban Kicks In,'' July 5: ''Armed with out-of state donations, and a few high-priced lobbyists, the conservationists easily got their message out.''

The issue is not whether people in other states are interested in the devastating effects of gill net fishing. And it is not whether environmental groups have lobbyists in Washington. The issue is whether the fish are being taken faster than they can reproduce because if they are, that is bad for all of us. The fishermen have my sympathy, but cutbacks are not caused by environmentalists. They are caused by the fact that the resources are reaching a natural limit.

Francesca Hampton Santa Cruz, Calif.

Your letters are welcome. For publication they must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published and none acknowledged. Letters should be addressed to ''Readers Write'' and may be sent by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by Internet E-mail (200 words maximum) to OPED@RACHEL.CSPS.COM.

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