Do-It-Yourself Censoring

Re "Videos: Who Makes the Final Cut?" (Oct. 5), I live in Texas and wish that some shop around here would have the moral fortitude to stand up for the family, the way that shop in Utah does. I do not want to censor any "work of art" for anyone else, but I should have the right to say what comes into my home.

If I chose to edit my own films, or have someone do it for me, I sure don't want some director or film company telling me I have to watch their version and not mine. At the same time I don't expect them to have to sell films edited only the way I like them.

It's like good Mexican food. Some people like to eat it very hot and spicy and others don't want any hot sauce on it. A good Mexican cook serves the food well seasoned but without the salsa. If someone wants it hotter, add it. But if you don't like it spicy, then hot peppers will ruin your whole plate of food. Why should life and our experiences be any different?

Cliff Russell

Arlington, Texas

I would gladly pay to have my movies edited. I was thrilled to read "Videos: Who Makes the Final Cut?" [about] this small company, and to know that there are many others out there who want the same things.

Rosemerri Rollins

Snohomish, Wash.

Morality and affirmative action

Regarding "Affirmative Action's Future on Line in Washington State" (Oct. 16), who are you trying to kid? Affirmative action was, is, and always will be discrimination. To favor or give preferential treatment to one group is obviously discriminating against all others.

You can argue that the end justifies the means, but it is still discrimination. It weakens any moral argument that discrimination is a bad thing. Who is to judge when discrimination is good or not? Certainly not the government.

William Fasula

Hamden, Conn.

Teenagers, Media, and Stereotypes

The article "TV's Teen Class of '98" (Oct. 9) reinforces a negative image of teenagers that has been propagated by the general media in analyzing the new shows of this fall season. It is troubling to see the Monitor add its own voice.

Like many other newspapers and magazines, the Monitor asserts that "The teens sound more like graduate students than high schoolers." It is attitudes like this that have helped create the teenage feelings of inadequacy mentioned in the article.

Today, the teenagers of Western nations are better educated and more articulate. Teenagers are often much more expressive, intelligent, and responsible than adults will give them credit for. Teenagers, especially boys, are widely [seen as] reckless and irresponsible. Even the most responsible face age discrimination.

Teenagers will rise to the level of maturity and articulateness that is expected of them, and an adult would act just like a "teenage" stereotype if another adult addressed him or her the way adults in this society often address their children.

R. Christian Colvin

San Francisco

Preserving nature

The information contained in "Nature Preserves Proliferating in US" (Oct. 1) was well presented and thought provoking. Living along the minute section of coastline belonging to Alabama, we have seen firsthand the decimation of the environment by a handful of greedy developers.

They, of course, could not pursue their projects without the equally greedy hands of local governments, eager for increased revenue.

The Nature Conservancy and the Alabama Forever Wild program have managed to rescue a few paltry parcels for the future enjoyment of the population.

Paul and Jill McArthur

Foley, Ala.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Only a selection can be published, and we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to oped@csps.com

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