Readers write: ‘Parasite’ interpretation, global patterns, and more

Letters to the editor for the March 2, 2020 weekly magazine. Readers discuss the film “Parasite,” news analysis columns, positive news, and more.

Staff

‘Parasite’ interpretation

Regarding “Where to find ‘truly astonishing’ performances” by Peter Rainer in the Feb. 3 Monitor Weekly: I just saw the film “Parasite” and, like Mr. Rainer, I greatly appreciated the superb acting of Kang-ho Song – it was certainly “a tricky, darkly, comic piece of performing,” as he wrote.

However, I was surprised to see Mr. Song’s character in the movie, Kim Ki-taek, defined by Mr. Rainer as “the corrupt patriarch.”  For me, writer-director Bong Joon-ho was highlighting the corruption of the system, in which the vulnerable Kim Ki-taek and his family must struggle to find work. The film seemed masterfully crafted to impel us to give careful consideration to its thought-provoking title.

Kay Weed
Aurora, New York

Global patterns

I greatly enjoyed the news analysis columns by Howard LaFranchi (“Trump and Obama’s shared goal” in the Feb. 3 Monitor Weekly) and Ned Temko (“China rises in the Middle East” in the Jan. 27 Monitor Weekly). I hope you will provide more of their analyses in the future.

James Doherty
Cranston, Rhode Island

Positive news

I am the librarian of our local Christian Science Society, and as such read every issue of the Monitor. I also run a WhatsApp group in which I share positive news with a group of about 20 female friends.

With this in mind, the Points of Progress franchise is a wonderful resource for me – so thank you, and please keep them coming! The Christian Science Monitor is always interesting, giving this Pommy a more nuanced view of the United States – though sadly, our issues are always late arriving here.

Rosemarie Swinfield
London

Middle East conflict

Regarding the reader letter titled “Cost of war” in the Dec. 23, 2019, Monitor Weekly: I would like to express my opinion on U.S. military involvement in the Middle East. What is the point? Western nations should never have gotten involved in those wars. Of course there is always the question of refugees – we should be willing to accept them, if they are willing to learn the language and become Canadian or American citizens. We do not need oil from the Middle East. Canada and the U.S. have oil and natural gas aplenty, as well as hydropower, wind, and solar.

Glenn Sawyer
Acme, Alberta

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.