Readers write: Unexpected connections, and an excellent issue

Letters to the editor for the March 15, 2021 weekly magazine. Readers discuss unlikely connections with authors and a top-tier Monitor Weekly issue.

Staff

Unexpected connections

The day started quite uneventfully as I began to read “Wild Minds: The Artists and Rivalries That Inspired the Golden Age of Animation,” a title recommended in the “10 best books of December” list from the Dec. 28, 2020, Monitor Weekly. I had briefly worked at an animation studio right after my high school graduation in 1944, and was anxious to read if the company was mentioned in the book. 

When I got to page 34 I was so excited I impulsively emailed the author, Reid Mitenbuler, with my words of appreciation for his work. I had to tell him of my early connection with Famous Studio in New York, where I worked in the inking department and then in the opaquing department. We were creating “Popeye” and “Little Lulu” cartoons. It was a fun-filled time, but it was interrupted by my father’s decision to accept the government’s offer to do more for the war effort at a defense plant in Vallejo, California. 

After leaving Famous, I was given a letter of recommendation to the Walt Disney animation company, but I couldn’t live alone in Burbank. All this I told to Mr. Mitenbuler in my email, never really expecting a reply. To my amazement, I did hear from him, with a couple of emails back and forth since. I thought I would share how grateful I am to the Monitor for steering me in the direction of reading “Wild Minds,” and for the pleasure I have received in doing so. Many thanks.

June T. Bassemir
Jamesport, New York

Excellent issue

Regarding the Jan. 25 Monitor Weekly: What a wonderful issue. I particularly enjoyed the first article by Ned Temko; the article explaining why Twitter, as a private business and a free market enterprise, has the right to determine who accesses its platform; the Arts and Culture article; and the list of best books (though I’m more into nonfiction than it gave me). But such excellent work. Thank you.

Ellen White
Cherry Log, Georgia

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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.

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