BOB GARFIELD: And now a few of your letters but first, a correction. Last week in our interview with Cleveland Plain Dealer editor Susan Goldberg, we said that the Associated Press had raised rates for its members. We were wrong about that. In fact, last month the AP decided to cut its fees for 2009. BROOKE GLADSTONE: A few of you wrote us about last week's interview with David Hajdu, about the rise and fall of comic books.
Julia Lunetta says that we failed to draw an historical parallel in that conversation. She writes, "I feel that On the Media missed a golden opportunity to compare the comic book hearings of the '50s with the video game hearings of recent times, or even the current media frenzy with regard to the imminent release of Grand Theft Auto IV." Stay tuned, Julia. We do this week. BOB GARFIELD: That interview gave Jocelyn Paine, from Anchorage, Alaska, a little insight into why her mom forbade her to read comics. She writes, "I was seven in 1953, and I couldn't grasp what was so bad about Archie and his friends.
I grew up to be fascinated by animation and don't miss, at the age of 61, the latest film, but seeing the kinds of comics that sparked the Ten-Cent Plague, I conclude that I might have acted as my mother did. However, I have also come to respect freedom of information and am torn by conflicted concerns." BROOKE GLADSTONE: Many of you responded to Bob's piece about Muslim outrage and the clash of cultures over free speech in Europe.
Daniel, from Atlanta, writes about our use of the words "acculturation" and "assimilation." Quote, "Did you notice that the word 'acculturation' was said only once in the story? And that came from an interview. 'Assimilation' was used a lot, implying that is the standard immigrant groups should hold to. Perhaps a story exploring the difference between the two?" BOB GARFIELD: Jay Tea – that's T-e-a – wrote us about the right to offend. Quote, "I believe I have the right to do whatever I wish in contravention with Muslim laws, including blasphemy, defaming the Prophet Muhammad, draw pictures of him, and discuss what I consider the most heinous aspects of Islam. I have the right because I am an American living in the United States.
Others can discourage me from doing so, appealing to my sense of responsibility and calling for civil behavior, but no one has the right to force me to obey Islamic law. If I choose to be rude and contemptuous and insulting, then that is my right."
Keep your contributions, comments and corrections coming to firstname.lastname@example.org or post them at onthemedia.org, and don't forget to tell us where you live and how to pronounce your name.
by The Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band