Letters

Fowl sense of humor
Writer P.B. Miller either knows something I don't know or has a really unusual sense of humor. Last time I checked, Anthony Burgess wrote the novel A Clockwork Orange ["Thug life," May 25], but Burgess Meredith played the role of the Penguin in the old "Batman" television series. Even the editors over at Dallas' Only Daily would have caught this one...

Marsha Montgomery
Dallas

I was struck dumb upon reading P.B. Miller's otherwise excellent review of the live production of A Clockwork Orange.

P.B. (Porridge for Brains, perhaps?) seems woefully misinformed as regards the identity of Anthony Burgess, the author of the novel upon which the stage play is based.

Mr. Burgess, who died in 1992, was arguably the most celebrated British man of letters of this century. In addition to A Clockwork Orange, certainly his greatest claim to fame on this side of the Atlantic, he also authored the acclaimed, semi-autobiographical Enderby novels; Man of Nazareth, a fictional retelling of the life of Christ; and Napoleon Symphony, a darkly comic take of the less heroic aspects of the French Revolution.

Moreover, his works of nonfiction (the biography Little Wilson and Big God, plus innumerable volumes of literary and linguistic criticism) earned him several awards and the grudging respect of the European academic establishment.

As versatile and accomplished as he was, however, he never played the Penguin on the old "Batman" TV series.

John Harvey
Irving

Editor's note: The Observer received numerous letters pointing out the real identity of the Penguin. P.B. Miller, however, insists he was joking when he stated that famed author Anthony Burgess--in addition to his many other accomplishments--"...still found time to play the Penguin on the old 'Batman' series."

Corcoran overrated
I'm a fan of Robert Wilonsky. Even though I disagree with about half of his opinions, he writes intelligently and honestly. Best of all, he seems to actually love music and care about the "scene" in Dallas. It is a scene that, in truth, is no better or worse than others, depending on whether you're looking from the inside or the outside.

But now we are in serious disagreement. Michael Corcoran [Street Beat, May 4], one of our best writers? I'm not sure how Robert means "best." Maybe the guy had good punctuation.

Lest we forget: Michael Corcoran said Stevie Ray Vaughan and Otis Redding were overrated. He called Bonnie Raitt an over-hyped lounge singer. He said Brian Wilson did so many vocal overdubs to hide the fact that he couldn't sing!

When he criticized, many times he was cruel. That shouldn't come with the job. I'm glad he's gone.

Bugs Henderson
Garland

Charlotte's gospel
In the contentious climate surrounding abortion, the challenges that service providers face are frequent and certainly complex. For this reason, I thank you for the part of "Charlotte's Web" [May 18] which focused on the dynamic vision and philosophies Charlotte Taft brought to the Routh Street Women's Clinic.

Charlotte Taft's dedication to providing a top-quality service despite significant obstacles speaks to the integrity with which she ran the Routh Street Clinic. Although Taft no longer directs the clinic, her powerful vision lives on in those whose lives she has touched. She reminds us that even with the most painful of choices, women's lives can be enriched when their needs are approached wholistically--and compassionately.

Aimee Diane Israel
Dallas

This is not a letter from a far-right extremist. In principle, I support a woman's right to choose. Abortion is not therapy or a rite of passage, nor should it be used as a method of birth control. After reading Charlotte Taft's views, I realize Gurdjieff was right--people need to check their heads and wake up.

James Howard
Dallas

The article about Charlotte Taft and the Routh Street Women's Clinic was interesting and informative. However, the point that the Routh Street clinic was the only one providing "in depth" counseling and treating women as individuals is just plain wrong. The idea that the pro-choice movement "hadn't been honest with women" was actually Charlotte's idea and not representative of what was happening in all abortion clinics.

I have been with the Fairmount Center for 16 years, and its executive director for the past 10. The center has always respected the fact that a fetus is alive, and we have never led women to believe that it is "just a blob of tissue." Our philosophy and policy has also always been to provide individual care and individual counseling. The article was correct to point out that this is not cost-effective or efficient, but we believe it is the best way to provide care.

Lisa Gerard
Executive Director, Fairmount Center

In the absurd morality of the '90s, Mark Donald would have us pity Charlotte Taft for her falling out with Dr. Braun. Did she really think a man with a stilled conscience like Dr. Braun would keep a verbal commitment to sell her an abortion clinic? Certainly not when he needed money for himself.

We have long since accepted that Indians have souls and one man cannot own another. Very soon I hope that we will accept that aborting babies is murder. Flexible notions of life and "personhood" put all of us and our civilization at risk. It is a blot on the soul of our democracy that men like Dr. Braun can earn a handsome living killing the unborn and that Charlotte Taft interprets killing children as helping mothers.

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