In his need to be taken as a "serious" critic, Mr. Navarro rushes to dump on everything, as if actually enjoying a movie were somehow the mark of a rube. What Mr. Navarro doesn't seem to realize is that nothing marks a jerkwater wanna-be so clearly as the pathetic impulse to put down everything regardless of its merit. Criticizing is easy. Being a good critic, able to both appreciate quality and identify bullshit in works from all cultures (like, for example, the Herald's Leonard Pitts, Jr.) is much harder. Critics in Boston or New York have no problem writing favorable reviews for good movies, not because they are simpletons, but because they possess some genuine taste and self-confidence. I submit that there is a connection between the diversity of movies available year-round in those cities and the editorial attitudes of city publications that don't feel compelled to slam every film since Citizen Kane. Their press actually encourage diversity for its own sake, even if they don't personally adore every manifestation of that diversity. For my part, I hope New Times can hire a movie critic who enjoys movies. Until then, the reviews will continue to be useless.

Andrew W. Macfarlane
South Miami

When I picked up the June 10 issue, I was very excited and interested to finally be in possession of some substantial information about Ross Perot. "The Bashful Candidate" readied me for some serious inquiry into Mr. Perot's motives and leanings. I was sorely disappointed. Peter Elkind's article could have been stated like so: "Ross Perot suggested that he be drafted to run for president. He is financing some of the campaign operations thus far." Big damn deal! Your headline and "cold, calculating" nonsense below it painted one picture while the facts outlined not an evil, but actually a mundane, political development.

It is clear Elkind took his gut feelings and apprehensions about Perot (which I share) and shaped the sparse information he had around them. His descriptions of the Dallas headquarters illustrated this process best (as if only a cynical and manipulative political movement has its receptionists answer the phones the same way). The whole article seems a waste of New Times typeset. The article that should have been written was briefly outlined in the side box, "Perot's Cons," which as it stands is a tease and may in fact be misleading without further substantiation and analysis.

I understand that Perot has not exactly been forthcoming with information about his platform, but that only means that journalists like Elkind are going to have to get into this man's past, study a broad base of his actions, and develop a clear picture. In other words, get to work, New Times.

David Biegen

Now that you've reported the truth about Ross Perot, how about the lowdown on Andre Marrow, the Libertarian Party, and the whole self-government movement? Marrow, the Libertarian candidate for president in 1992, won the first primary of the election in very conservative Dixville Notch, New Hampshire.

In his letter of June 24 regarding Jim DeFede's "Big Tow" (June 17), John Mendez writes: "Legitimate authority is received from below, not handed down from the top, like some totalitarian decree." We Libertarians couldn't agree more. The Libertarian Party is the party Tom Jefferson would join if he were alive today. Our message needs to be heard!

Those interested in the Libertarian Party of Dade County can call 252-4185 or 800-682-1776.

Raymond W. Gould

Reading Sean Rowe's "Can You Keep A Secret?" (June 3), I realized that it would be so simple to keep your HIV tests secret if hospitals were using (or implemented) a numbering system to give the patient (or tested) and refer to it only by number. Of course, that would imply that the patient won't reveal his true identity and will go to the hospital only to be tested for HIV.

Also, I believe that the person who tested positive will have to be responsible if he/she were to spread the disease around. I do believe in the privacy of persons to keep secrets and in the confidentiality of medical records, but up to a point, because that person can infect someone else with his/her virus just because he does not want to be an outcast from society.

We are discussing death here, not a sore throat.
Michael del Valle

What's unbelievable to me is that a newspaper as diverse, culturally hip, and informative as New Times would allow Tom Austin an entire page to write shit ("Swelter"). I, among many who read your newspaper weekly, don't care about who's eating who where. I think New Times should remember what kind of people read the publication, and provide us with intellectual reading. Transfer Tom Austin to Mainstream, America, so that they can read all about the senseless parties and the who-fucked-who-where scenes.


I want Tom Austin to know how much I enjoy reading his weekly column in New Times. Because most of my time is consumed with developing our business, I rarely have an opportunity to do more than glance at local publications. However, I always make the time to read his article every week. He captures the essence of South Beach like no one else can. Thank you for the entertainment.

Jack Spick
Miami Beach

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