I also understand Mr. Spector's anger and his position. The recording industry has done as much evil as good in the last century. They've blocked digital audio tape, refused to lower wholesale CD prices as profits grew, screwed artists out of royalties over "giveaways" at record clubs, refused to adopt environmentally efficient packaging, and in the future - if slackness prevails once again - they'll successfully curb used-CD sales.
But I'm an optimist and a devout capitalist. If the industry finally decides to use convenient, environmentally efficient packaging, consumers could choose between fresh copies or slightly dog-eared ones (a la used-book stores and traditional used-record stores), Mr. Schwartz and Mr. Spector could live in peace out of court, and the world could clean up the last of all those useless, cracked "jewel" boxes.
Finally, a word about this business of selling promotional CDs: They are given away free to retailers and radio stations to promote the artist. When the job is done, the CDs are usually given away (again) to others who sell the discs to people like Mr. Schwartz. Mr. Schwartz pays for the CDs. Mr. Schwartz then sells the CDs. Is it that difficult to comprehend that the only two parties paying for the promotional CDs are Mr. Schwartz and the recording artist? They should be the ones raising hell!
DON'T LOOK NOW, PAMELA, BUT OFFICER FRIENDLY JUST GOT BUSTED BY THE WEENIE PATROL
As the close relation of a Miami Beach police officer who leaves home every night to "protect and serve" your ass and the rest of the Miami Beach population, I feel compelled to respond to Tom White's narrow-minded, let's-jump-on-the-bandwagon-and-rip-the-MBPD cartoon ("White Space," February 5).
Tonight could be your night, Tom White.
Maybe after a late night at the Island Club, someone will pull out a .38 revolver, hold it to your head, and threaten your life for the $82.67 in your wallet. Or maybe your best buddy will have a bit too much to drink, hop into his sports car, and get into a head-on collision on the MacArthur Causeway. Perhaps it's your dear old Uncle Al. Bless his heart, he was stricken with Alzheimer's disease, and tonight for some strange reason he has wandered from his apartment into the streets and is crying, lost and helpless as a six-year-old child.
Alas, all of a sudden the "Weenie Patrol," as you endearingly refer to the Miami Beach Police Department, becomes your best friend. They catch the loser with the .38, stay with your best buddy who holds on for dear life, or help poor Uncle Al find his way back home.
Granted, the recent arrests of well-known celebrities caught with their pants down are quite humorous and seem to serve no greater purpose than to provide classic cartoon material. However, you should remember it's the public and the politicians who make the laws. The police only enforce them.
We've all gotten too used to cursing out ole Officer Friendly for giving us that damn $100 speeding ticket. And all through driving school or when our insurance premiums go up, we'll all be pissed off at that cop, and all cops, just a little bit more. It's so easy...until the night your ass is in a sling.
Pamela A. Lerner
EVERYBODY'S A CRITIC (OR A SIMULACRUM THEREOF)
Rafael Navarro's review of Kafka ("Bleak and White," February 5) was a study in ambivalence, peppered with brilliant flashes of incoherence. I suspect he secretly admired the film but couldn't bring himself to praise a new director's second effort - even more so after it had been panned by the likes of Vincent Canby of the hallowed New York Times.
I for one found Kafka to be an inspired and playful simulacrum, with Soderbergh deftly weaving cinematic and literary references throughout. Nothing in my recent film experience, with the exception of Prospero's Books, is quite like it.
Yes, Kafka is an unfortunate title. And yet, as Soderbergh has gone to great lengths to explain, his film is not about Kafka, but rather Kafkaesque. To skewer him for butchering Kafka's life is like holding the weatherman responsible for a cloudy day. Navarro should have spent more text on reviewing the movie, and less on musings about the relevance of cinematic adaptions or the authenticity of film vis-a-vis an original script. For the critic, these are but attending distractions best left for tertulia bars on Ocean Drive or Spring Street.
Your rallying cry, sir, need be: To the work itself.
Roberto M. Saco
STRIKE WHILE THE IRONY IS HOT
Congratulations upon your outstanding story with regard to Dave Lawrence ("A Clown? No Way. A Genius!" January 29).
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I also wrote to Dave and told him that he has certainly earned my respect for his handling of the Mas Canosa affair. I was happy to see that you felt the same way, and I am glad that you devoted a column to Mr. Lawrence.
Congratulations and best wishes.
Henry T. Courtney