To the editors:
Peter Jensen's letter, "A Tree Falls in Vain," of November 13 couldn't be more to the point. The Reader is sorely in need of competent writers. The critical staff is especially poor!
When reading a review, the least one should expect is an educated and honest opinion of the critiqued film, play, or other event. In the case of the Reader we get: Tom Valeo confusing the actors and their roles, as in his review of Fridays at Touchstone Theatre; Tom Boeker compensating for his lack of writing skill with column after column of profanity and vulgar attacks on the actors, i.e., The House of Blue Leaves at Next Theatre Co.; or Jonathan Rosenbaum's self-conscious claim that John Malkovich reinterprets the role of Tom as "gay" in the film version of The Glass Menagerie. What, pray tell, is a "gay reinterpretation"?
I most fervently support freedom of the press and the right to read and write anything one wishes. However, by definition, an "alternative" or "free press" is one which is free of politically biased writings or features about aliens delivering sextuplets. Thus the term "free press."
Some fear the Reader has retained its reputation as a "free press" even after sacrificing sound journalists for tabloid-quality critics. Fear not, the Reader is a "free press" only in that no self-respecting person would buy it!