Letters from our readers.
Dec. 19 1997 3:30 AM

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Full of Boulogne

The current installment of the e-mail novel "Reply All" speaks of the Bois de Boulogne as "north of Paris." With other former inhabitants of the Boulevard Suchet, which runs along the Bois, I have always walked west into the Bois, which lies on the western edge of the city.

Please pass this correction on to the author of the segment, along with my appreciation for the writing that is being done in this intriguing format.

--Kevin A. DemetroffFort Wayne, Ind.


Miffed in Little Rock

Mark Hosenball's dissection of Ambrose Evans-Pierce's brand of "journalism" ("What Ambrose Knows") was accurate--to a point. Evans-Pierce's articles are full of hooey, though sickeningly fascinating to read. But Hosenball's references to Arkansas as "Dogpatch" and a place with a political culture akin to Honduras or Haiti was beyond the pale and was just poor writing. What research determined that our law enforcement is "corrupt and inefficient"? For a man so critical of Evans-Pierce's bizarre stories about deep, dark Arkansas, how could he fall into the same fool's trap of "snobbery or sloth" he accuses Evans-Pierce of in his writing?

Arkansas is not a Jurassic Park of politics, law enforcement, or culture--a fact that Hosenball would be aware of if he had spent any time in this state or done any additional research for his article. We are no more incestuous or interconnected than New York or Chicago. For a poor Southern state, Arkansas has a proud heritage of progressive politics running from Senate Majority Leader Joe T. Robinson; to the first elected female senator, Hattie Caraway, in the 1930s; to Senators J. William Fulbright, David Pryor, and Dale Bumpers; through Governor and President Clinton. I would trade our crime rate and our quality of life with almost any other place in our nation, as would the thousands of émigrés we get every year. Though we have always been poor in our natural resources, we are rich in the quality of people that we produce. I would expect a student of American politics to be aware of this fact. Hosenball's tone of unsubstantiated snobbery toward my state, though attacking a figure I hold in humorous contempt, is itself the "journalism of fools."

--Collins Devon Cockrell Little Rock, Ark.


Slate received several letters mourning the end of Mark Alan Stamaty's cartoon series "Doodlennium":


I just wanted to thank you for allowing Mark Alan Stamaty a forum for his hilarious--and often insightful--cartoon about a (slightly) warped world. While it challenged Twin Peaks in obscure plot turns, it was ever entertaining, and the first spot I'd stop at on your site. OK, OK, I get the magazine really for the articles, but I always look at the pictures first.

While I hope there's a follow-up planned, I realize the wise artist knows when to walk away. (While the audience is clapping for more.) Thanks again for enduring what must have been a trying cartoon to publish.


--Patrick O'Brien

Crying Fowl

The Hendroids won???!!!! What kind of postmodernist crap is this? There'd better be a sequel!!!!

--Robert Consoli


How Ironic

Slate is a fine magazine, except for a bit of overwriting that's become annoyingly frequent. I'm referring to "paradox," which is used wrongly in three separate instances in your Dec. 13 issue. The word serves well in describing the curious concept of a logical impossibility. ("This sentence is false.") The word looks pretentious and silly, however, when it is used as a synonym for "conflict," "irony," or "contradiction."

--Martha MaroneLake Oswego, Ore.

Address your e-mail to the editors to letters@slate.com. Please include your address and daytime phone number (for confirmation only).