Here are some of your responses to Mike's last column...
Richard G. writes: In response to Alexandra S. from Charlotte, N.C.: oh PLEASE! The Dixie Chicks speak their minds, and fans express their opinion about it. Fast forward a few years, and the Chicks come out with a song that says, "Forgive, sounds good. Forget, I don't think I could." WHAT?! In other words, The Dixie Chicks like to wave the "free speech" flag, but when fans express their opinion about the DC's opinion, that isn't fair? Gwyneth expressed her opinion, Mike Straka expressed his. It's about time folks realized that the popular opinions (or the ones you happen to agree with) aren't the only ones that are allowed to be expressed. Gwyneth opened her mouth and bit the hand that feeds her. She had a right to speak, so does Mike, so do you and so do I. Just because some folks think Gwyneth was being a jerk doesn't mean they are disagreeing with her right to speak.
Joseph in Cyberspace on Gwyneth: The problem that I had with her statement is that it came off as a blanket statement about ALL Americans. Granted, there are those whose eyes glaze over when you try to discuss hard news/world events with them, but love to talk ad nauseam about celebs, reality TV and the like. But there are also many, like me, who love nothing better than discussing history, politics and current events. There are also those for whom money, status and material possessions are everything, but there are many more who are the exact opposite and value decency, integrity and contributions to the community. Finally, for those people who say that Americans are like that because they live in such and such a country and Americans who visit are rude, disrespectful, blah, blah, I say don’t condemn the many for the actions of the few.
Rick in Carson City, Nev.: I agree with your assessment of "Studio 60." I have watched this show since the beginning and I find it to be one of the best-written shows I have seen in a long time. It will therefore be cancelled in short order, because that is what happens to the good shows. I made the comment to my wife after seeing the Christmas episode that they brought up this issue in a way that made you think, but it was not shoved down your throat. The music was great and the lead player can really blow a horn.
Peter B. writes: How politically correct! After ZILLIONS of dollars of both government and private money have been spent on Katrina "victims," anyone that's still unemployed doesn't want a job! Talk about being Oblivious to reality.
Dale H. in Colorado: Doug B. needs to come home and see what happens when Mexicans, Middle Easterners, Indians, Haitians, Cubans, French, Germans, etc, etc. come to the U.S. They too act crass, rude and expect to be waited on hand and foot, changing the culture and refusing to learn the language or assimilate into the culture. It isn't just an American problem, it's a people problem!
Delwin B. in Ponca City, Okla.: Sounds like the immigrants here in America waving their flag and refusing to speak English, which is the language of my country. Funny how people complain about Americans overseas, but they have no problem acting that way here. Doug, you should also learn not to generalize. I do not act that way when I travel but you insinuated that I did.
George in Music Hell: I agree on the tired ole music thing. If I have to suffer thru "Free Bird", "Radar Love", "I Can Feel It in the air Tonight" and anything by REO Speedwagon another time I'm going to croak!!! I'm 55 years old and the NEW music since '80s stinks but the "old Classics" all need to be retired. I hear the same Stones, Queen etc. songs over and over again. I know they made more than a few hits each.
Jim F. writes: "You are a total idiot."
Jason Y. writes: I have to say I do agree with you that "Studio 60" had a very nice message for that episode. What I am having trouble understanding, though, is your reasoning behind disliking several other shows. You mentioned "Friends" and "Seinfeld." I could take one and leave one myself. Your reasoning, however, seems very reminiscent of the '80s New Wave crowd that regularly spewed such nonsense as, "Hey, as soon as it makes it to the radio, it isn't cool anymore."
The shows were so popular that a large fan base would relive the laughs with each other by quoting lines from the show, and that is how you judge whether you appreciate entertainment? That seems completely ridiculous to me. The people that used to quote "Friends" lines bothered me too, but only because I did not enjoy the show. I never got into the characters, didn't find the writing all that funny and just wasn't a fan. So hearing people spewing lines from that show did get annoying, but I think you have to agree that my distaste was a result, not a means.
But I'm sure I rank way up there on your oblivion scale since I just might bob my head along with Loverboy if the mood struck me right. But I guess you may have to wait and see whether you approve of my rebuttal by waiting to see how many people are quoting from it out on the street.
Other than that, I actually do enjoy most of your columns.