Raiders of the Lost Ark comes as close to being flawless as any recent major motion picture. How fortunate that a craftsman as skilled as Steven Spielberg (PEOPLE, July 20) is also filled with a childlike wonder. He has given audiences a filmed encounter of theses? kind.
David Michael Petrou
Raiders of the Lost Ark may be a summertime smash at the box office, but as a movie it is just one more mindless celebration of stunted adolescence. The fact that our two most powerful filmmakers waste their time redoing the crummy serials of their youth and then are praised for this paucity of imagination is sad commentary.
While I agree that Steven Spielberg is a talented and creative director, the reason I saw Raiders four times is actor Harrison Ford.
The Peace Corps
When I left 10 years ago for West Africa with the Peace Corps, a sheltered, conservative southern Pennsylvanian, I arrived in Freetown, Sierra Leone and was shocked to realize everyone in the streets had brown skin! After two months of learning the language, customs, etc., I was put on a bus to my assigned "home." At that moment I remember passing from youth into adulthood. I will be forever grateful to the corps for giving me this chance to own no material possessions, have no TV or running water and instead learn about compassion, happiness, pain, independence and myself.
Bruce R. Fry
The Peace Corps and those who served in it make our country proud. But it would do us all good to remember another program of equal importance which is now being phased out. VISTA, the "quiet giant" serving the poor at home, never received the press the Peace Corps did. But it will be missed by myself and other former volunteers, as well as by the people we served.
What is controversial about the new James Bond ad is not whose "glamorous gams" are depicted but the dangerous message being conveyed. For years commercials have shown women as sex objects, but this one,-with a fully dressed James Bond aiming a gun at the crotch of a female whose only identity is her legs and buttocks, eroticizes violence. It's no wonder violent crimes against women have reached epidemic proportions.
New York City
Juice Newton is definitely not the new Olivia Newton-John, as you quote someone saying. Juice, who has spent the last 10 years in obscurity trying to sell mediocre albums, has finally found a niche in semi-country pop. Olivia, a superstar from the start, has been extremely successful in country, pop and now rock. She's also a great actress and very beautiful. Sorry, Juice.
Oak Park, Ill.
Your article on Lee Pak-chung, the American in China, really hit home. It's funny how we can find the way to allow foreign students and visitors to come to this country and demonstrate in the streets against us, but we cannot find a way to help a man who is lost in a place he does not belong.
Hal Needham-Dani Janssen
Bridegroom Hal Needham didn't even finish ninth grade, but his pal Burt Reynolds was concerned because he was consorting with waitresses in his bachelor days. What an insult to waitresses.
I am a waitress and my IQ has to be higher than much of the U.S. population—because I have seen one of Burt Reynolds' corny movies and I am smart enough not to want to see another.
I found relief from my anger and frustration when I read your article about Judith Stiehm and her study of sexism in the military. Three years ago the Florida National Guard was going through a full-charge recruitment program with heavy newspaper and billboard advertising. I went down to see about joining. The sergeant I talked to was really encouraging. When the results of the tests I took came in, he was amazed, telling me that I and, by coincidence, another woman had better scores than the hundreds of men who were tested during the one-month recruitment blitz. We scored higher on weapons (I had never fired a gun), on mechanics (I once fixed a flat on my VW and can put water in my radiator), and on every other section of the examination. Then he informed me the only places open for women were in clerical positions. I did not join the National Guard. Women are being wasted all over the world. The military is just one place it stands out so obviously.
My suggestion to the feminists Judith Stiehm speaks for is that if you feel you have something to offer the armed forces, then why wait to be drafted? I consider myself to be an expert, too—not through research but from four years of experience recently as a U.S. Marine.
In your article about the Underground disco you say, "Patrons looked on in awe as Polly Bergen hosted a bash for Henry Mancini..." Awe? Do you really think we "common" people exist for the brief moments of ecstasy when we might catch a glimpse of a "star" or two—particularly those of the magnitude of Polly Bergen, Carrie Fisher or—gasp!—Beverly Sassoon? You amaze me.
Mitchell D. Kucia