01/22/1990 at 01:00 AM EST
As usual, our choices for the year's 25 Most Intriguing People (PEOPLE, Jan. 1) were not unanimously approved by our readers. Much of the flak was aimed at Spike Lee—several correspondents took exception to his practice of hiring black film crews—and deposed Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega was not (surprise!) a popular choice. We were admonished for not including Mel Blanc and Graham Chapman of Monty Python in our pantheon of Late Greats, and several readers were stunned by the selection of When Harry Met Sally...as one of the year's 10 worst.
THE 25 MOST INTRIGUING
Thank you for the wonderful double issue. The only joke was President Bush's answer to your question, "Is there a New Year's or Christmas wish you have for the country?" His answer was, "It's got to be peace." This morning the news was that the United States had attacked Panama.
Newport Beach, Calif.
Thank you! Your article on Robert Mapplethorpe as one of the 25 Most Intriguing was deeply appreciated. Not only was I moved by the well-deserved inclusion of this brilliant man, but by the bravery and honesty of the article. It is not often that homosexuality is treated in such a natural manner. Mapplethorpe's art is not threatening if prejudices are put aside.
Thorn C. Jones
Webster's definition of intrigue is "to arouse the interest, desire or curiosity of." There is nothing intriguing about Noriega. He is a demented animal. How dare you include him in the same feature with our President?
It seems to me that Spike Lee is promoting what he claims he is against—discrimination. Isn't hiring black crews discriminating against whites? It's time we wake up and realize that discrimination is a sword that cuts many ways and any one of us could be a victim.
Stop saying that Jack Nicholson "stole the show" in Batman. It's hard to ignore a guy with green hair and a purple suit, but I found Michael Keaton's portrayal of a man driven by an obsession born of pain to be far more compelling. It established Keaton as one of the most talented and intriguing actors of this or any other year.
Including former Housing and Urban Development staffer Deborah Gore Dean among the 25 Most Intriguing was a cheap shot. The mess at HUD is a result of former Secretary Sam Pierce's poor management skills and worse political instincts. To blame Dean is to give Pierce an alibi he desires but does not deserve.
Joseph D. Rodota Jr.
New York City
"Say you're sorry when you hurt someone." PEOPLE, you should do just that—to me, to Robert Fulghum and to the thousands of readers to whom All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten brought so much pleasure and happiness. I feel as if someone has broken my favorite Christmas gift.
Mary Virginia Trotter Vail
After reading your 25 Most Intriguing, I thought: Except for George Bush, Little Julio and Captain Haynes, what on earth do you find so intriguing about them? What a sorry state we are in if that's all we can come up with.
You did not mention a man I have admired all 14 years of my life—Mel Blanc. Laurence Olivier died the same week. He got a cover story. Mr. Blanc didn't even get a mention. To me, they were equally great.
I am deeply wounded that you did not mention Graham Chapman in your Farewell article. I have one thing to say to you: Ni!!!!
Mary Ann Oxendale
PICKS & PANS
You showed a true lack of taste by picking When Harry Met Sally...as one of the worst movies of '89. Is somebody at PEOPLE mad at Rob Reiner or Nora Ephron? Surely this is the only possible explanation.
So what if Tina Turner "seems to think she is a teenager" on the "Steamy Windows" track of her album? She still has a voice that melts vinyl, the beauty of women half her age, a body made for tight miniskirts, and everything a pair of legs should be!
You listed Billy Joel's Storm Front as one of 1989's worst albums. I was outraged. I may be hearing impaired, but I know what makes a good song. The video of "We Didn't Start the Fire" is one of the few that is close-captioned on MTV. Therefore, I know the words, and this is no different from Joel's other great songs. Maybe you should hire a hearing-impaired person to be your music critic.