updated 03/08/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 03/08/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST
If anyone deserves a wonderful party celebrating their first half century, it's the humanitarian billionaire Oprah Winfrey! However, while I was reading about it, I just couldn't help but wonder how many mouths could be fed or shelters built for what that one night of partying cost! Maybe I'm just jealous I wasn't invited.
I find Oprah's extravagant 50th-birthday parties, and in particular her airing of the footage from the events on her television program, tacky and offensive. With millions of Americans out of work and living in poverty during these difficult economic times, Winfrey's giddy promotion of how the other half lives is not something I, for one, wish to celebrate.
Oprah is a generous and beautiful person, and it is great to see her getting a little something back. Those who are fortunate enough to know her or to have been touched by her generosity should consider themselves lucky.
Rose Ann De La Vega
San Antonio, Texas
Thanks, PEOPLE, for letting us enjoy Oprah's 50th-birthday parties. I can't wait to see what the next 50 years have in store for this fantastic woman.
PeWee Valley, Ky.
BOWLED OVER BY JANET
Enough already! Many people who tuned in to the Super Bowl didn't see the "fallout" but, thanks to the media, those of us who missed it have seen it again and again. This is exactly the kind of media attention Janet Jackson was looking for. Like they say, there's no such thing as bad publicity.
What angers me about Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" at the Super Bowl is that all of the blame is being placed on her. I think we should all remember that she was onstage with Justin Timberlake, and as the old saying goes, it takes two to tango.
The television networks don't hesitate to show movies that contain graphic violence. But God forbid we should see the bared breast of a woman who chose to reveal it. My hat is off to Janet Jackson for refusing to make a public apology so that she would be allowed to perform at the Grammys. What has our world come to that we are so offended by the sight of a woman's breast but are so numbed out on violence that we don't give it a second thought?
Santa Fe, N.Mex.
SLIMMED-DOWN AVERAGE JOE
Wow! What a concept. Eat in moderation, exercise and lose weight. After numerous articles about gastric-bypass surgery (both positive and negative), it was great to read your story about Average Joe: Hawaii's Sean Pashley, who has lost 70 lbs. without assaulting his body with drastic surgery. Way to go, Sean. Good luck with the next 30.
Many professionals who are trained to recognize addictions aren't aware of the widespread use of crystal meth. I know this because my 16-year-old daughter has been using it for the past two years. After reading your story, I gave it to my daughter's counselors. Today I was told that she'll finally receive in-patient treatment for her addiction. I know the information in this article has opened the eyes of many. Undoubtedly it will also save the lives of many.
Catherine J. Fontenot
I'm a narcotics deputy in Oklahoma and was impressed by your story. People don't understand the effects that meth has on the public and people's lives. It's articles like this that could make a difference in one person's life.
I can't believe Matt Lauer is whining about having to spend one week away from his family while traveling around the world. It's only one week! I'm a stay-at-home mom with a husband who travels two to three times a month for his job. Suck it up, Matt, and remember, absence only makes the heart grow fonder.