Re: Dec. 3 article, “UT students take on challenging musical in program’s finale.”
Thank you so much for writing such a comprehensive and thoughtful response to the University of Texas’ final musical. As a UT student and a longtime lover of the theater, I am extremely disheartened by the end of the musical theatre program on campus. However, I find “The Drowsy Chaperone” to be brilliant choice for the final production. UT’s Theatre and Dance department has previously had issues with choosing shows that are culturally appropriate for their cast, and I think “The Drowsy Chaperone” takes a self-aware hit at modern stereotypes that is absolutely apropos.
I absolutely agree that this show is the perfect way to show the culmination of the skills learned by UT’s final class of musical theater graduates. While, it will be a sad goodbye, the show is a beautiful tongue-in-cheek ode to the joys and absurdities of the theater.
KAITLIN STREET, AUSTIN
Re: Nov. 27 article, “’Proof of citizenship’ voting laws may surge under Trump.”
If voter fraud in Texas were truly rampant, every Texan would be demanding measures to combat it — and rightly so.
However, study after study has shown that voter fraud is so rare as to be virtually nonexistent. And the only folks who seem to see this apparition of “voter fraud” — and hence a need for voter identification laws — are Republicans. So, what gives?
Turns out, the GOP base of old, white people is shrinking, while many of the poor, disabled, people of color and a growing Hispanic population tend to vote Democratic. Since the aforementioned may find it more difficult to get the proper IDs, what better way to shut them out of the electoral process than by raising artificial barriers that hinder, intimidate and discourage them from voting.
And we thought Jim Crow ended with the 1965 Voting Rights Act. No, it’s alive and well in Republican voter-ID laws.
STEPHEN SHACKELFORD, AUSTIN
Re: Dec. 1 commentary, “Ala. needs to elect Moore so GOP can control courts,” Dec. 3 commentary, “Viewpoints: Congress must keep health insurance for CHIP kids,” and Dec. 3 article, “Texas returns to No. 1 in U.S. for carrying out executions.”
This current iteration of the Republican party is nothing I recognize. While claiming to be the party that is “pro-life,” they are the party that is pro-birth.
Three items I read recently prove my point. There is Pat Buchanan stating Alabama must elect Roy Moore to Senate, because even though he is accused of sexually assaulting teen girls, the Senate must maintain its Republican majority to confirm judges who are staunchly anti-abortion. There was the article on Congress’ current failure to reauthorize funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which will lead to less prenatal care and more infant and mother mortality. Finally, an article stating Texas is set to lead the nation in executions for 2017.
Clearly, once the baby is born, they no longer care. Who cares about living babies, or teenage girls or death row inmates, so long as all fetuses, viable or not, are carried full term? This is repugnant ideology.
SUSAN DAUGHERTY, AUSTIN
A decade ago, I was sued over a business dispute in federal court. The court was in Denver, and I sent a local lawyer to represent me at the preliminary hearing.
The federal magistrate called to tell me he was rescheduling the meeting and ordered me to show up in person or else. I showed up. He then locked me, with my lawyer, in a room with the other side and ordered us to find a solution. Seven hours later, we sent him a note letting him know we had settled.
I suggest the president do the same thing: Lock Congressional leaders of both parties in a room; send in meals; and allow bathroom privileges — but otherwise, no one leaves until a deal is reached. The survival of our nation is at stake.
TODD CRICKMER, AUSTIN
Recently, there has been a push for more plus-size representation in the media. Within this lies a flaw: Plus-size is not a lifestyle that should be promoted. Obesity is on the rise in the United States. Heart disease and diabetes are two of the leading causes of death in the U.S., both of which can be caused by obesity.
This movement teaches young girls that being unhealthy is healthy — and it does not teach that your value comes from the heart. It pushes this idea that you are beautiful no matter what you look like — which sure sounds nice, but it fails to teach that true beauty comes from having integrity, being kind, acting humbly and spreading joy. It permits women to chastise men who don’t find fat rolls sexy. It isn’t beautiful to shame somebody for their preferences. Beauty is being a decent human being.
HANNAH HURST, AUSTIN
Re: Dec. 4 article, “Spent most of November in shorts? It was Austin’s second-warmest ever.”
One major factor was omitted from the discussion of November’s unusually warm weather: global climate change. While La Niña and jet-stream patterns may cause short-term spikes in temperature, the long-term trend is for ever increasing temperatures — at least until humanity takes the necessary steps to reverse this trend.
PHILIP RUSSELL, AUSTIN