January 2008

Letters to The Ethical Spectacle

Spectacle Letters Column Guidelines. If you write to me about something you read in the Spectacle, I will assume the letter is for publication. If it is not, please tell me, and I will respect that. If you want the letter published, but without your name attached, I will do so. I will not include your email address unless you ask me to. This is in response to many of you who have expressed concern that spammers are finding your email address here. Flames are an exception. They will be published in full, with name and email address. I have actually had people follow up on a published flame by complaining that they thought they were insulting my ancestry privately. Nope, sorry.

Dear Mr. Wallace:

You are my momentary hero, and I mean that in the best possible way. I stumbled upon your website in quest for a reasonable argument against libertarianism. In a way I felt that Communism and Libertarianism were two polar extremes of some singular archetypal philosophy, both being pleasing to the ear but at best impractical and at worst morally reprehensible. Your essay on the matter left the impression on me that I was reading the logical end to my very own nuanced thought pattern, an odd experience that I've only rarely encountered. I'm 22, utterly devoid of direction, and seemingly lost in a bad existentialist film. I can find truth in nothing but humanitarianism, and even then I doubt my motives. Is it selfless, is anything selfless? Should the African child die of hunger or live to pass on her genes, continuing overpopulation. Can the human race save itself or is a..chuckle 'benevolent dictator' necessary? I was raised Catholic but lost my faith long ago, if in fact one considers indoctrination of youth faith,and I now, having dropped out of school, work at my moms church. The irony of my current situation is the only fact thats ever given credence to a belief in god, as if I can hear his laughter. I cant finish anything I start, doc says its A.D.H.D, but i tend to think I just cant find a reason to complete anything. Don't get me wrong the massive amounts of prescribed amphetamines help who wouldn't they help. Anyways, if you actually read this and care to respond, I was wondering if you have any advice, reccomendations or affirmations (joking), they would be appreciated. Keep up the good work, seriously.



My name is Francesco, I'm a 28 years old teacher from Italy. I'm glad I discovered your website. I was just looking for some informations about the prisoner's dilemma, and I found your link on another website from Turin's university. I was wondering when the issues are published, I'd really like to pay attention to your project.

I'm happy to notice that the website is still a free-thought area. The media system in Italy is nearly collapsed, it becomes harder everyday to get a clever and non-manipulated information. Keep firmly your will to inform, and hope I can help you as soon as possible with some articles.

Take care,bye!

Dear Mr. Wallace:

This letter is response to the articles appearing recently regarding the Mitchell report which detailed the scope of steroid use in Major League Baseball.

What drives the use of steroids in sports? Is it the obsessive desire to obtain millions of dollars and celebrity at the expense of an even playing field? Or is there a more serious underlying problem with entertainment in general?

One of the most disturbing facts about our capitalist nation is the misappropriation of funds directed to the salaries of entertainers. Everyone should agree that the value an athlete, movie star, talk-show host, team-owner, etcetera, brings to the average citizen is very small. Granted, they do offer a minuscule of diversion from our daily trials and tribulations,as did the jesters in the king's court during the middle ages. But to allow these entertainers to horde such great amounts of wealth at the expense of more benevolent societal programs is unacceptable.

Our society is also subjected to the "profound wisdom" of these people because it equates wealth with influence. Perhaps a solution to this problem and a alternative to defeated school levies, crumbling infrastructures, as well as all the programs established to help feed, clothe and shelter those who cannot help themselves would be to tax this undeserved wealth.

Entertainers could keep 1% of the gross earnings reaped from their endeavor and 99% could be deposited into the public coffers.

The old ideas of the redistribution of wealth have failed, and it is time to adapt to modern-day preferences. People put their money into entertainment above everything else; isn't it time to tap that wealth? Does anyone think this will reduce the quality of entertainment? It seems to me that when entertainers received less income, the quality was much higher.

Joe Bialek