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COMMUNICATION: Media, Arts, & Society | January 13, 1998



An Unpublished Letter to

Calendar Letters, in Los Angeles Times

Regarding "It Wasn't Rain, Sleet, Snow..." (January 13), the failure of The Postman is yet another example of Hollywood's miscalculating the public's attitude toward the future, as explored in "The Future Isn't What It Used to Be" (Jan. 4) and as I commented on in my letter (Jan. 11).

Movies presenting an apocalyptic vision of the future are usually viewed as "bummers" and generally go straight to video or cable. Even Mad Max and Blade Runner have been more cult classics than mainstream hits. In contrast, even in its 20th anniversary re-release, Star Wars -- as idealistic as it was futuristic (in a "long time ago" sort of way) -- was a box-office success.

To put the blame upon the central character of The Postman being a letter-carrier is nothing short of bigotry. As most people know from first-hand experience, the vast majority of postal workers are decent people doing essential work and being ever more overworked (the reason most often cited for why a few have "snapped"). They deserve more respect.

Hollywood is at its best -- and usually its most profitable -- when it respects the ideals and travails of the everyday people.

Personal Note: We have a dear family friend who is a letter-carrier.

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