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COMMUNICATION: Media, Arts, & Society | October 15, 1986



An Unpublished Letter to

Letters to View, in Los Angeles Times

In "Riddle of the Bouchercon is No Enigma" (View, 10/15/86), Anaheim librarian Kevin Moore states that mystery stories are enjoying an upswing in popularity because "now we're swinging back to a more conservative society, [and] people want an ordered society. Mysteries offer that order; things come out right in the end. It's a puzzle, but a solvable puzzle." I take exception to her analysis!

What she is saying is that conservatism is orderly thought; but liberalism, disorderly. Poppycock! Was it liberalism or conservatism that gave us the chaos of the Great Depression (and threatens a sequel, because of our destabilizing federal deficit)? Was it conservatism or liberalism that gave us the restabilizing New Deal (and offers us a rational way out of the deficit, with fair and wise progressive taxes, cuts in the overgrown military budget, and affordable help for the needy...[which will] maximize the stimulation of the economy)?

By implying that liberal thought is disorderly thought, Ms. Moore overlooks what liberals stand for: Progress, intelligently planned ("telesis", as the TV commercials define it). The proper role of a conservative is to see that "the baby is not thrown out with the bath water"; however, given this Administration's dismal record on such things as preserving protections for human rights and for the environment, against the onslaughts of progress not intelligently planned, it seems as if conservatives are not the conservationists, in matters both ecological and sociological, that they should be: It appears that it is conservative thought that, at least for now, is reckless, disorderly thought.

However, I must make my peace with Ms. Moore -- I have to agree with her final analysis of the popular appeal of mysteries: "They're so much fun!"

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