The O'Reilly factor

Letters to the Boston editor: June 6, 2008
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  June 4, 2008

Too bad David S. Bernstein’s speculation about the “Senate Shuffle” failed to include the fact that a viable progressive Democrat is challenging the moribund incumbent John Kerry. Maybe he’ll get hip to this fact, and even report on it, after we Democrats meet in Lowell on June 7 and give Ed O’Reilly way more than the 15 percent vote he needs to get on the September primary ballot.

Isabella Jancourtz
Weston

Sexy no more?
It’s been about two months since you released your annual “100 Unsexiest Men of the Year” listings, and once again, you failed to follow up with a comparable round-up of the unsexiest women. I suspect you fear this would not go down well at all, particularly so if you derided women who, like, say, Larry Bird, James Gandolfini, and Drew Carey have done nothing to offend anybody other than to be — in your ex cathedra judgment — physically unappetizing.

Either bestow these dubious achievements equitably, without gender favoritism, or abandon the entire rancid enterprise altogether. I recommend the latter.

David English
Somerville

Great, indeed
There was one difference between the 1951 and 1978 season-enders. The Giants and Dodgers, in 1951, played a three-game “play-in” series to decide the winner. The Yanks-Sox game in 1978 was a one-game “play-in” contest — and the first in baseball since 1948 (as the author hinted at in his book, The Greatest Game: The Yankees, the Red Sox, and the Playoff of ’78).

Here’s the list of all the one-game “play-in” games in baseball history:

1948 AL pennant: Cleveland Indians beat Boston Red Sox 8-3
1978 AL East: New York Yankees beat Boston Red Sox 5-4
1980 NL West: Houston Astros beat Los Angeles Dodgers 7-1
1995 AL West: Seattle Mariners beat California Angels 9-1
1998 NL wild card: Chicago Cubs beat San Francisco Giants 5-3
1999 NL wild card: New York Mets beat Cincinnati Reds 5-0
2007 NL wild card: Colorado Rockies beat San Diego Padres 9-8.

Steve Lombardi
Middletown, New Jersey

Masterpiece theater erudition
Jeffrey Gantz got it right: what Shakespeare wrote and what he didn’t is definitely “one of literature’s most enduring and enjoyable mysteries." When we do bring the Earl of Oxford into it, we gain an understanding of Shakespeare’s “genius” as never before. The plays and poetry acquire profound human connection far beyond even that for which we already know them. Thank you, Mr. Gantz, for not summarily dismissing the experience offered by the true Shakespeare.

R. Thomas Hunter
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Having seen Cardenio at the American Repertory Theatre, I’m glad the critics panned it. I happened to enjoy it, because we got something seldom seen at the ART: a beautifully constructed traditional set (i.e., no sloping floors), actresses with beautiful singing voices (even Tommy Darrah surprised me), and a pseudo-Shakespearean aura about the whole thing.

Alice C. Brown
Canton

Correction
McLean Hospital points out that this past week’s cover story on psychedelic research at Harvard contained an error: former president Dr. Jack Gorman resigned from McLean when an inapproriate relationship with a patient at another hospital — not McLean, as we reported — came to light.

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