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by Kevin D. Williamson

The Revision of Klinghoffer
One of the reasons for the Jewish outcry against The Death of Klinghoffer, which was mentioned in The Week (July 21), was the original final scene, in which Klinghoffer’s neighbors in the town where he lived discuss the great deal Klinghoffer got on the cruise on which he was murdered by Palestinian terrorists. The neighbors do not yet know of the murder. This scene is a slur against Jews in general, not just Israelis, as being unduly interested in money. At the time The Death of Klinghoffer premiered, Frank Rich, in the New York Times, blasted the opera, mentioning this scene. It was later removed from the opera, but its original existence discredits the idea that the composer and librettist were neutral or balanced.

Frank Boardman
Athens, Ga.

Kirk’s Balanced Mind
In “Let Your Right Brain Run Free” (July 7), Adam Bellow writes:

With apologies to Russell Kirk, the conservative mind is unbalanced — hyper-developed in one respect, completely undeveloped in another. It’s time to correct this imbalance and take the culture war into the field of culture proper.

Years ago, Russell Kirk, who possessed a supremely balanced mind and who authored ghostly yarns and tales of fantasy, called for imaginative conservatives to participate in the popular culture, particularly in television. He might be cited in support of Bellow’s similar call. See, for example, Kirk’s essay “The Age of Sentiments.” One version of this essay even ends with the cry “To the studios, men of high sentiments!”

R. Craig Atkinson
Lemoore, Calif.

Endangered? Specious!
Dear bronzed and tanned National Review editors,

Those of us with red hair and fair skin hoped to gain massive federal largess, as did the snail darter and the spotted owl, when it was reported our mutant species was due for extinction. Now, The Week (August 11) reports that our road to the financial Promised Land is no more based on “science.”

Damn you, National Review! A pox on your house for crushing the federally funded hopes and dreams of my fellow mutants and our families.

Yours in sunburned solidarity with my brothers and sisters facing extinction,

Sherm Johnson
Carmel, Ind.

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