They're rich because they're good

Readers respond to recent articles on hating the Yankees, pet cars and Don DeLillo.

Published October 29, 2001 5:00PM (EST)

Read "Why Does My Yankee Loathing Run So Deep?" by Steve Burgess.

Thanks to Steve Burgess for expressing how many baseball fans nationwide must surely feel -- but were hesitant to express -- about yet another appearance by the Yankees in the World Series. My intense dislike of the Yanks has existed for 30 years, but after Sept. 11, I wondered if it was appropriate to feel that way. Having to endure the sight of obnoxious Yankee fans every time they were on TV, and the sound of annoying New York-based celebrities praise the team on talk shows, benefit concerts, etc., made me realize that it was not only appropriate, but more necessary than ever. Please, Arizona, do us Yankee-haters a favor and put an end to our torment!

-- Warren Payne

I'm tired of this Yankee hatred, and I'm tired of money being pulled out as a justification. The fact is, the Yankees don't win because they're well-paid, they're well-paid because they win. They're getting rich because they've won four of the last five, because they play the game flawlessly in October without dependence on stars or aces, because they have a proven record of producing, over years, the kind of baseball that brings home rings, consistently, quietly, with determination and persistence and, ultimately, with results.

Find me another industry where their kind of success won't get you showered with praise and bucks, and then turn your heads toward the high-paid duds on other teams, guys who get rich and don't get it done. And rather than whining about the Yankees getting rich, ask yourself what A-Rod and Piazza and Griffey and Bonds and Pedro actually produced besides, occasionally, contending with the Yankees. If you want to get angry over salaries, turn this anger toward those who have not earned their money, and stop criticizing the Yankees by turning the achievement-compensation relationship on its head. They get paid because they have won, period, not the other way around. What's Jason Giambi's excuse?

-- Henry Quinn

Kudos to Steve Burgess for his jocular essay on Yankee-hating. Being a long-suffering Red Sox fan, I also have psychic pinstripe scars from head to toe. Way before Sept. 11, New Yorkers felt they were the center of the universe. Now they're the martyred center of the universe, and until other teams figure out how to do things right under pressure, we could be stuck with these Bronx Bummers for the foreseeable eternity.

-- Jeff Polman, Los Angeles

Read "A Hello Kitty You Can Drive" by Douglas Cruickshank.

This was the best thing I've read in a long time. A witty, critically minded piece about something the future holds that is not totally frightening. Thanks, it balanced my day.

-- Vikki Korda

How could you have mentioned K.I.T.T. and not Herbie the Love Bug?

-- Justin N. Meyer

Very enjoyable -- I loved it!

-- Teresa Blagg

Read "Brilliant Careers: Don DeLillo" by Jeffrey MacIntyre.

No disrespect to Mr. DeLillo or Mr. MacIntyre, but Saul Bellow's been doing all that Mr. DeLillo does and more for twice as long. With memorable characters, at that.

-- Mike Trotman

Years ago I picked up a used copy of "Great Jones Street." Since then I have been reading most of his work without reading any crit that follows. I'm not an intellectual, I just like a good read, and he more than satisfies.

-- Judson

DeLillo's fifth novel is titled simply "Players." Not "The Players."

Perhaps I'm being nit-picky, but you'd think the person chosen to write such a piece on the great DeLillo would know better.

What's worse, the majority of MacIntyre's piece consists of ephemera cobbled together from the DeLillo's America Web site filled in with unnecessarily long quotes from Big D's novels.

It's half-assed work like this that provides much of the ammunition to the DeLillo detractors: that DeLillo's writing is foisted on the reading public by critics and media writer types who themselves fail to have a real grasp on the work.

Some fact-checking and a fresh perspective would have done Mr. McIntyre a world of good here.

-- Bill Spratch

In a recent article on Don DeLillo, Jeffrey MacIntyre wrote: "He [DeLillo] figured prominently in an anti-intellectual broadside of so-called serious contemporary fiction this summer in the Atlantic Monthly." I read that so-called broadside and it was anything but "anti-intellectual." That crack basically discredits anything else MacIntyre has to say, which is sad because some of his points on DeLillo were seemingly astute. If he has to falsely label anything critical of DeLillo and some modern literature as "anti-intellectual," what trust can we have of his other judgments?

The article ("A Reader's Manifesto") in Atlantic Monthly correctly identified the current problem with those who would try to tell the rest of us what counts as serious literature. They have a bias toward the cynical, nihilistic miasma of the disenfranchised outsider ramble with a Kafka-esque "ending" (of course any actual resolution of events is to be avoided), and anything that has -- gasp! -- a plot, or is -- the horror! -- optimistic (let alone comic) in tone is prissily dismissed as something for the great unwashed.

The phrase "Emperor's New Clothes" as applied to the modern literary novel has popped up many times in all the online discussions that article launched. I think MacIntyre may not want to face the fact that they've been caught pushing an agenda that most avid readers don't want to accept, and tries to make one feel bad about it by accusations of being "anti-intellectual."

-- Tim Hanson

By Salon Staff

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