To the Editor: Jonathan Ames’ piece “My Very Open Diary: Ogling Short Skirts on Ashe’s Blue Courts” [Sept. 12] was

To the Editor:

Jonathan Ames’ piece “My Very Open Diary: Ogling Short Skirts on Ashe’s Blue Courts” [Sept. 12] was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

I rarely read sports news, but the caption caught my eye.

However (there is always a “however,” have you noticed?), I would not go out drinking with a guy who admits being into armpits.

T&A, legs, elbows, toes, knees, ankles, shoulder blades—but armpits?

Has he ever considered therapy, or am I missing something?

James J. Whalen


To the Editor:

WELL! That was hilarious, positively Joycean—the towel threads still clinging to Agassi’s face?

Mr. Ames’ trophy that he haunted them to give him, resulting in tainted glory?

(I had to filch my own high-school diploma, but that’s another story.)

He is a wonderful writer. I really enjoyed reading that article immensely.

Eileen Fanning Fisher

Vernon, N.J.

To the Editor:

Just wanted to say what great writing that was on the U.S. Open: funny, real, dignified, interesting. Sports writing has become so poor as of late. I am a big fan of Bill Simmons, who writes for ESPN, but the rest just aren’t interesting or funny. (And when they try to be, it’s painful. Humor is a somewhat innate quality, and these guys just come off as nerds.)

Anyways, thanks again.

Christopher McKinley

Washington, D.C.

Schlock and Awe

To the Editor:

To his credit, Christopher Hitchens’ defense of the invasion and destruction of Iraq is couched in grammar and syntax undreamt of by George W. Bush [“Hitchens Manning Iraq Barricades in Siege at Home,” Sheelah Kolhatkar, Aug. 29–Sept. 5].

To his great discredit, it shows him to be just one more Englishman still besotted by the defunct Empire (cf. The Economist’s editorial staff), who thinks that England’s attempt at world subjugation was a good thing and does nothing to conceal his deep contempt for the descendants of the wogs who got only what they deserved for presuming to oppose it.

It is a short step from there to his admiration for the leaders of the only power strong enough to aspire to empire, which has started by storming mindlessly into the wretched Middle East mess created by England after World War I and made it all immeasurably worse. It must gratify him that England, however pathetic its second-tier status, is in on the mayhem.

John Costa



To the Editor:

I must say that it’s fun to watch Richard Brookhiser squirm to avoid the unpalatable truths about George W. Bush’s abject failure in Iraq [“Democracy Takes Root, Slowly, in Post-Saddam Iraq,” National Observer, Aug. 29-Sept. 5]. The more he wriggles, the firmer the hook sets.

R. Sommer

Westport, Conn.

To the Editor:

I sent a link to Mr. Brookhiser’s article of Aug. 29 with this note to my two sons at the University of Texas, McCombs School of Business (I couldn’t interest them in Yale, Wheaton or West Point):

“Read this (out loud). Its elegant prose is wedded to wisdom. If you understand this article, you’ll get a balanced understanding of the war your generation has been asked to fight and you might learn something about how to write a winning essay at Leviathan University. Remember: never let school get in the way of your education. Dad.”

I hope this encourages Mr. Brookhiser.

Jon Panner

Austin, Tex.

Fur Shame

To the Editor:

Regarding Nancy Chilton’s “Fur: Which Should I Choose—A Coat or My Husband?” [New Yorker’s Diary, Aug. 29-Sept. 5]: One, she is no lady. Her coat screamed and bled; no real lady needs social affirmation at that cost.

The quandary of her choice, coat or husband? The choice is her husband or her ethics. This is an individual matter—no amount of similarly vapid babes excuses an individual.

Dorothy McLean

North Salem, N.Y. Letters