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In our latest issue, we published letters about newspapers, Broadmoor psychiatric hospital, boxing and Tom Stoppard...

From INTELLIGENT LIFE magazine, November/December 2012

Re: Good times, bad times (Features, July/August)
In response your article on the future of the newspaper industry and, in particular, the Guardian, I wonder whether newspapers are offering their readers an outdated package. If they used the online medium properly they could capitalise on a huge opportunity.

Take the Times, for example. Their app is beautiful: convenient, slick, readable and inexpensive. However, you can’t buy a single edition, only a subscription for a month. You can’t buy a single copy, like you can at the newsagents. What if you don’t want to read the whole newspaper but only, say, some sports articles, a leader or two and an opinion piece? You should be able to buy individual articles.

The world has moved on. In the same way we don’t necessarily want to buy music in the form of an album any more, nor do we necessarily want to buy a package of journalism. We still want good writing, and readers are prepared to pay for it—but in a more flexible form than is currently on offer.
Charlie Ellingworth, Somerset

Re: A boy’s own Broadmoor (Features, September/October)
I spent ten years living next door to Broadmoor psychiatric hospital—five at Wellington College and the preceding five years at its preparatory school, Eagle House. The surrounding woods were a wonderland but there was always in our impressionable young minds a possibility of encountering an escapee from the hospital.

There were several escapes during my decade nearby, but probably less often than I sometimes like to remember. The reality of these escapes—the roadblocks and the compulsory lockdowns within the safe walls of college buildings—combined with sirens being tested each and every Monday at 10am, reminded us of the place every week. Broadmoor was never far from our thoughts, but I never saw it with my own eyes so its existence for me remains quite mythical to this day.

Re: Fight the good fight (Cover story, July/August)
On your website, Tim de Lisle wrote of Mary Kom that, “As a woman, an Indian Christian and a native of Manipur—a neglected, disputed, impoverished region near the Myanmar border—Mary has won many battles outside the ring.” I’m curious about how being an Indian Christian comes into the “battles” that Mary has won? And exactly who has disputed Manipur being a part of India? The Chinese? They dispute many other parts of India, as indeed does Pakistan, but that does not define the identities of those parts of India—or Mary Kom.

Freedom of faith has been fiercely guarded in India for millennia. Christianity landed in the country in AD56—before it went to Europe—and has flourished ever since. In fact, due to unbridled proselytising by American missionaries for over a century in the north-eastern parts of India, many of its indigenous tribal cultures and beliefs were stamped out—until India threw out the missionaries some decades ago. The country is now trying to resurrect these indigenous traditions.

Mary Kom is a woman that all of India is very proud of; she does not need her background to be darkened with imaginary “battles” in addition to the real ones brought out in Rahul Bhattacharya’s cover story.
Reshmi Ray Dasgupta

Re: Applied Fashion (Style, September/October)
Calico is derived from Calicut, the anglicised name for Kozhikode, in Kerala, India. It’s not from Calcutta (or Kolkata) as you mentioned in your article on prints.
Pallavi Sen, New York

I frequently make clothes with upholstery fabrics. My favourite piece to date is a bias-cut, one-seam psychedelic-print coat. And no, I don’t look like a sofa. I urge people to dress in upholstery fabrics.
Dawn Montgomery, Ontario

Re: When in…Berlin (Places, September/October)
Rory MacLean’s advice on doing as the Berliners do was very well done. I had to laugh several times about his dos and don’ts when visiting Berlin. The city is a crazy place. Its mayor, Klaus Wowereit, must be a brother of London’s mayor, Boris Johnson—they are both oddballs.
Robert Knoop, Klevenow, Germany


Re: A Game, a Gadget and an App (Intelligence, September/October)
Your chosen gadget this issue may have been a little bit behind the times. I think the AeroPress coffee-maker first appeared in our office about two years ago. Its popularity spiked and then plummeted last year with the arrival of the Smart Café—an all-in-one that’s much cheaper, has no need for filters, and works a charm. The only downside is that you can’t share your coffee.
Shane Bluemel

Re: Versions of Stoppard (Features, September/October)
Tom Stoppard once came into my gallery in New York. He was there to pick out a few paintings by Mary Schepisi. He took his time browsing and then said he would return the next day. We were very excited when he did. After he finally picked out the nudes he wanted, my time with Tom ended.

My heart skipped a beat while he was there. Nadav Kander’s photographs of him are wonderful. I’m going to stare at those eyes for a long time.
Lisa Bowman, Beverly Hills, California


Re: The Big Question (Intelligence, September/October)
Given the United States’  codependency with China, what would be the spark that would cause either side to cut off its nose to spite its face? I see regular disagreements, yes. But something that triggers a global war? Of course it would be disastrous, but Edward Carr’s article failed to address plausible scenarios which could lead to war.
J. Scott Hamilton