Beyond Brutality

Thank you for your excellent coverage of the murder of Matthew Shepard ["Beyond the Fence," November 3].

Guy Trebay, Alisa Solomon, Austin Bunn, and the eyewitness testimonials from the march in Manhattan put the events in perspective in a sensitive, thought-provoking way.

Janice Troyer
Leavenworth, Kansas

Fence To Stonewall

Why were images of a second Stonewall used throughout Alisa Solomon's article on the political funeral march for Matthew Shepard ["Back to the Streets," November 3]?

Was it because there were injuries and arrests? Why do so many of my gay brothers and sisters need to be battered by police before becoming active queers? It's sad that we're awakened only when we are victims of brutality. We seem to have given the police power over our politics.

Marc Arendt
Ithaca, New York

Riot Act

Reading Brian Parks's "Facts in Trouble" [October 20], about why he killed a piece on Rent playwright Jonathan Larson's alleged plagiarism of Sarah Schulman's novel People in Trouble, reminded me of my theory of where Larson could have got the idea of a performance piece sparking off a riot other than from Schulman's novel.

In June 1989, I was part of a series of street theater pieces created by the Radical Faeries during the 20th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion. In one piece, the Faeries emerged from the former Stonewall (at the time a boutique) and staged an extremely silly send-up of the riots. The piece inspired the large crowd to occupy Seventh Avenue for several hours, coming into conflict with motorists and police.

I don't know if Larson was there, but he could have read C.Carr's detailed description of the event in the Voice [On Edge, July 4, 1989]. It seems more likely that Larson was inspired by this incident than by the scene in Schulman's novel where a visual-art piece catches fire.

Maybe the Faeries should claim credit for this scenario!

David Finkelstein

Apt. Coverage

As a longtime reader of the Voice, I would like to commend J.A. Lobbia for her excellent coverage of the changing face of New York City.

Lobbia's article "Hell's Kitchen Is Burning" [September 8] on gentrification and overdevelopment, and her Towers & Tenements column on the merciless displacement of poor and elderly residents from SROs on the Upper West Side ["Down in the Old Hotel," October 6] motivated me to wander through these neighborhoods and survey the "improvements" firsthand. As a native Manhattanite, it's good to know I'm not alone in mourning the loss of affordable housing in this borough.

I only wish Lobbia's column would run every week and that the Voice would provide more features about our endangered neighborhoods. An occasional housing supplement would be good, too. Aside from that, I have no complaints.

Jay White Feather

Family Values

My teenage daughter and I have been reading The Village Voice since moving to New York two years ago. We find out who is performing in town, and I enjoy J.A. Lobbia's Towers & Tenements column.

But I must say that stumbling onto Nat Hentoff's columns has been the most delightful discovery of all. Hentoff's views on the Clinton-Lewinsky catastrophe ["The Glitterati Attack Ken Starr," October 27] convinced me that whether you want him impeached or not, Bill Clinton did commit perjury.

Sheela Wolford

Prosecution Complex

Nat Hentoff may have a point in "The Glitterati Attack Ken Starr".

You can split legal hairs all day over material facts, perjury, and a politically inspired lawsuit by Clinton haters, but anyone who read the Starr Report knows that Mr. Clinton lied and that he tried to influence Betty Currie.

Still, what Barbra Streisand and Toni Morrison and the rest of "the glitterati" fear is another round of McCarthyism in Hollywood.

If you live in New York City, you really have no clue as to the rising fascism in the conservative South. PBS is still thought to be a Communist plot, even though the most controversial program they run is about Chinese cooking.

Fine, impeach Clinton. Now tell me who will stop the fascism of the right?

Sonya Taylor
Winder, Georgia

Arresting Development

Thanks to Jason Vest ["Human Rights 'Miracle'," November 3] and Andrew Hsiao [Press Clips, November 3] for their coverage of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet's arrest in London.

However, one important element of the story has escaped editorial comment in most of the U.S. media: the Spanish investigation was partly prompted by the fact that during the Chilean phase of the CIA-backed "dirty war" against leftists, 79 Spanish citizens disappeared and were never heard from again. If something like that had happened to 79 U.S. citizens in a left-wing country during the Cold War, large portions of that country would have been flattened in retaliation.

William F. Buckley and The Wall Street Journal keep editorializing on the aging dictator's behalf, with absolutely no sense that the Spanish people have a specific and legitimate complaint against this murderer— another example of the right's willingness to invoke the otherwise despised "moral relativism" whenever it suits their purpose.

Eric Laursen

'Boys' & The 'Hood

Michael Musto's examination of hate crimes in the U.S.["Hate of the Union," October 27] was commendable. As a recent victim of homophobic harrassment— a friend and I were caught unawares while conversing and verbally abused for our lack of "manhood"— it seemed to me both timely and insightful.

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