I turn away people every day who ask how they can become a hacker or ask if the hacks in the movie Hackers can be done. Most of them are young, intelligent individuals who want instant fame by learning how to hack or phreak immediately. They want to do it for the publicity or to impress their peers, giving real "hackers" a bad name.

Ice Pirate
Sarasota, Florida

Prosecuting Prejudice

I agree with Nat Hentoff's arguments in his column "The War Against Gays and Lesbians" [November 24]. Those who oppose hate-crime legislation often ignore the fact that we punish criminals in accordance with their criminal intentions. There are different degrees of murder and manslaughter. Adding bias or hate as a sentencing factor, as we do with premeditation, is perfectly justifiable.

Michael North

Satanic Versus

How the hell can James Hannaham say that "Jewel is the Devil" ["Hell's Angel," November 24]? All Hannaham did was make fun of Jewel's music and call her names.

I am here to support Jewel. I love her music, and I have every right to. Hannaham has no right to tell me that when I listen to her beautiful music, I am listening to the demonic melodies of Satan!

Jewel's music is inspirational, and you know what? It brings me great joy to hear her music.

Hannaham says she is possessed. If she's possessed, then I'm possessed as well, because I am one of her biggest fans! Have your opinions, but don't tell me that Jewel is possessed by the Devil!

Andy Knapp
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Church Of Jewel

I'm one of those brainwashed people— the Jewel "fancult," as James Hannaham describes us— who call themselves Everyday Angels and believe that Jewel is the Messiah. Hannaham has made an absolutely ludicrous assessment of our Lord Goddess Jewel Kilcher.

It's time to accept the fact that Jewel is God. She has always been against us idolizing her, preaching inspiration instead, but that is just her humble nature.

You cannot challenge Jewel, so join her. Join us in the Church of Kilchianity. Embrace it. Live it. Or else it will devour you.

William Cheng
Houston, Texas

Green Goliaths

In response to Guy Trebay's obituary for community gardens ["Uprooted: The City Yanks More Gardens Out of Harlem," November 17]: There is a movement to create and preserve gardens, but don't look to professional advocacy groups for the true story.

When a contingent of citywide gardeners and supporters asked one paid advocate how they could support gardens in Harlem, they were told, "We don't need your help, we have advocacy jurisdiction."

This is the crux of it: Such ilk require gardens to be bulldozed to justify their positions. Indeed, the Cherry Tree Association had been working for years to create and maintain community gardens in the downtown Bronx, looking for support in every direction, when, all of a sudden, major green organizations turn up at the Community Board meetings, and ceased to have contact with us!

Instead of cultivating relationships with grassroots organizations, many environmentalists are arranging workshops tailored to grant funding, or are in the back rooms breakfasting, and conveniently blaming the mayor for everything. What we need is help, not excuses.

Harry Bubbins
Chief of Environmental Defense
Cherry Tree Association

Saltz & Paper

Jerry Saltz didn't shy away from Kara Walker's confrontational cut-out silhouettes in his gutsy review of her work ["Making the Cut," November 24].

Saltz's direct language and courageous analysis was a refreshing change from the homogenized drivel that generally predominates in current art criticism. The review was a perfect response to Walker's work, which also refuses to mince words on its potentially divisive subjects.

Spyros Karayiannis
St. Louis, Missouri

Room Service

Gary Giddins's article on cabaret vocalists Paula West and Daryl Sherman was welcome ["Night Work," November 17]. Sherman is a true-blue worker bee in the arena of cabaret. At a time when one can easily become jaded about the rigors and struggles of succeeding in the form, Sherman shines with her perennial, sincere smile that makes any room radiate.

Competition from other music markets and forms of entertainment keeps cabaret at bay, outside the mainstream. Yet it remains an intimate secret for those who appreciate a craft requiring absolute honesty and melodic expression.

Chris Borras

Spring Blossoms

I was freaked by Lynn Yaeger's writing in her article about the spring '99 collections ["In Dreams Begin Responsibilities," November 17]. It was so non-drab! I hope to read more of her alt-word-filled pennings about fashion in the future.

Lyn-Marie Stufko
Ottawa, Canada

Dolce Delivers

Michael Musto's weekly column, La Dolce Musto, is excellent. When I lived in New York, I never quite grasped his gossip. Maybe I took New York City too seriously at the time. Now, as an outsider, I can see Mr. Musto's clever wit in exposing much that is silly and pretentious in New York.

Steve Kanaley
Arlington, Virginia

Racist Diary

Re Lisa Jones's article on The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer ["Slave TV," November 10]: As an African American woman, I too was insulted by the show's racist content.

Meredith Jones
(no relation to Lisa) Brooklyn

Unborn Again

I am fascinated by the outrage that Jennifer Gonnerman directs at antiabortion activists who are turning violent against abortion doctors ["The Terrorist Campaign Against Abortion," November 10].

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