By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
In another incident last year, a group of young people chained themselves together in the Eureka office of Congressman Frank Riggs to protest old-growth logging. Videotape showed the police applying pepper-spray to the eyelids of the protesters with cotton swabs. In reaction to the event, Riggs hit the media circuit calling these nonviolent protesters "terrorists."
James Ridgeway's new Mondo Washington column has more information in just six or seven paragraphs than can be found anywhere else in the paper. His item on Henry Hyde's S&L dirty dealings and his analysis of the Mobil-Exxon merger [December 8] were first-rate.
The latter reminds me of Ridgeway's long-forgotten book, Who Owns the Earth?, which laid out the ownership structure of mineral resourcesit should be updated.
St. Paul, Minnesota
Mark Boal's article "Spycam Chic: The Surveillance Society: Part Two" [December 8] was very disturbing. I shudder at the thought that someone else is privy to acts I reserve for the privacy of a toilet, a cubicle, or voting booth.
The majority of Americans are unaware of the pervasiveness of these hidden surveillance devices. We rely on reporters like Boal to expose them.
Thank you for Nat Hentoff's column about antigay violence ["The War Against Gays and Lesbians," November 24]. As a child of Holocaust survivors, I am appalled by the Jewish leaders Hentoff wrote about, who want federal funding withdrawn for an exhibit at the Holocaust Museum about victims who were gay.
As Jews, we should know that violence against any group harms us all. America should be a place where no group feels unsafe. Hentoff's column was a strong reminder that it isn't.
Her family is originally from Italy, but they live in Tunisia, too which is only to say that African identity is never what it seems.
I enjoyed Linda Stasi's column about the media's hypocrisy in ridiculing "the less-than-model looks of Paula, Hillary, Monica, and Linda" while letting their male counterparts like Ken Starr and Henry Hyde go unscathed ["Scandalous Beauty," December 8].
I have often been embarrassed by the comments made by some of my male acquaintances regarding the appearance of women who happen to be newsmakers. These same people never comment on the appearance of men in the news.
Robert Christgau's music reviews are enjoyable, but in his piece about Willie Nelson ["The Unflashiest," November 17], he refers to 1995's Just One Love as "an old-fashioned country record... featuring Austin songbird Kimmie Rodgers." The reference should have been to Kimmie Rhodes.
Graffiti For Sale
I loved Richard Goldstein's "New York (Old) School" [November 17]. Case 2 is a master of aerosol art and it's good to see him getting some attention. Now why don't some nice rich folks go out and buy his paintings?
Hollis, New York
HMO to go
Dr. Stern's experiences with the new bosses of U.S. medicine are commendable but not unusual. Many of us in clinical practice have tried to take on the insurance cabal with mixed results, like Dr. Stern. Occasionally, we score a victory for our patients, but the contrary is the norm.
It is naive to think that one doctor can take on the insurance empire which has the backing of the federal governmentand win. The HMO system was created by the banking and insurance industries as an answer to the call for a universal health-care system.
Our profession, which has an elitist attitude, has refused to accept the need for unionization. Now, we are paying the price, working harder for less income and worse, our patients are getting quick, cookbook remedies from HMO-dictated management.
Don Sloan, M.D.
Gary Giddins's lucid analysis of jazz and other music is the reason that I buy the Voice in Boston at two bucks a pop. His contemporary cultural criticism will be read long after it is published.
I enjoy Toni Schlesinger's informative columns about how people manage to live in New York City. I spent last summer in New York, and wondered how people could possibly afford it!
Regrettably, I'm back in Arizona, but Schlesinger's interviews give me insight into the lives of the people living in New York.
Michael Zilberman's equating of the Canadian film Hard Core Logo with That Thing You Do [November 17] shows that, to use his own words, he has "neither dick nor talent" as a critic.
Hard Core Logo was one of the ballsiest films I've seen in years a stunning representation of life on the road.