By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Insurance reform and academic honesty are the ultimate cures for Lyme disease and other chronic debilitating conditions.
As the publisher of Seven Stories Press, I didn't mind Cynthia Cotts's reference to us as "lowly" [Press Clips, December 22]. I take it she means that for Carol Felsenthal to publish with us after being wined and dined by the conglomerate houses is a little like stepping out of a limousine and onto a bicycle. Esquire called us a "publisher of last resort," and I liked that so much we're putting it in our spring catalogue. When the status quo is stifling, an outsider can end up with the most prized role, and I think that is the case with us.
However, I do have one quibble with Cotts's piece. She assumes it is a given that Citizen Newhouse will be shunned by book review editors every where who will not want to risk of fending a person as powerful as Condé Nast's owner. We are finding that editors at nearly every major book review in the country are assigning Carol Felsenthal's book, and are doing so with vigor. That is to suggest that book editors are way ahead of book publishers on the First Amendment issues at stake here, a very hopeful sign.
Daniel Simon, Publisher
Seven Stories Press
I commend Richard Goldstein for his thought-provoking article "The Hate That Makes Men Straight" [December 22]. As a counselor, I can understand a pack of young boys trying desperately not to "act like girls" because of a coach's admonition. I understand, too, the fear-streaked loneliness of a young boy who knows deep down that his feminine self is dominant.
Additionally, Goldstein's quote of psychoanalyst Nancy Chodorowwhen "confronted with contradictions in yourself that you can't tolerate [you] project the bad out, and then you want to destroy it"explains what probably caused the Matthew Shepard incident.
Richard Goldstein's "The Hate That Makes Men Straight" [December 22] was one of the best pieces I have ever read addressing homophobia and its consequences. Kudos to Goldstein for such a well-researched and highly literate article.
Re Robert Christgau's Consumer Guide [December 15]: Let me get this straight: Christgau gives Alanis Morissette's new CD, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, an A minus, and Bob Dylan's Live 1966 gets a B plus? Is Christgau being contrary, or does he need a long holiday without the CD player?
New Orleans, Louisiana
Tom Carson, in his article "Saving Private Clinton" [December 29], did a fantastic job of summing up what's really happening in Washingtona witch-hunt run by political zealots with a flawed president dodging the assassin's bullets.
Americans love to support the underdogespecially if Big Brother is swinging the whip. Besides, it's a relief to have only one pseudo-demigod rather than a horde of self-righteous, right-wing Republicans wielding absolute power.
Millwood, New York
The lack of ideas Parks sensed is the manifestation of new ideas he was blind to. Without narrative, director Michael Counts and the Gale Gates theater provided a commentary on modern images, the development of cinema, the interrelationship of art forms, and the notion that any form is confined by an ideology of representation.
Using a depth-of-field approach to bring a deeply cinematic dialectic of images into the realm of live performance, Counts achieved a Tarkovskyan emotional and visual tone that forces the audience to consider the spectacle before it.
Counts transgresses the bound aries between art forms. He is not only a genius of stage design, he is a filmmaker without a camera and a painter without a canvas.
Re Kandia Crazy Horse's "Freebirds All: Southern Rock's Undying Appeal" [December 22]: It's great to read good things about the Black Crowes and Gov't Mule, not to mention the Derek Trucks Band and the Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies.
The Crowes are my generation's Rolling Stones. No doubt, rock and roll is alive and well.
Life After 'Death'
Karl-Eric Reif's complaint about low scores in hockey this season and his descriptions of play as "sluggish" and "dismal" hit home for this longtime hockey nut ["The Death of Hockey," December 8].
However, a week after Reif's article, the New Jersey Devils went on a tearscoring five goals or more in five straight games, and setting a new franchise record. They haven't been this much fun to watch since Claude Lemieux was called a "gutless puke" by Cam Neely during the 1995 playoffs.
However, Wu-Tang remain elite in the rap industry. They emerged with their own style and standards in '93, which is what made them so appealing. Method Man and RZA's solo albums are not living up to Wu-standards, but they're still above main stream standards.
Livingston, New Jersey
Eur A Help
Elisabeth Vincentelli's "The New Euro" [November 24] pinned down for me the essence of what the band Stardust is about and explained what kind of music their hit tune "Music Sounds Better With You" is: "Eurodisco."