Letters

Mighty Mighty Musto

After reading Michael Musto's column last week on Kurfew, "the Saturday night gay teen fest" at the Tunnel, I was not only amused. I was also touched.

I was reading the article laughing out loud with a big cheery smile because all of it was so true. Especially the part about all the "sloppy kisses."

Then, about halfway through, I came across promoter Jeff Brenner's story (he says he lost his white-collar job because he was gay)—and a tear ran down my cheek. That was the first time I ever read anything online that made me cry.

I want to thank Michael Musto for the enlightening experience. I now have a greater respect for Kurfew.

Ish Genao
Westchester, New York

I was made aware of Michael Musto's column by the national Australian glossy gay/lesbian magazine Outrage. They called him "brilliant."

Indeed, it's so refreshing to find a wise, witty, and wonderfully funny writer on the New York social scene—and one who tells the truth, not the usual public relations crap. He'll be a hot favourite way down here in New Zealand soon, if I've got anything to do with it!

James Macky
New Zealand


Not A Drudge

Re Cynthia Cotts's Press Clips column ["Wishful Reporting," January 19]:

It seems that all one has to do in order to be called a fabricator and a peer of Matt Drudge is to print a story about Kissinger and then find that he denies it. ("Why ruin a good story with the truth?" Does Cotts think up these lines all by herself?) I have three good eyewitnesses to Kissinger uttering precisely the words about Clinton which I attributed to him. Did I check with Kissinger himself? He doesn't take or return my phone calls, and also has an animus against me and a motive to deny anything I assert, for reasons which (though not shared by her with Voice readership) were clearly stated in the same column that Cotts claims to have read. I must also say, shocking as it may sound, that many of us have learned from experience not to take Henry Kissinger's unsupported word, even about his own deeds and utterances.

After failing to get through to Kissinger in the past, I have sometimes asked to speak to one of his mouthpieces or flacks. In the future I'll just get someone to call Cotts, who appears to have no trouble taking his avowals as unimpeachable, and using them to spread innuendo.

Christopher Hitchens
Washington, D.C.


Out To Pasture?

Guy Trebay did an excellent job in his column last week reporting the on the carriage horse business, and gets it right when he says that there is no valid reason for the continued existence of this industry ["Hack Work: The Not-So-Quaint Lives of New York's Carriage Horses"].

Carriage horses are from another, quieter time, and simply do not belong in the traffic of one of the most traffic-clogged cities in the world.

The quote attributed to me when I refer to our group as "ragtag" was unfortunately accurate at the time in trying to convey my frustration in not feeling prepared to take on this issue.

But make no mistake, after a challenging period of time, we are back, and we are committed to get more humane laws for the horses or eliminate carriages entirely from New York City as many cities in Europe have done.

Elizabeth Forel
The Coalition for New York City Animals, Inc.
Manhattan


Penetrating Thoughts

I read Mark Schoofs's very interesting article "The Deadly Gender Gap" [January 5], which focuses on the imperative for men to take responsibility for preventing the spread of AIDS, often perceived as a woman's disease in Africa.

I am curious about what might be referred to as "male penetration culture" in some Islamic and African cultures, and its connection to the spread of AIDS in those countries. In certain Middle Eastern and African countries, "penetrators" have male-to-male sex, but they are not seen as homosexual.

The penetration of another man becomes a social catastrophe if it is spoken of or named.

In Schoofs's article nothing is mentioned about men having sex with other men. I believe that the male-to-male sex in Islamic and African countries needs to be more analyzed and spoken of and taken
into consideration in reference to developing HIV-prevention strategies.

Lennart Alm
Sweden

Mark Schoofs responds: While AIDS education for individual men who have sex with men is important, in Africa the epidemic is overwhelmingly fueled by men having sex with women—best estimates indicate that more than 90 percent of HIV cases are spread through heterosexual sex.


Not So Cute

In Toni Schlesinger's column, Shelter [January 12], she quotes a cute story told by one of her interviewees, who recounted how once she noticed a "lovely old couple" standing in her building's courtyard at 4 a.m. For some reason, Schlesinger feels compelled to follow this vignette with a cheap, ageist joke by writing, "That's probably when they woke up. They want to be awake as much as possible while they're still alive." How clever. Schlesinger would do better simply reporting about her subjects and their homes. We'll all be there someday, Toni.

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