By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
I found Wayne Barrett's article on Rudy Giuliani a first-rate piece of journalism ["Rudy's White World," January 26]. It's apparent that Barrett wrote the article free of bias and covered some important issues for example, that as a child Rudy cheered for the Yankees [instead of the then recently integrated Dodgers]. Apparently, you can insinuate whatever you want about Giuliani, even if it's as juvenile as that he's a bigot because he once cheered for the white Yankees. Giuliani should be commended for sticking to his beliefs and values. Whether you agree with him or not, his resolve is steadfast. He doesn't sugarcoat issues or feed off public opinion. It's not that Giuliani is without faults; I'm just tired of political journalism that's slanted entirely to either the left or the right.
Thank you for Karen Houppert's respectful article on JoLea Lamot ["Knock-Down-Drag-Out," January 26], a sadly typical story that details some of the difficulties we transgendered people experience in gaining the dignity of being treated as human beings. It is heartening to see our community coming out in such numbers, although disturbing that with new visibility we now hear many stories like JoLea's of being abused, beaten, and discriminated against.
And what's with that headline? Nowhere in the story was JoLea described as a drag performer, and I can think of no reason other than cynical prejudice for that word to be used. Perhaps the headline writer thought the term catchy and hip; it's also limiting and patronizing, and I would expect better of the Voice. Where is your sensitivity?
Must every transgendered person be referred to in terms of "drag"? Straight and gay folk alike wear the drag of their culture every day, and you don't see us making some big deal out of it. Give us a break being TG ain't about clothes.
Sara Davis Buechner
Thank you for Karen Houppert's excellent reporting on the JoLea Lamot case. She got all the names and pronouns right a unique and pleasant treat. Great job!
Mary Ann Horton
As a psychologist who recently decided to leave my practice to pursue another profession, I think Sharon Lerner's column on managed mental health care was excellent ["Shrink Rap," January 26]. One of the primary factors in my decision was that I was tired of everyone else making determinations about my patients. I was talking about this with one of my graduate school professors who said she'd received letters from three of her former students who had stopped practicing in the last year for the same reason. It's a sad comment on the state of managed care when experienced professionals start leaving the field to pursue other careers because they feel powerless.
James B. Luther
After reading J.A. Lobbia's column on the SRO hotels being renovated so that they can be rented to tourists at a higher rate than the tenants currently pay, I think what the landlords are doing is horrible ["Room Disservice," January 26]. They are making money from forcing helpless people out onto the streets and, to top it off, it's not even legal.
I grew up on the Lower East Side when many hotels were occupied by elderly men, so I can understand the situation of the people who live in the SROs. Many of my father's friends were living in those hotels, and, like the people who live in SROs now, I know they would not have been able to afford to live anywhere else if they had been forced to leave. I don't think anybody should have the right to force these people to leave the places they've called home for over two decades, especially a bunch of heartless, lowlife landlords who only want to put a few extra dollars in their pockets.
It was good to see an enormous photograph of alto saxophonist Mike Hashim, one of New York's many talented but underappreciated jazz musicians, in the Voice ["World War II Chic," January 19]. How unfortunate that the caption "Swagger and swing at Coney Island High" did not mention Hashim's name. Granted, the photo was there to illustrate Richard Goldstein's article not a music piece but is that really a good excuse for withholding credit from a deserving musician?
Oddly, an item by James Hannaham in the January 26 Sound of the City goes to the opposite extreme, referring to singer Cassandra Wilson as a "jazz legend." Wilson is a gifted singer, no question, but surely a term like "jazz legend" should be reserved for performers who have been in the business long enough to earn a place in that pantheon.
Whatever happened to the middle ground between anonymity and idolatry?
Once again Michael Feingold has hit the nail on the critical head with his review of Fosse ["Sex Marks the Spot," January 26]. Bob Fosse was a monomaniac whose choreography was rarely integrated into the story of the musical; instead, his choreography added a new element (some would say dimension) to the musical. Feingold is right to complain that this tribute show another bald attempt to cash in on Fosse's gyrations spends far too much time on his late, overtly sexual work and not enough time on his earlier work, which is what made him famous in the first place. Other choreographers, such as Onna White or Gower Champion, are considered by many to be lesser artists because their work reflected the characters, stories, and tones of their shows. They were punished for their restraint. It's nice to see Feingold point out the problems in such commercialistic tripe.