Winning Spre

Nelson George ["All Eyez on Spre," February 9] might turn out to be right that Latrell Sprewell's arrival in New York means the Knicks have "crossed to the dark side," but he misses a crucial point— that Sprewell is on orders from the Knicks to light up the darkness with a warm glow that is racially unidentifiable.

This charade of Sprewell as a changed man plays well in the media, where it has been overlooked that Sprewell has not dropped his $30 million lawsuit against the NBA for depriving him of his civil rights.

For all the remodeling, Sprewell seems no less hostile, and if he's blamed for the Knicks losing, that's when fireworks might erupt. I also wonder how Sprewell's game will be affected by his employers' mainstream plans for him. Personally, I think he'd be better off if he unclasped his hands from around his own throat and unleashed his dark side. Worked fine for Dennis Rodman, whom the Knicks couldn't have painted off-white— which is probably why Rodman's not in New York, although his addition probably would've had a greater impact on the team than Sprewell's.

Mark Ribowsky

Woon With A View

I am greatly in debt to Edie Meidav for her wonderful and accurate review of my book The Truth in Rented Rooms [January 26]. I thank Ms. Meidav not only for my own vindication, as it were, but also for the people without voice whom I have met or lived with in my journeys from rented room to rented room, in addition to the asylums and the homelessness.The simple answer is that mental illness was and is the culprit. However, mental illness has many parameters, not the least of which are medical, sociological, and political.

When I think back to how I lived my first nine years in a village without electricity or running water and then reflect on the present state of cyberspace, I marvel at how the world has progressed. Yet in some ways, the world has improved very little and perhaps not at all.

Koon Woon
Seattle, Washington

Fashion Victims

Congratulations to Guy Trebay for his passionate article "Wrap Sheet: The Bloody Trail of This Year's Fashion Must" [February 16]. Trebay does a brilliant job of exposing the fashion industry's complicity in sending the rare and beautiful Tibetan antelope to the brink of extinction through its lust for scarves made from the wool of these animals. Trebay also makes the essential point that it is not only the Tibetan antelope that is threatened by the demand for shahtoosh wool scarves; since black marketeers in India trade tiger and bear parts for the antelope wool, these already endangered species are part of the bloody shahtoosh trade as well. All to satisfy the cravings of rich Westerners for the latest fashion craze.

Trebay mentions a report on the shahtoosh trade by the Wildlife Protection Society of India. Anyone who wishes to read that excellent report in full can find it on the Web at www.5tigers.org/shaconts.htm.

Jennifer Scarlott

Must You?

In response to Michael Musto's comments in his February 9 column regarding a public service announcement for God's Love We Deliver:

We are delighted to learn that Mr. Musto feels we're doing "incredible work." However, his comments about this client-outreach commercial suggest a disregard for gay men who have children and for heterosexuals who have AIDS. The mention of the client's children in the announcement was simply to illustrate the fact that we deliver meals not only to people with AIDS, but to their dependents as well. God's Love We Deliver understands how difficult it is for our clients to support their families when they cannot shop or cook for themselves.

Based on Mr. Musto's brief remarks, it seems that he does not believe that gay men can be parents and/or that heterosexuals should be targeted for our services.

Incidentally, the number of new AIDS cases in the heterosexual population is currently rising at a faster rate than in the homosexual population. Let me assure Mr. Musto that God's Love We Deliver did not "take great pains" to point out that the client in the PSA is not gay, as he suggests.

God's Love We Deliver continues to reach out to the gay community through events, presentations, and media campaigns.

Carlos Sousa
Communications Coordinator
God's Love We Deliver

Delay And Destruction

I have long admired Nat Hentoff, a beacon of principle and iconoclasm whose opinions, nestled within the rather pious pages of The Village Voice, have the agreeably disruptive effect of a baby wailing in church. It surprises me, then, to find Hentoff making such a careless remark about the House Republican Whip, Tom DeLay.

In his February 9 column ["Will the Right Rule?"], Hentoff, with a clear tone of disdain, informs us that DeLay was "a professional exterminator of rodents before he entered public life." This brand of snobbery is surprising coming from Hentoff, making him sound a bit like an upper-caste Hindu, quavering at the prospect of being governed by the untouchables (who do such sanitation work in India).

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