By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Of course, Hentoff may have intended the reference as a sly but uncharacteristic joke. After all, who better to bring down Hentoff's bête noire, Bill Clinton, than an exrat killer?
Nat Hentoff replies: Tom DeLay was not a working-class exterminator of rodents. He was management. He ran the company.
I have many family members and friends who are New York City police officers. They are hard-working civil servants who are up against the scourges of humanity 365 days a year. Can this allow the seeds of embitterment to breed? Hell, yes. Does it justify the classic cop attitude? Definitely not.
Supposedly, the officer hired today is college-educated and open to diversity and, with proper training, will keep a cool head. Instead, more often than not, it's a white guy from the 'burbs who thinks everybody is a potential perp, and wouldn't give you the time of day. Yes, this is a broad stroke.
However, if we want good cops from the citywho can empathize with the people, we need to root out the problem where it begins: in the city schools truly the fountain of mediocrity.
Voice& The Stars
Rob Brezsny's "real" astrology, Greg Sandow's little green men from Mars, Nat Hentoff's Clintonian conspiracy theories . . . Three cheers for The Village Voice and its steadfast refusal to let rational thinking get in the way of a good read.
I think everyone should back off on their criticism of Nat Hentoff. He is following in a grand tradition of alleged leftists who have been wooed by the right. If Mark Lane can defend the racist right's Liberty Lobby and Steve Allen can front for Brent Bozell's morality police, the Nat Hentoffs of the world have every right to defend Bob Barr, anti-abortionists, and the Clinton haters.
Marc Weissblot's review of M.O.T.'s 19.99[February 16] reinforced my conviction that mere wordsmiths should not be reviewing the works of word crafters. M.O.T.'s new album is not only lyrically the most wicked use of the mother tongue (mama-loshen, here) since Gilbert and Sullivan, but the music is eminently catchy, hard, and adventurous. I am weary of self-loathing Jews dissing their Hebros out of some sense that a little pride in the Tribe might cost them their assumed credibility in a gentile world. Please tell Weissblot that the nice Jewish boy from Nazareth was right when he admonished not to throw pearls before swine.
Los Angeles, California
In my review of the Pearl Theatre Company's production of The Country Wife ["Lust Horizon," January 19], the play's leading male character was erroneously referred to as "Mr. Homer." The character's actual name is Mr. Horner, which, as a Voicereader rightly pointed out in the February 2 letters section, is a Restoration pun on cuckoldry. However, I cannot take responsibility for this mistake, as it was in fact an editing error. Horner's my main man, not Homer at least according to the review that I wrote. My thoughts may have strayed beyond cuckoldry, but not quite as far as the Iliad.
One and Lonely
Ed Morales's reviews of Mike Albo's Spray and Jonathan Ames's Oedipussy ["Monomania," February 16] were the 10,000th and 10,001st invectives I've read against one- person shows. Before the trend burns itself out and no one cares about them for another five years, I would like to invite Mr. Morales to come to my show, Blood in My Coffee even if just to make it the final word on how bad one-person shows can be. I can't wait five years for the damn genre to revive and for people to decide that maybe it's okay to go to one again. If Morales hates it and writes a terrible review, I promise to write a letter to the editor in support of his opinion. It will read, "Ed Morales is right on the money. I blow." Or something to that effect.
I enjoyed the dialogue between Lisa Jones and Barbara Chase-Riboud ["A Most Dangerous Woman," February 9], which offered new insights into issues of publishing and filmmaking. Is the presentation of a dual "history" to go on forever?
A Teletubby is the Antichrist
Last month Falwell outraged good people everywhere by declaring that the Antichrist is probably alive today and is a male Jew.
This offensive paranoia is what passes for "morality" and "family values" among right-wing religious conservatives?
The fact that they hold great influence within the present Republican Party, and therefore in government and over our personal lives, is no laughing matter.
William C. Stosine
Iowa City, Iowa
Philippine Film Festival
"Empire & Memory: Repercussions and Evocations of the 1899 Philippine-American War," a film and video series examining race, nationalism, history, and identity, will run from Wednesday, February 17, through Saturday, March 13, at the Guggenheim Museum. Tickets are free with museum admission and for Guggenheim members. For information, call 212-360-4321.