By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Clearly, UFO counselor Budd Hopkins, the subject of Bunn's article, helps his groups with his kindness and his thorough knowledge of the subject. I am considering utilizing his services, but before doing so, I wish to recall as much as I possibly can by myself.
Katonah, New York
No Dare Dare
Statistics show that in the 20 years we've lived through the government's bogus "war on drugs," of which DARE is one manifestation, drug use has notdecreased, but instead has increased, with more and more kids getting into substance abuse at an earlier age because of all the publicity about its "evils."
Another reason might be all the families that have been torn apart by the arrest and incarceration of moms and dads for simple possession violations! After all, a great number of people doing time on drug charges are there because they got caught with a few ounces of an illegal substance on their person not because they were selling it on street corners to kids.
I do believe that a program like DARE might be effective in educating children not to do drugs, but not with its current agenda. Telling kids that doing drugs can get them arrested does not address the root problems, and means nothingto kids who've lost their moms or dads to the prison system.
Donna C. Lee
Dare To Be Different
As an operator at a tattooing and piercing studio, I take full offense at statements in Jennifer Gonnerman's article "Truth or DARE," quoting one of the anti-drug program's "workbooks," about tattoos supposedly being linked to drugs as well as a similar statement by the group's president.
Just because people get tattoos does not mean they do drugs. That's like saying every cop is crooked! (I have copfriends and clients who get tattooed, by the way.) I have 17 tattoos, and am not done yet and I do not do drugs! All this is about is a group of people getting a little power, pointing the finger, and preaching the wrong gospel.
I see a lot of drug users, and even dealers, with no ink! Tattooed people DARE to be different. The difference between tattooed people and non- tattooed people is that we don't care if you're tattooed or not.
John Crace (A/K/A Shadow)
Pitman, New Jersey
Kudos to Jeff Howe for his clever unmasking of Charles Aaron as JoJo Dancer (a/k/a The Gay Rapper) ["Dancer in the Dark," April 13]. Although I currently live in South Carolina, I have been following this story with great interest, and was thrilled to see this craven journalist exposed.
You may wonder how a country boy would hear of the pathetic exploits of JoJo the Gay Rapper. Well, where I come from, you can insult a man's taste in clothes, cars, and women, but it is an unspoken rule that you never insult a man's family.
When my brother-in-law, who works in the music industry, along with a cousin of mine, sent me "Dancer's" Rock Critical List, I was appalled to read the remarks made against my family: not only was my brother-in-law referred to as a "dickless imp," but my twentysomething cousin was described as a "40-year-old patrician"!
Judging from the Rock Critical List, the writer's perceptions are anything but lucid.
I see it as yet another example of a half-baked intellect.
Columbia, South Carolina
Just why did you feel the need to include three articles about the JoJo Dancer debacle in your April 13 issue ["Dancer in the Dark," Jeff Howe; "Get Back, JoJo," Frank Kogan; "Wet Behind Ears," Sara Sherr]?
Are you so deluded that you think people care?
The need of music critics to feel important is so fucking pathetic. They need a kick in the pants, such as JoJo has provided but don't waste column inches analyzing the shit you're sitting in. That kind of self- important wallowing is exactly what JoJo (rightly) points out as The Problem. When are you going to wake up!
The state of music criticism in this country is, with a few exceptions, worthless, and your three articles only serve to reinforce the point.
Jeff Howe's article about JoJo the Gay Rapper was hardly fast-response journalism. The Rock Critical List discussed in the piece was disseminated to the rock community by mail, then in faxes by music writers, and has been sold at my store since the last week of February.
The New York Observer (of all publications!) scooped every other paper, revealing the existence of the List in its March 17 media column. The Voice, finally catching on, then printed three stories by actual rock journalists in its last issue.
Why did it take The Village Voice four weeks to respond? Was the rock media establishment wishing that the Rock Critical List might simply slink quietly away? Not so, folks. Reaction from my customers, some in the industry, range from "long overdue" and "right on the money" to "This is what everyone thinks but is afraid to say."