By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Beckley, West Virginia
Deirdre Hussey's article "No Exit" [April 20], about college tuition, enraged me. The Office of Financial Aid at my alma mater is equivalent to a "Building of Doom," where dreams are destroyed and futures extinguished.
Society dictates that to have a bright "future," it is necessary to attend a good college, but scant attention is given to how students are to pay for it. The schools and government make money from student loans while kids struggle to make ends meet because of their education-incurred debt. Every time a school raises tuition, students must borrow more. Financial aid counselors soothe worried students by telling them they don't have to pay it back until after graduation, which seems great...until they graduate jobless.
As Hussey notes, while Clinton's stance on education is strong, his administration is proposing to sell off student loans to private banks, which won't make it any easier for kids to pay off their debt. I work full-time and still have difficulty making my monthly payments. I'm not running from my loans, but when someone's hounding me for money I don't have, what do they expect me to do? I graduated with a degree in film and Englishnot magic.
Nat Hentoff's column "Exposing the Voucher Spin" [April 20] was excellent. His arguments laid bare Mayor Giuliani's attempts to circumvent the long-validated Establishment Clause, which precludes government preference for any religion. Thanks for the right-on coverage.
Re J.A. Lobbia's April 20 Towers & Tenements column, about the demolition of Spanish Camp on Staten Island: I was born and raised in Brooklyn, but the most important part of my childhood was spent in Spanish Camp. My family lost our bungalow there several years ago when litigation over the land began, and I rarely returned after that. When I was a kid, a large part of Staten Island was untouched forest. These days you'd be lucky to find much more than a block's worth of natural forest. Spanish Camp is going the way of the rest of the islandbecoming a wasteland of overdevelopment.
Michael Feingold got one thing right in his review of The Iceman Cometh["Dearth of a Salesman," April 20]: getting tourists into an O'Neill play is laudable, considering most of the crap on Broadway. Aside from that, however, I do wonder about a couple of his points. Feingold criticizes the play for drifting between trenchant realism and inconsequential alcoholic meanderings, but isn't that part of O'Neill's point? O'Neill wanted these drunks to slide back and forth from illusion to reality as their alcohol levels increased and decreased.
Additionally, I wonder why Feingold puts so much blame on the director? Is it possible that these actors are just not up to sustaining the intensity of O'Neill's work? If the racing speech or pregnant pauses were added in by the director to create some sort of effect, I wish Feingold would have made that clear. Then his criticism might be justifiable.
Michael Feingold replies: O'Neill wrote a lucid play about blurry people; to blur his sense is to commit imitative fallacy, like an actor who plays a bore by being boring. If the director hasn't chosen which speeches to play fast and which to slow down, someone else is directing the show; and if the ones taken at top speed are those the audience most needs to hear, he's the wrong director for it.
Denise Kiernan obviously knows soccer, as evidenced by her outstanding article "The Chemical Brothers" [April 6]. With the dearth of decent soccer coverage in the U.S., it's quite refreshing and exciting to read about the world's greatest game from a female sportswriter. The arrival of the '99 Women's World Cup competition is a stellar opportunity for women writers and athletes to spice up the boring, backwater world of traditional sports journalism.
Los Angeles, California
Joanna Cagan's article, "Who Got Game?" [April 20], discussing the contract conflicts of women's basketball, was enjoyable. How sad that these talented women have to compete so bitterly for benefits and salaries that are readily available in the NBA. I hope to see more coverage of women's hoops in the Voice.
San Francisco, California
Re Joanna Cagan's "Who Got Game?": the WNBA players seem not to be able to see beyond their purses. Their interest is in their immediate survival rather than the long-term effect on women's pro basketball. Pro sports will never survive based on anything other than the "best player should play" outlook. The position taken by the WNBA, and the player limitations that they succeeded in obtaining as part of their contract, will only hurt the game in the long run.
Los Angeles, California
I enjoy reading the adult ads in the Voice. However, it angers me when people refer to dominatrices as "sadists." A dominatrix only inflicts pain upon willing customers. A true sadist inflicts pain on unwilling victims. Sadism and masochism are not two sides of the same coin, as is commonly believed.