Boal wrote: "In April, more women watched Baywatch than did men, suggesting that women may be more comfortable making comparisons between themselves and an ideal."

Who says more women aren't watching Baywatch because of the male lifeguards? Maybe they're simply more comfortable gawking at bronzed hunks on the screen.

Shah Motia
Bridgewater, New Jersey

Cheap Veep

I read with horror James Ridgeway's account of Al Gore's attempts to keep South African AIDS patients from receiving affordable multi-drug medication [Mondo Washington, June 8]. The question put to the vice president in a letter by Ralph Nader's Consumer Project on Technology—

". . . how would you act if 20 percent of all sexually active young people in the United States were infected with a fatal disease, and a foreign country was trying to prevent you from purchasing drugs on the global market to save money . . . ?"— is a compelling one.

If Gore were on the other end, he'd be fighting mad if his counterpart in a rich, medicine-producing country refused his constituents access to cheap medication.

Scott Morrissey
Morristown, New Jersey

Bird Flies At Knight?

In John Stravinsky's article "Sideline Stoic" [June 8], he stated that "[Larry] Bird had his own problems long ago during a brief stay at Indiana University (before he moved on to Indiana State) under Bobby Knight, his coaching antithesis. 'I've played for screamers,' he told a reporter last season without naming names."

Bird may eventually have had problems with coach Knight, but since he left Indiana before the first practice of his freshman year, it is impossible to conclude that he had any problems with Knight while at Indiana. Bird has stated many times that the Indiana campus in Bloomington, and the number of people attending college at the time, were so intimidating to him that he went home to French Lick. Knight has said how sorry he was that he wasn't more sensitive to Bird's problems at the time. It's possible Bill Fitch of the Celtics was the unnamed coach Bird referred to in his "screamer" quote. It is easy for reporters to needlessly and incorrectly blame Bob Knight for everything. This is another of those times.

Barry Gellers

John Stravinsky replies: Point well-taken as far as how much of Bobby Knight Larry Bird ever had to actually endure. My assertion that Bird had "problems" with Knight is perhaps too secondary-sourced. I think it's safe to assume, however, that when Bird says, as he often does, that he doesn't care for in-your-face coaches, he's referring to the likes of (if not in fact) Knight, whose reputation as such is secure. Fitch, by the way, receives high marks in Bird's 1989 autobiography, Drive.

Quote, Unquote

I've been a reader of the Voice for many years and have appreciated the press given to me by Gary Giddins, Nat Hentoff, and Michael Musto. However, I was shocked to read Guy Trebay's article "India Ink" [May 25], and regrettably feel that I was used and quoted out of context for this story.

Trebay called me the day after a reception held by the Indo-American Arts Council for the launch of my new CD. Assuming that was the reason for his call, I accepted it. I was not aware that I was being sought for a quote, nor was I informed that I was being interviewed for a story on such an unfortunate event [a shooting in a club in New Delhi]. At no stage did I ever insinuate that the club owner, Bina Ramani, or her daughter Malini were responsible for any wrongdoing.

I also would like to inform your readers that the inappropriate reference to me as a "former pop star" is most misleading and detrimental to my career. I am still singing, recording, kicking, and very much alive. Thank God. I have immense respect for your writers, including Guy Trebay, but please set the story straight.

Asha Puthli

No Comment

Regarding Guy Trebay's "India Ink": I appreciate the objective view portrayed in the article. However, I was quoted out of context and not one of my family members was called for comment. Furthermore, by publishing this article Trebay is doing exactly what the piece condemned. My family has been victimized by tabloid journalism in India. Any hope for a normal life seems far away. By publishing this article, Mr. Trebay added unwanted attention to an issue that deserves no more.

Gitanjali Ramani

Buena Vistas

In response to Richard Gehr's commentary on Buena Vista Social Club [June 8]: Despite its seeming faults, I look forward to seeing the film after having listened to the soundtrack CD over and over again. Finally, Cuban jazz as I always wanted to hear it. The romance, the nostalgia, the pathos all fuse together in one of the most pleasing recordings I've heard in a long time.

Ry Cooder, who assembled Buena Vista Social Club, has an ear for world rhythms that is unrivaled in mainstream music today. I suppose these musicians were easy to find, given their stature in Cuba, but, once again, it is Cooder who brings them to the American stage, as he did the incomparable Ali Farka Toure.

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