Kimberly Tye
Covington, Kentucky

Birth Rights

I appreciated Sharon Lerner's article "Uncovered Sex." Like many women, I take birth control pills for medical reasons.

When my HMO told me all I needed to be reimbursed was a note from my doctor stating that I was on the pill for medical reasons, I was thrilled. But after I sent in the letter, I never got a response. I wrote again and again— a total of seven times. Like so many people, I gave up.

To the insurers, I say, "Women put you in the world. Treat us right."

Rachel Gleicher

Future Fest

Amy Taubin's piece "Fest Forward" [June 15], on digital video at the Cannes Film Festival, was exactly right.

As the official representative for the International Market of Technologies and Innovations in Cinema, and one of the Franco-American team responsible for formulating this year's DV theme, I can tell you that this was the most exciting year of the five that I've been in Cannes. The seminars we put together on digital filmmaking and digital cinema were groundbreaking. Taubin's piece captured the sense of something new in the making.

Rex Weiner

no holds bard

Regarding the critical overview "Rockin' in Rhythm" in the Voice jazz supplement [June 15]: Kudos to Nat Hentoff for reminding us of the immortal Fargo sessions. However, as both a musician and an amateur Ellingtonian, I was baffled by the absence of Ellington's nearly perfect New Orleans Suite from the "favorite" lists of most critics.

This LP beautifully balances Duke's lush romanticism with thoroughly modern composition. Between four musical portraits of Louis Armstrong, Mahalia Jackson, Wellman Braud, and Sidney Bechet, Ellington defies the oft-implied notion that his final years were marked by diminished creative genius.

If George Kanzler or Gene Seymour are right in comparing Ellington to Shakespeare, then New Orleans Suite may be likened to the latter's Tempest.

David Alonzo-Maizlish

City Scope

Kudos to Leslie Camhi for her snappy style in "Art of the City" [June 15]. Having read New York Modern: The Arts and the City, I enjoyed her take. I was delighted by the detail "zigzagging" through the chapters— each dedicated to another art form. I also liked the fact that the book focused on the radical; longer would have not been better.

D. Elder Stewart
Akron, Ohio


I found Jeff Salamon's review of Absolute Hardcore 2 ["Chirpy Cheap Cheese," June 15] most intriguing. I myself am a happy hardcore DJ and found Salamon's article to be very true. I know out in California the scene is a little different, since people have to choose between going to a hardcore party or a happycore party.

Here in the Midwest the only place hardcore is played out is in Wisconsin, and by the occasional Chicago DJ, but happycore is starting to take off.

Brian Kaser
West Lafayette, Indiana

Voice From Down Under

As an Australian who reads The Village Voice online every week, and who plays soccer at an amateur level, I found Matthew Yeomans's criticisms of the Australian team a little rough ["Women of the World: The Class of '99," June 22]

Sure, Matildas is a poxy name for our women's team, but if Yeomans got off of his Manhattancentric ass and looked at what passes for culture in this country, he would quickly discover the anthem of Oz is a timeless little ditty about the sheep shearer pouncing on the ram at the lake, Waltzing Matilda.

Actually, I'm sure he knew. I visited New York last year and love the Voice. I'm a journalist, and your paper is one of my top five favorites in the world. Keep it up!

Stacy Farrar
Adelaide, Australia

Downtown Auckland

I love Michael Musto's weekly gossip column, La Dolce Musto. He's so funny, always poking fun at himself and at the whole hysterical hype machine that surrounds movie stars these days.

Besides the amusing Musto, I like the very serious stories about gay rights and anti-gay violence, and if I had to choose a statement to describe your paper it would have to be "brilliantly researched and written." Well done, and keep up the excellent work!

J. Anthony Hall
Auckland, New Zealand

He, She-It

In the recent uproar over Jar Jar Binks and his sexuality, I can't help but think it's kind of funny that we automatically assume Jar Jar is a "he" because of the limited ability of our language to deal with sexual nomenclature.

What if the Gungans are actually all strong females, or androgynous and able to procreate by themselves? I didn't see any Gungans that looked to be of an "opposite sex," so I'm not even convinced that they have two sexes. Why must their actions correlate with anything common to human experience?

Lynette Ferenschak
Boulder, Colorado


Due to a layout error, the third paragraph of Jason Vest's article "Stand-up Conspiracist," about actor/author Richard Belzer, which contained a "refrain" by Belzer referred to in the following paragraph, did not appear in last week's issue. It should have read: "Catching sight of mother and child out of the corner of his eye, the Man in Black glided over and gently lifted the kid out of the harness binding him to maternal breast. In two seconds flat, banshee-like wailing commenced. But rather than carry him off to some X-Files­esque government complex, the darkly clad interloper began to delicately sway and pirouette as he crooned a subversive lullaby: 'Question authority, question authority,' he cooed into the tyke's ear. 'JFK was murdered by a conspiracy, JFK was murdered by a conspiracy.' "

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