By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Trebay downplayed the deaths of Kennedy and the Bessette sisters, who were, in his words, "fantastically well-connected young rich people." The capper was his calling the victims' burial at sea "a celebrity ash dump."
If Trebay cannot find it in his heart to mourn the loss of all who die violently and prematurely, regardless of their station in life, then he is no different from those whom he chastised in his article. By allowing his iconoclasm to stand in the way of his compassion, he managed to miss his own point.
Jay White Feather
J. Hoberman was 100 percent on the money in his insightful assessment of Eyes Wide Shut ["I Wake Up Dreaming," July 27]. No film has ever left me more disappointed and, as a result, angered.
The movie that I saw was an absolute travesty. And what was even more troubling is having to read Janet Maslin of the Times declare it a masterpiece. The film was un-Kubrickian from the clumsily anti-erotic orgy sequence to the laughably silly resolution at the store not to mention the abysmal score.
Studio interference with Kubrick's unfinished film seems to be at work here. As Hoberman suggested, an investigation is called for.
I was thrilled to read Lynn Yaeger's article "Big Deal: The State of Weight" [July 27]. Every so often, while sifting through the countless articles and pictures of/about thin people, being thin, becoming thin, I excitedly stumble upon an article about the rest of us, the 50 percent or so of Americans who are "overweight." It's such a relief to finally have proof that we exist, that we are worth writing about.
I just wish Ms. Yaeger's article had been longer, more in-depth. There is so much to say about this subject: new findings about the genetic influence on weight, the sham that is the diet industry, the proliferation of eating disorders and of negative body image. If Yaeger could do a comprehensive exposé about these and related issues, it would not only make for fascinating reading but would also would provide an invaluable service to those of us who have been convinced, by the very same medium, to hate our bodies.
Thank you for Amy Taubin's right-on essay about the Motion Picture Association of America's stricter censorship of female sexuality over male sexuality ["The Pleasure Police," August 3]. As a filmmaker, I hope that ground-breaking (or at least crust-breaking) films like American Pie and Happiness will contribute to less sex-related censorship for everybody, because it's sad that our pop culture can't reflect what's going on with real women everywhere. It's even more of a shame to hear of women filmmakers who've worked hard to present that reality, only to be held back by a ridiculously conservative and unfair standard.
Regarding Alisa Solomon's review of the play The Brave by Sharman Macdonald, currently in residence at the Atlantic Theater ["Scotch on the Rocks," August 3]: I found myself nodding in agreement with Ms. Solomon's trenchant critique of the text and production, but was appalled to see her place the blame for the (admittedly atrocious) casting of Kimberly Anne Ryan on the undeserving shoulders of director Dave Mowers. A quick glance at the program will reveal that Ms. Ryan is not only the lead, but also a co-producer. Little wonder, then, that she ended up with a major role.
Re J.A. Lobbia's "Your Landlord's Dick" [August 3]: It is scary that landlords have this much power. Do we really want Big Brother watching over us? It's so easy for them to evict, but when it comes to doing their jobs (maintaining safety, dealing with internal residential problems), they bitch. The government needs to come up with more innovative solutions. In the '70s we had tenant organizations that were not only respected, but got the job done. People have lost their ability to fight and landlords are fully aware of this!
Bodies of Thought
Regarding the Mad on the Street column ["Beach Blanket Surgery," August 3] about people's views of their own bodies: I couldn't help noticing, from the polling of three men and four women, that the views were diametrically opposed. To a person, the men were satisfied; the women were not.
What a pitiful reminder of a major sickness that pervades our society. Women have been brainwashed by businesses and by the media into believing that appearances count for everything, and they allow and abet it!
Although Mad on the Street sampling was too small to be definitive, I believe that the views expressed represent our society as a whole. If this is right, just how do women make it through each day? Their self-esteem must be zero. My heartfelt suggestion: Get a life!
Thank you for Ben Marcus's excellent review of Absintheby Christophe Bataille ["The Drunken Book," August 10]. It was very nearly perfect, except for the fact that Mr. Bataille's translator, Richard Howard, was not mentioned once. That, however, is forgivable.
Northwestern University Press