By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
Temper of the Times
I started reading Richard Goldstein's "All the Rage: The New Aggression and Its Hidden Meaning" [August 10] with great anticipation. I finished it with disappointment. It was well-written clichés . . . more of the same. We read of genetic causes; environmental, family, and church failures; and what they don't talk about in school. Why not? Goldstein can pontificate as well as anyone. Better than most.
But the truth is in the forest, not the trees. The head guides the body and wags the tail. It was in Germany in the mid '30s that a significant increase in crimes of passion, familial violence, street muggings, and emotional tirades by various irascibles was noted. The people sensed that savagery was being carried out by their government in the name of nationalism, and followed suit. The American people are reacting to the last 40 years of militarism, abroad, and Waco, MOVE/Philadelphia, and Ruby Ridge at home. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said it was worth the deaths of thousands of Iraqi children monthly to carry out our foreign policy. President Clinton clamored about the school killings in Colorado as he dispatched bombers and missiles into Belgrade.
Justice Louis Brandeis said in 1928, "Our government is the potent, the omnipresent, teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for the law."
Dr. Don Sloan
As a college junior, I was disturbed by Hillary Chute's article "High Crimes" [Education Supplement, August 10]. How can the government punish students for smoking pot by denying them financial aid? The effect of the decision discussed in the article will be to drive young adults out of college and into low-paying jobs. You can't do anything these days other than flip a burger without a college degree.
To associate pot smoking with serious drug use is insane.
Re Tristan Taormino's "Thorns and Roses: Here She Comes, International Ms. Leather" [August 10]: It was fun being part of such a great group of women. Fortunately, I was stuck in the photo booth taking pictures of hot women dressed in leather adorned with various instruments of pleasure for either top or bottom. One of the great things about my job was I got to meet some of the leather dykes up close and up tight; consequently, I had the privilege of feeling their electricity and love. I will not forget a young couple from Georgia I met there. They represented lesbian love in its purest form. I could not help crying. These were good tears. My transgender was not a personal issue anymore, because I belonged to a group of women with warm hearts wrapped in smooth black leather.
"I am woman, hear me roar."
Jennifer B. Miller
San Diego, California
Why did the Voice drop Max Cannon's Red Meat comic strip? It was off the wall and morbid, but not graphically sexual or violent. Cannon doesn't create twisted situations, but uses Red Meat to showcase the twisted or darkly ridiculous. I enjoy the news and happenings I find in the Voice, but please bring back Red Meat!
I manage a fish market in Delaware. From time to time, your esteemed weekly publication has adorned a perch or played host to the odd fillet of flounder or orange roughy. To get to the crux of the biscuit:
Some time ago, I happened to see the strip Red Meat wrapped around a shark steak. I've never laughed so hard in my life. I started cutting out the strip every time it appeared and posting it behind the counter so that my employees could enjoy it.
It has come to my attention that you've discontinued this cartoon. As I don't regularly come across copies of the Voice in the shop, nor do I give an aerial fornication for much of the content of your publication, this has reduced your rag to an occasional spot as a fish wrapper.
Please, for God's sake and your own, put Max Cannon back in your paper.
Joseph Patel's article on Gang Starr was thought-provoking and honest ["Jazz Fission," August 17]. I agree that Gang Starr has the lyrical strength to be in the same category as De La Soul and others named. I remember the era when De La and Public Enemy were "it" and the only flashiness came in the form of MC Hammer and En Vogue. Now those who are speaking positivity seem like the minority, and glitz and glam are "in." I believe the leaders of the new school sustained the crossover blow because their longevity and respect were established. Being into respect and awareness is not "in" anymore, which is why Gang Starr and those like them are not mainstream.
Amy Taubin's review of Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train ["Love on the Run," August 10] was right on. My view of the film parallelled hers, except I liked all the music all the time. I read several other reviews and while a few were grudgingly favorable, others were hostile, homophobic, and Francophobic. Some reviewers apparently felt the need to provide explanations for what they saw, which were naive when they weren't downright absurd.