By Steve Weinstein
By Devon Maloney
By Tessa Stuart
By Alison Flowers
By Albert Samaha
By Jesse Jarnow
By Eric Tsetsi
By Raillan Brooks
Graduate School of Education
University of California at Los Angeles
Mark Schoofs replies: One place for Americans to start helping fight AIDS in Africa is with the Global Health Council, 202-833-5900. You can contribute to their Small Grant Fund for HIV/AIDS that invests in the kind of community-based groups described in the series, and you can also help them lobby Congress and corporations. The Association Francois-Xavier Bagnoud works with African AIDS orphans, and you can give online at www.fxb.org/donate.html. Finally, Harlem United Community AIDS Center adopted an organization profiled in the series. If you want to do the same, e-mail me at email@example.com for more information.
BECK AND CALL
Kudos to Robin Rothman for her article "The Artists Formerly Known As Each Other" [January 25]. Prince used to utilize aliases to try to hide his musical influence when producing other artists' work. But now he no longer even needs to be in the studio. For example, one review of Beck's Midnite Vultures said that "more than once, Beck wanders into territory staked out by Prince." I can almost imagine Prince playing and singing with Beck when I listen to Vultures. Spooky! Whether or not we are uncomfortable with The Artist's extreme flamboyance, excentricity, and just plain weirdness, there is no doubt that he has become part of the foundation of today's music.
DIS A VOW
Michael Musto's mentioning of Hillary Clinton's insistence that marriage is so sacred it should only be afforded to heteros is right on base [La Dolce Musto, January 25] Apparently, Hill and her hus have widely differing opinions about the sanctity of their vows. Need I elaborate?
It is not the institution of marriage that is so sacred, it is the relationship between two peopleany two people.
I can relate to Toni Schlesinger's Shelter column in last week's issue. In six years of living on my own in New York, I've come across slumlords from hell. My last one-bedroom was a rat hole. I mean that literally. Talk about heat problems. I was sick most of the winter, and he wouldn't do anything about it. Who needed pets when I had little gray furry mice running around in my pantry? All this and more for a mere $900 a month. I got my revenge the last month I lived there. My landlord received a visit from Comcast Cable. Apparently, he had hooked up an illegal box through his cable cord. Its a crime, you know.
May he rot in hell.
Poor Derek Jeter of the Yankees is going to get only $118.5 million for playing baseball for seven years, whereas if he started up a new Internet company, even one that failed to make a profit, he might be making $billions instead of $millions and be on the cover of a national magazine to boot!
However, look on the bright side. If, instead of playing ball, Derek had worked in a laboratory discovering a cure for cancer or finding a way to prolong the average person's life by 50 years, he would probably be lucky to get six figures!
Michael J. Gorman
LASSE COME HOME
Amy Taubin's assessment of Lasse Hallstrom's adaptation of The Cider House Rules was about as narrow a critical point of view as I've ever read [ "Up in Arms on the Home Front" , December 14]. Perhaps if Ms. Taubin would look outside the leftist prism of prochoice activism and antipatriarchal nonsense, she would see that the concept of abortion is a catalyst for personal choice for all the characters in the film, regardless of gender and regardless of whether the procedure itself is the result of incest or rape. Both Hallstrom and novelist/screenwriter John Irving have managed to go beyond the tired politics of abortion to tell a very simple but humane story about the complications innvolved in belief and the way beliefs are constantly tested. Too bad Ms. Taubin weren't able to look beyond the rote politics in her criticism.
Los Angeles, California
Amy Taubin replies: Abortion is not a metaphor for humane issues in general. Abortion involves a woman's right to control her own body regardless of what men think. Therefore, male self-realization has no place in abortion politics.
I really enjoyed Ginger Adams Otis's article "MOUSE in the House" [Education Supplement, January 25], but I'd like to point that I was misquoted a bit. I was quoted as saying that the E-Rate program, under which schools and libraries can receive subsidized discounts for Internet services, has wired about half a million schools. That's not possible, since there are under 100,000 schools in the U.S. What I said was that the E-Rate program has wired about half a million classrooms in each of its first two funding cycles. The first year connected over 600,000 classrooms, while the total for the second year is expected to be over 500,000.
Otherwise, it's a very interesting piece.
LERNER WINS AWARD
Voicecolumnist and reporter Sharon Lerner has been awarded a Kaiser/National Press Foundation Media Mini-Fellowship in Health to research and report on sex education in schools and federal funding for abstinence-only education programs.