We all ought to follow his lead and be quick to counter suppression of personal freedom wherever it rears its ugly head.

Mike Clement
Dix Hills, Long Island

Scene, Heard

I'm a black man who is a big hip-hop fan, and I'm moving to your city from Canada next month. I applaud you for printing Guy Trebay's "Homo Thugz Blow Up the Spot: A Gay Hip-Hop Scene Rises in the Bronx" [February 8].

I refuse to believe, based on the the ways MCs freak their flows, that homosexuality is something that doesn't exist in our community. I wouldn't be surprised if, because of this article, more gay MCs came out of the woodwork. I know people who love hip-hop, but can't get past the misogyny and sexism that is so prevalent in this genre. If it is marketed properly, a gay hip-hop band could be huge.

John Britton
Toronto, Ontario

Hip Da Hop

We need more articles like Guy Trebay's " Homo Thugz Blow Up the Spot." A lot of people ofcolor are misled about same-gender-loving people, so I'm glad that more people who don't fit the "queen," "sissy," or "fag" stereotypes are speaking up about being gay. I don't fit these labels. I'm a black man, I'm attracted to the same gender. I love hip-hop music, and I love my race, as well as others. Please keep articles like this coming.

Desi Arnaz Hyter
Charlotte, North Carolina

Conspicuous Consumption

In the Liquid City column [Voice Choices, February 1], Hugh Garvey proposes that it is "the exceptionally exacting method by which sake's distilled, that appeals to the '90s' 'if it ain't top-shelf it ain't worth it' mentality." Uh, yeah, sure. Except that sake is not distilled; it is brewed. Is that what made it appealing to the '90s' "I don't understand it, but it's expensive, so I must be seen with it" mentality?

Kevin Myers

Cryptic Con

Re Harvey A. Silverglate's " DVD Desperadoes" [February 8]: The whole DVD and CSS [encryption] issue could have been avoided easily by (a) convincing everybody that the Linux people are also welcome to the party, and (b) ensuring that the price of a DVD actually has something to do with its perceived value.

History shows that many times piracy is a symptom of an underlying cause, which in this case appears to be a marketing problem.

Stephan Eisvogel
Regensburg, Germany

Lovin' Spoonful

I was surprised and touched by Camden Joy's article on Spoon and the fall of '90s white rock [" Total Systems Failure," January 25].

I met Britt Daniel and Jim Eno of Spoon just after they formed their band, and watched them record the "Agony of Lafitte" single in a friend's garage in central Austin. I think the album A Series of Sneaks is close to a classic, and I am surprised that someone else is listening to music (as opposed to listening to what people say about music). Though the music business is in sad shape, take heart. No real musician is ever in it for business reasons. And as long as America still has garages, bedrooms, six-packs, and guitars (or turntables, sitars, and Moogs), real rock and roll will never die.

Phillip Niemeyer
Austin, Texas

Wise Guise

What a shame you let Michael Atkinson interview Frederick Wiseman [" Frederick Wiseman's Fair Game," February 8]. Here you have one of the great documentary filmmakers of all time and Atkinson wants to get in a pissing contest about objectivity. He couldn't leave it alone when Wiseman eloquently responded to his film school whining by saying, "I'm an active participant, just not a very obvious participant." He needed to show us he went to college and learned about deconstruction. And then to snipe at the value of Titicut Follies, a film that helped change the treatment of inmates throughout this country.

It's hard to know what the hell was wrong with Atkinson—maybe Wiseman reminded him of his father and he needed to express his anger at daddy. The unfortunate thing is that he treated Wiseman shabbily, and he wasted a great opportunity for all of us to hear what he might have said.

Paul Quinn
Los Angeles, California

Michael Atkinson replies: That Wiseman was treated "shabbily" would surely be news to Wiseman, just as the involvement of deconstructionism and my father is news to me. This was, rather, a discussion of formal issues that pertain to all documentaries, including Wiseman's Titicut Follies in particular.


  • In a photo caption that ran with the article "Undeployed" (February 1) the statement, "I guess the NYPD doesn't respect us" was incorrectly attributed to former New York traffic agent Olen Jones. As was made clear in the article, the statement was made by former traffic enforcement agent Charles Mills.
  • Due to an editing error, the article "Home Work" (February 8) stated that domestic worker Maria Vidania left her job with a former employer whom she is now suing last August. Vidania left the job in October.

Global Trade Panel

A discussion of the subject "Global Trade: Has the WTO Lost Its Way?" will be held on February 9 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, 116th Street and Broadway. Participants will include Lori Wallach of Global Trade Watch, Gary Clyde Hufbauer of the Institute for International Economics, and Pat Choate of the Buchanan for President campaign. Admission is free.

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