Cut The Bull

I appreciate Michael Kamber's graphic descriptions of the pain and suffering imposed on bulls during bullfighting ["Priests of Gold, Blood in the Sand," August 8]. The idea that bullfighters insist that stabbing a bull "detoxifies" it is probably the most ridiculous excuse for animal abuse I have ever heard, and I thank Kamber for including it.

I do take issue with the overall impression the article gave—that bullfighting is a good way for poor people to try to hit the jackpot. I would suggest another article concerning the efforts to ban bullfighting.

Hope Sternberg
Annandale, Virginia

Seeing Red

Michael Kamber is the animal who should be put in the ring, along with the other animals who have attacked crowds of anti-bullfighting demonstrators. They could kill each other off. Then it would be a sport! Disgusting article—cruel, stupid, inhumane. That The Village Voice ran this story is pathetic.

Mara Kurtz

Cape Crusader

Thanks for risking PETA's anger in publishing Michael Kamber's "Priests of Gold, Blood in the Sand." Few national publications will write about bullfighting, yet there are many of us aficionados who love the art and traditions of the grand spectacle of Spain and the Americas. True journalism covers both the popular and the unpopular and resists censorship.

C.D. Mengason
San Diego, California


I was dismayed to see the careless use of the phrase "Plus-Size Models" as a headline for Lynn Yaeger's column about cow statues [Elements of Style, August 22]. Although it was probably unintentional and used in an effort to be cute or catchy, to connect the words "plus-size," a phrase normally applied to large women (and soon, men?), to cow statues is to perpetuate yet another common insult to people of size. Is Yaeger aware of how often large people are called "fat cows"?

The emergence of high-profile larger-size models and fashion has offered a sense of empowerment and encouragement to those of us who are not accustomed to seeing attractive, stylish, and (gasp!) even sexually appealing representations of plus-size people in the media. Though the industry still marginalizes us, plus-size fashion is a positive step. I look forward to a time when the phrase "plus-size models" becomes obsolete—when models will simply be called models, regardless of shape or size.

Anna Marie Spallina

Flesh Peddling

Describing novelist Henry Flesh as a "soft-porn author" (on the front page of last week's Voice Choices) is so weirdly inaccurate and dismissive it's hard to know how to begin to even address it. Certainly there are sex scenes in his Lambda Award-winning novel Massage, but there's a lot more (and more explicit) sex in your average John Updike novel. I haven't seen you guys referring to him lately as a "soft-porn author." Since when did the Voice become so puritanical? More important, it would be a shame to turn off readers who are unfamiliar with Flesh's dark and brilliant writing by such careless editorial tagging.

Joseph Cummins
Creative Director, Insightoutbooks.com

Pedal To The Meddle

Does Sarah Ferguson ["Demonstrate This," August 15] mean that Philadelphia police commissioner John Timoney is a "craggy-jawed, bike-pedaling commander"? Timoney rides a bike; he doesn't "peddle" them.

Bill Keough
Chalfont, Pennsylvania

Q & A In Margaritaville

As a protester with Queers and Allies at the Democratic convention in L.A., I was happy to see a truthful article about what happened here ["Kissin' and Dyin'," Lenora Todaro, villagevoice.com, August 16 ]. After the march, the real tension came when we wanted to go have margaritas. Every corner was cop-infested, with no avenue of departure. After a lot of intimidation the cops made us return via the same route. We did get our margaritas. Thanks for the coverage.

Valerie Davidson
Venice, California

Uncle Tom Blues

Peter Noel's article on Colin Powell and the election was well written and thought provoking ["The Uncle Tom Dilemma," August 22]. I'm a 23-year-old black man and a son of the "Dirty South." I've always admired Clinton, and I have absolutely no respect for Republicans.

During the Clinton administration, I was able to take advantage of minority grants and scholarships, which, along with hard-earned academic scholarships, funded my college education. I doubt that I would have received such benefits had a Republican been in office. Career fairs for minorities dotted the campus each spring, and it was at one of these events that I landed a job as an arts reporter and pop/r&b music critic for one of the nation's top newspapers. Such events would have been seriously cut back had a Republican been in office.

I distrust conservative blacks. With such a long history of abuse and betrayal, what do we have to conserve? That shit is for white people. They're the ones who created a system designed to exclude—as Curtis Mayfield said— "people who are darker than blue."

Rashod D. Ollison
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

He Got Game

Talk about grooving a pitch ["The Uncle Tom Dilemma"]. I suppose some folks believe Notorious B.I.G. is a better example of what the black man should aspire to than Colin Powell. Get a grip. Powell is well educated, somewhat principled, and rose to the top of his profession. Did he get an assist? Who the hell doesn't? Would he be a more "real" black man if he'd been drinking Colt 45 on some Harlem stoop for the past 30 years?

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