By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
As a woman who grew up in rural Kentucky, New York has always seemed like a haven of freedom to me. Dancing is practically forbidden in my hometown. It is as if dancing is thought to be dirty and cheapening of the soul. However, dance is the sheer joy of moving in the way one feels to a beat. Dance is a huge part of popular culture that will not go away. As Katz notes, this law was established when the city waged war against jazz clubs in the 1920s. What good came of that?
Re Lina Katz's article on the dancing ban in New York City clubs: I am disgusted by this "restraining order" that Ugliani has decided to re-enforce. What is ithe thinks he can't dance, so therefore no else can? Look, Ugliani, David danced before the Lord with all of his might, and Psalms 150 tells me that since I have breath, I am to dance in praise, so I will be exercising my right to freedom of religion by joining in the Million Mambo March with the rest of my brothers and sisters. Arrest on that!
Thank you for Lina Katz's article. I knew something like the Million Mambo March would happen one day; I've been praying for something like this to hit the streets. I tried so many times to get people together to protest the ban on dancing, but Giuliani makes it so hard.
I went to a small bar one night about three years ago to get my groove on and the guy told me and my girlfriend not to dance. He pointed to a signand to my amazement there really was a sign. This happened a couple of times. I felt like crying, and this is a rare thing for me to do in a public place. I love to dance. I've been going out in this city for over 10 years and enjoying my ritual physical and spiritual rejuvenation. Let me move my body if I feel the beat. How dare Giuliani. I will be there for the march. Let the rhythm hit 'em.
Cynthia Cotts should not impugn the integrity of a man who, as President Clinton noted, has done so much to "save the children of this country from the horror of drug abuse" [Press Clips, August 22]. Cotts's contention that Partnership for a Drug-Free America chairman Jim Burke has been paying the media to "lace its content with anti-drug messages" is flat-out wrong. Under Burke's leadership, the Partnership for a Drug-Free America has created more than 600 anti-drug ads over the past 13 years without paying a cent to anyone to run any of them. Until 1998, we relied solely on donated time to run our ads; since then we also have proudly been part of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, coordinated by Barry McCaffrey and the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The Partnership donates ads used in the campaign; we receive no funding for our role in this effort.
Perhaps worse than the attack on Jim Burke is Cotts's implication that over the years nothing has changed and no progress has been made in the fight against illicit drugs. In fact, we have made great strides: The use of all illicit drugs is down 44 percent since 1985; use of cocaine is down 69 percent since 1985; and there are 11.4 million fewer regular drug users in America than there were in 1980.
Richard D. Bonnette
Partnership for a Drug-Free America
Cynthia Cotts replies: I stand by my account. As Bonnette testified to Congress last February, the Partnership grew desperate in the early 1990s when the media balked at running anti-drug ads pro bono. After concluding that "we would need to pay for media exposure," Bonnette said, "McCaffrey and we at the Partnership came to Congress seeking support." In 1997, Congress gave McCaffrey the OK to pay for media exposure. Bonnette's claim that "we receive no funding" is disingenuous. As I reported in The Nation in 1992, the Partnership receives major funding from legal drug manufacturers. Tobacco and alcohol money is now taboo, but pharmaceutical foundations continue to bankroll the "anti-drug" campaign.
Each to his own, but how could Jockclips [Paul Lukas, August 22] be so harsh with kindly old Bob Murphya Mets icon for chrissake? Tagging the veteran announcer with a "litany of flubbed play-by-plays," "lengthy pauses while he coughs up a lung" (yeek), and "frequent spoonerisms" is as off the mark as it is chilly. With the team since day one (1962), Murphy is seen (heard) in this corner as a consummate pro who calls a good game. Some of us actually find his gravelly voice engaging, much as we do his homespun style and punctuated phrasings. Jockclips' derisive noting of a "nostalgic" description of Cincinnati"your shoes shined, your hat blocked, and a good bowl of chili, all in 30 minutes' time"misses the charm of such an aside. Maybe "Clips" would prefer a quick tattoo, your tongue pierced, and a double latte . . .