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
Irin Carmon and Amy Phillips ["Got Your Money Shot," December 18] have reclaimed the Britney Spears phenomenon from the leering middle-aged male gaze that has threatened to overwhelm and destroy her. As a junior accountant in a Fortune 500 company, I assure you that the clubbish and misogynistic banter between males at the water cooler will no longer touch upon Britney Spears's sexual appeal.
No, it appears that Britney is for Britney and her fans wholly. The belief that every heterosexual male has an uncontrollable lust for teenage flesh, popularized in films such as American Beauty and the rigmarole surrounding Britney Spears, gives much too much credit to the ability of men to discern between the put-ons of girls, marketing ploys, and the belief that some experience and knowledge more than compensate for a fling with a nubile young thing.
Most red-blooded American fathers believe daughters and young girls are best ignored, a cost to be endured, especially since the smart ones, like Ms. Carmon and Ms. Phillips, who are on the path to Ivy League degrees, willingly obsess about self-referential pop deities, the image of women in the world, and how men perceive them. Meanwhile, most powerful white males probably can't tell Nelly Furtado from Britney Spears from Mena Suvari.
Next time my alma mater calls for a check, I'll be sure to recall this article when I send in my $50 to the Salvation Army. At least they'll spend the money on something worthwhile.
STEVE ALLEN U.
J. Hoberman's article about action films having been prophetic in regard to the tragedies of September 11 was on the money ["Made in Hollywood," December 11]. But does that mean that creative thoughts and ideas should be regulated? Fuck no.
Many people were forced to the line between individualistic freedom and fascism on September 11. But censorship is a harsh insult to our liberty and devalues the lives of those who were lost. Therefore, Robert Altman's criticism that "nobody would have thought to commit an atrocity like that unless they'd seen it in a movie" proves him to be a summa cum laude graduate of the Steve Allen University for Jealous, Unsuccessful, Has-Been Monkeys.
I like violent films. Even the smart ones, like Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch and Tim Hunter's River's Edge. Entertainment exaggerates human experience on its many levels. How can the former be censored if the latter can't?
As a human being and an American, I say two words to the heralds of censorship and tyranny: Up yours.
MADE IN GREENWICH VILLAGE
Kudos to artist Peter Scanlan and the Village Voice art department for the brilliant cover illustration on your December 11 issue. It perfectly mimics the Hollywood sensibility in a wickedly satirical fashion. Suitable for framing!
THE MULLAHS AND THE 'VOICE'
In its December 11 issue, The Village Voice carried a 1350-word article that contained dozens of lies against the Iranian Resistance ["With Friends Like These," James Ridgeway & Camelia Fard]. The article echoed the voice of the mullahs and their terrorist dictatorship against the sole democratic, independent alternative to the religious fascism ruling Iran.
The mullahs are trying hard these days to use purchased space in the freely distributed press to divert attention from their own regime, the epicenter of global terrorism, toward the Iranian Resistance. Ronald Precup, the counsel for the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) in the U.S., wrote to the Voice's editor: "I asked you to withhold publication and give my client an opportunity to respond to allegations in the article."
After the publication of the Voice article and the series of lies it contained, the PMOI press office in Washington, D.C., answered the lies point by point, particularly the shameful ties between the article's co-writer, Camelia Fard, and Iran's ruling mullahs. The Voice refused to publish the letter on the pretext that it was too long. The Mojahedin shortened the reply from 3000 to 1200 words, but again the Voicerejected it, and wrote to the PMOI press section on December 12 that "a letter even remotely as long as the second version you sent is completely unworkable in the . . . letters section." The letter stressed that no response more than 350 words would be accepted. Once again the mullahs' hands can be seen at work through Madam Camelia, the well-known friend of Mullah Abtahi, the clerical president's secretary. Every fair-minded person and honorable journalist would denounce the Voice's decision to prevent the expression of legitimate objection to its article as injurious to journalistic ethics and an insult to readers' intelligence.
The PMOI's full response to the article, turned down by the Voice, can be found at its Internet site, Mojahedin.org.
People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran
Editor in Chief Donald H. Forst replies: The Village Voice has complete confidence in the accuracy of the reporting done by James Ridgeway and Camelia Fard. News space is not for sale in the Voice.