By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
To Ed Park: What a mean, self-satisfied, sneeringly arrogant review of the Harry Potter movie, books, and author ["Magical Mystery Tours," November 13-19]. You must be very proud of yourself. In your desire to convince readers of your sophistication, you've exposed your own insecurity and lack of imagination, joy, and good, old-fashioned fun.
Have you ever been a child yourself? Were you a bully like Draco Malfoy, or did you dream of contributing something worthwhile to life?
Harry Potter is an intelligent, sensitive little boy who, despite his history of deprivation, found the courage to stand up for himself. In addition, you're apparently unaware of the fact that millions of children as well as adults have been stimulated to read.
Ed Park replies: I was never a child; I sprang fully formed from the brow of a Korean mountain-deity. Sherman's bizarre assumptions about my tony upbringing expose her own insecurity, etc.; the rest of her comments could convince millions of children, as well as adults, tostop reading.
Re "A View to a Kill" [November 20-26]: I certainly have no beef with Michael Atkinson dumping on the new Bond film, Die Another Day, which was a major disappointment with its CGI Spider-Man heroics and endless chases. But I have three grumbles:
1. When reviewers harp about Bond being pointless after the Cold War it just shows poor memory of their subject. From the first film, Dr. No, the Soviets and Communists were never Bond's main adversaries, and only occasionally come into the picture at all. In fact, Die Another Day is the first film in which Communists are the central villains. At any rate, the film Bond was never a true Cold Warrior.
2. Atkinson seems to be surprised this particular Bond film ran over two hours. With maybe one exception, they all run over two hours.
3. Hey bud, I don't know about your dog, but mine's not stupid. Lots of things have a different and lesser intelligence, or no intelligence at all: That's not stupidity. But even if a dog was stupid, that wouldn't make me want to kick her. Now, turning Bond into a surfing superman, that's stupid, even if it does mean making more money. Otherwise, Atkinson was dead-on.
Michael Atkinson replies: Thanks so much for writing.
1. Bond may have never been fighting Communism, but he often went up against Russians and Germans; anyway, the very idea of espionage being glam, cool, and heroic is a distinctly Cold War vibe.
2. Of the first six films, onlyThunderball exceeded a deuce.
3. I never meant to suggest your dog isn't bright, and I'm glad you don't kick her, in any case.
ISN'T IT ENRONIC?
Many thanks for James Ridgeway's Mondo Washington [November 13-19]. He is the first pundit to place the blame for the Democratic Party's recent disaster in the right placeat the feet of the stealth Repub-Enrons of the Democratic Leadership Council who have successfully gutted the party of any principles or values in their quest for elite contributor dollars. Most of the punditocracy, like the DLC, are busy trying to spin away the truth. Bravo!
Signal Mountain, Tennessee
Re Tom Robbins's "Sundown on the Patronage Party" [November 13-19]: Congratulations to you. You had as much (if not more) to do with the demise of the Liberal Party as we at the Working Families Party did. I like to think of this as the year Ray Harding lost 140 pounds, 65,000 voters, and one ballot line. Again, a great piece of writing.
WFP State Treasurer
CAN YOU FORGIVE HER?
Toni Schlesinger's recent Shelter on a rock star-physical therapist [November 20-26] just reconfirmed that of all the Voice's columns, I think Shelter is the only one that really captures "the way we live now."
Schlesinger is the Voice's Anthony Trollope. She may personally be a trollopI don't really knowbut she does something for her truly diverse subjects that even the highest-paid decorator could never accomplish: She makes them interesting.
LEFT TO THEIR OWN DEVICES
Sylvana Foa's assertion that the Israeli blockade of Jenin has not proven effective against terrorism is obviously inaccurate ["," November 6-12]. The Israeli blockade has significantly reduced terrorist attacks originating from Jenin. The "99 percent" of the "good people" of Jenin are real victims. But they are complicit in their own wretched fate, as evidenced by the UN's discovery of thousands of terrorist devices, each of which was produced under the anarchy of Palestinian leadership. Michael Zuckerman
Stuyvesant Town VICE, VICE BABY As a former Viceintern, I was taken aback by Joy Press's feature on the magazine ["Vice Bust," November 13-19]. She calls Vice "a big sham" and compares the magazine to Maxim. Maybe the Voice just isn't getting it: Vice is successful because it targets and exploits a niche marketyoung street-smart kidsand keeps the reader's interest with articles about the "old standbys": sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll.
The core readers of Vice, the young kids who keep every issue and write in with story ideas, are some loyal fucks who made working there worth it. As for the clothing stores, record label, and movie deals, the founders are living the American dream (even if they're Canadian) and deserve to cash in on the success of the brand that they work so hard for.