I think Greg Tate is out to lunch with his recent musing, "Probably Not" [January 15-21]. Tate reviews the debut album of the Rage Against the Machine/Soundgarden love child known as Audioslave and promptly trashes the band for, well, sounding exactly how people imagined they would sound. The combination of Chris Cornell's haunting howl and Tom Morello's spine-crushing riffs proved to be both predictable and successful.

I was disappointed that Tate didn't delve into any specifics concerning the album. It was as if he listened to the first 30 seconds of each track, read the liner notes, and wrote the album off as "insignificant" because it lacked political banter and antagonism. The album succeeds because it doesn't delve into the realm of politics or hate. Instead, it's an introspective piece with a positive outlook that is more revealing than macho.

Morello himself said that it is harder to write this material because it's "much easier to be angry." God forbid, in the post-9-11 world, musicians produce something that isn't leeching off the current political environment.

Leave the battle against Big Brother to Nat Hentoff.

Carl Monaco
Washington, D.C.


Re "Probably Not":

At a time when "honest" rock criticism is taboo, Greg Tate does a good job of not reinforcing the new millennium's rock and roll blandness that most people unthinkingly give in to. Zach De La Rocha was a wack MC by rap (or any) standards, but he was a wack MC with a message and fire-and-brimstone urgency. Audioslave has neither.

Dalton Higgins
Toronto, Canada


I must take umbrage at Christopher Borg's comments regarding J. Hoberman in last week's Voice [Letters, January 15-21].

Hoberman is one of the best film critics around (if not the best, in my humble estimation), and he shouldn't have to dumb down his vocabulary just because some bozo on the Upper West Side is too lazy to scoot his khakied ass over to the dictionary every once in a while. Vive le Hoberman!

Sandra Bencic


Great piece by B. Kite on Daniel Paul Schreber—a very sensitive introduction to the story of that troubled man ["Miracle Legion," Education Supplement, January 15-21].

I think there's something very helpful in regarding schizophrenia as "a way of seeing that spreads tentativeness both toward the delusional and the real, both treated with a certain detachment and irony." It certainly humanizes the condition and paves a path toward understanding.

I'm sure it's not a new thought, but it reinforces my personal conviction that the way from "sanity" into "madness" is an uninterrupted (if circuitous) ride—there are no Grand Canyons to be jumped between here and there.

Andrew Kirkwood
Ottawa, Canada


Jess Wisloski's article "Bye Bye Bowery" [January 8-14] was full of inaccuracies. Here are a few corrections:

1. The development plan was approved by the community board 28-0, with several abstentions, on October 4, 2001—hardly the "slim majority in favor" claimed in her article.

2. The 42-unit building is to be built on 1st Street and the Bowery. It will be a 100 percent low-income building with studios and one- and two-bedroom units, not an SRO for the homeless and ill.

3. The Cooper Square Mutual Housing Authority is a nonprofit housing company, not a for-profit company.

4. The "plan toyed with under Dinkins in 1991 for 50 percent low- and 50 percent moderate/middle-income housing" was actually a Cooper Square Committee plan endorsed by the Dinkins administration that would have included 60 percent low- and middle-income housing.

Unfortunately, the earlier Cooper Square plan was killed by our former councilman Antonio Pagan, which led to the creation of the Task Force plan in the late 1990s. Despite Pagan's efforts to push for an 80/20 development and keep the Cooper Square Committee off the Task Force, we participated and succeeded in raising the low-income percentage from 20 to 31, and got a new 54-unit supportive housing project, a 42-unit low-income building, and a new 38,000-square-foot community center.

Wisloski's article appears to have been written by Lisamarie Dixon, a project opponent quoted in the piece, since it repeats many of the false statements she has been making at public meetings. It would have been nice if an effort had been made to get the facts straight, and include the viewpoint of one of our low-income members rather than that of an "on-and-off community resident."

Steve Herrick
Executive Director
Cooper Square Committee

Jess Wisloski replies: To describe "Bye Bye Bowery" as "full of inaccuracies" is more a dispute of interpretations. The vote of 28-0 in favor of the project took into account the 50-member board that normally votes on such projects, 22 members of which voiced no opinion. Again, the initial and educated vote, taken by a summer-session executive committee, was touted as "unanimously" supported by the previous CB3 chairperson, though it had abstainers and "nay" votes.

The 42-unit building is, in fact, low-income housing, as Herrick says—which contradicts the Department of Housing Preservation and Development's promises that low-income units would be spread throughout the luxury complex. It has been deeded to Phipps Houses and is therefore not connected to the larger plan. But it will stand back-to-back with the 54-unit "supportive housing" unit on Second and 2nd, which was the SRO in question: This facility will treat and assist those who were previously homeless or may be mentally ill, providing them with their own studios.

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