By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
JUST DL WITH IT
I found it really sad that Jason King's "Remixing the Closet: The Down-Low Way of Knowledge" [June 25-July 1] would even waste time attempting to justify the actions of so-called "DL" brothas. It's always seemed rather obvious to me that people who subscribe to the DL notion are their own worst enemies.
When will we brothas stand tall and represent who we are in all of our diversity, rather than resorting to glamorized fallacies as our identities? And if we can't accept ourselves, why should anyone else?
Jason King replies: Although he claims to celebrate diversity, the reader also wants DL brothas to fall in step with the traditional gay pride agenda: Step out of the closet, discard your shame, and accept your "true" self. That agenda's been useful for some MSMs, and it's been alienating for others. DL guys are not just creating barriers to serious discussions about sexuality. As a low-key way for some young black MSMs to thrive in the world, DL teaches us a great deal about the recombinant possibilities for sexual identity in the 21st century.
THE PERILS OF PAULINE
Michael Atkinson's recent review of The Hulk ["Beasts of Burden," June 18-24] was a glaring example of his self-congratulatory verbal grandstanding. I particularly enjoyed the following passage: "In the climactic hollering match and face-off, before the ending splooges out into an Akira-style abstraction, Nolte's exploding patriarch jacks up the story's anti-social wish fulfillment into a Nietzschean-anarchist's wet dream." Michael Atkinson, a great movie review should not require footnotes. See Kael, Pauline.
Also, please stop bending over backward to include as much alliteration as possible in your reviewsit's not really impressing anyone. Less is more.
North Caldwell, New Jersey
Michael Atkinson replies: Allit-what? Me mad! Me smash!
The Supreme Court's ruling apropos the University of Michigan may have providedinclusion for some, but it also provided exclusion for others. This ruling won't hurt the well-connected blue bloods with their endowments and multigenerational attendance at Ivy League schools. But pity the disenfranchised working-class kid who happens to be Caucasian.
Wasn't it a man of no less stature than Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. himself who hoped for the day when a man would be judged not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character? I don't remember him adding"except when it comes to college admissions."
Delmar, New York
I could not agree more strongly with Cynthia Cotts's "Reason to Deceive" [June 18-24]. As a registered Republican, I feel constantly misrepresented by my party. I am saddened that the actions of this administration have given further evidence to the world that the GOP is nothing but a fraternity of rich white elitists who support no cause unless it better serves their greed. It is sickening to realize that the deaths of American soldiers have been and continue to be exploited by the very same policy makers who lied to the world and sent them there with banners flying.
If the arrogance of this administration is outrageous, so too is our unwillingness to bring it down. Shame on us all if Bush survives 2004.
I was extremely touched by the candor of Richard Goldstein's "Free at Last?" [July 2-8]. The Supreme Court ruling is certainly bittersweet, as it comes a little late! I am so glad, though, that people like Goldstein are willing to stand up for what they knew was right, regardless of the cost. He is a role model for homosexuals and heterosexuals alike. As a straight, teenage female, I thoroughly appreciated Richard's emotional honesty and believe that that kind of journalism will help cut back on the rampant ignorance in this country.
Please refrain from using the slur paddy wagon to refer to a police van. For some reason, this ethnic slur against Irish Americans is still tolerated in mainstream media. Just think of the other nasty names we could put in front of the word wagon. Not a pretty picture, is it?
Shawn Patrick Muldowney
Re "Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death: Hell Hath No Grits" [June 18-24]:
Kandia Crazy Horse's article easily takes the cake as one of the most unreadable pieces of prose I have ever come across. No drunken undergraduate manifesto or incoherent letter to the editor that I have ever had the pleasure of reading has ever achieved comparably profound unintelligibility. It is a shining jewel of manifestly unjustifiable grandiosity and nattering verbosity that manages to be somehow devoid of even superficial irony, not to mention any wit or cleverness.
Listen to some of this stuff: "I'm in Hell for ain't that the place all wicked rockcrits go, banished to eternal damnation for committing the unpardonable sin of allowing one's purview to become narrow rather than maintaining ears as wide open as when one used to buy five 45s for $5 with titles such as 'Hangin' on a String' by Loose Ends and 'Mistake No. 3' by Culture Club."