Popcorn and politics

Re Matt Haber's "Fahrenheit 9/11: Crying, Laughing, Shouting at the Screen" [villagevoice.com, June 24]: I was glad to read your assessment of the film, but astounded that you included only interviews with Democrats and independents! What about the Republicans or the Libertarians? Do you mean to say that neither of them were at the movie? Or that they don't care to share their reactions/views? At least you could have noted that the interviews were an unfair sampling of the political parties.

Lisa-Jean Mugler
Phoenix, Arizona

Up With 'Smoke'

Re Gabe Hudson's "Smoke Signals From the Frontier" [The Essay, June 23-29]:

I found Hudson's writing perverse, disgusting, offensive, and unpatriotic. I laughed my proverbial ass off. Keep up the good work.

Eugene Riel
Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn

Depends What 'Including' Includes

Sydney H. Schanberg's "Bush's 9-11 Problem" [June 23-29] refers to the president's letter to Congress, which reads in part: "[T]he use of armed force against Iraq is consistent with the United States . . . continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations . . . who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001."

It seems to me that "including" indicates those nations that participated in the attacks, in addition to other nations that sponsored terrorism. "Including" means "in addition to" and does not indicate an exclusive focus on those nations behind the 9-11 attacks.

This quote provides proof that President Bush was launching a war against terrorism and that he did not limit the focus of the war to those nations that may have sponsored Al Qaeda's 9-11 attacks.

Ralph Sherman
Ferndale, Michigan

The Pole Truth

Re Tom Robbins's "Mystery Train" [June 23-29]:

Aaron Nottage is an arrogant asshole with no sense of boundaries or common courtesy. I am appalled that the cops couldn't let Eleanor Black file a cross-complaint for his grabbing her bag, assaulting her, and forcibly removing her from the subway!

Who gives a shit if he's a supervising D.A.? He's still bound by the law and by common courtesy, neither of which seemed to matter to him that day. The only reason he got away with it was his badge. Disgraceful!

As a supervising D.A., he should have avoided violence, not provoked it. He could have cited the law she was breaking with her pole-holding tactics. It's disgusting that he thought it was acceptable to drag her off a train, follow her, and sic the cops on her, just because he wanted a little more pole.

Marissa Schlesinger
Midwood, Brooklyn

Pole Position

Your one-sided reporting is shameful. You don't even attempt to consider that there might be another side to this story. I know that to the Voice, Nottage is an easy target. He's a city law enforcement official, so he must therefore be an abusive ass, right? Wrong. He is a dedicated public servant who has devoted his life to the victims of crime. He deserves more than your subjective contempt.

Michael Farkas
Brooklyn Heights

Tom Robbins replies: Actually, I did offer the other side of the subway tussle, and would have printed more if provided it by Nottage or his office. He may well have had good reason to be upset, but New Yorkers witness these kinds of incidents every day, and it's hard to believe a complainant who wasn't a law enforcement officer would've been able to get the "space hog" held in lockup for 30 hours and charged with assault. That said, I think Farkas is using a little guilt by association himself. In most cases, I tend to wind up on law enforcement's side; even the precinct cops here were outraged by what they saw as an abuse of power.

Jasper Jones

Re Elizabeth Cline's "Transmale Nation" [the Queer Issue, June 23-29]:

I believe I've died and gone to some strange exotic heaven! I had always identified myself as a lesbian until two years ago, when I came out to myself (again) as genderqueer. I realized that there was an integral part of my sexuality, namely that masculine aspect of me that yearned to get down and dirty with an androgynous gay boy. Given the "queeraphobia" that runs rampant through both the non-gay and gay nations alike, I pushed aside my desires because of what seemed to be sheer impossibility and kept my mouth shut until now. Thank you for the jolt of confirmation that's coursing through my veins. It feels delicious.

Jasper James

Visibly Perturbed

Cline's pseudo-sociological generalizations and editorializing account of transmale communities illustrate the continued misrepresentation and exploitation of the trans experience in the media. While filling her article with "umbrella" terminology, she nevertheless focuses exclusively on a specific subset of the transmale population, those who identify as gender variant, thereby doing a tremendous disservice to the many transsexual men whose life experiences and identities differ dramatically from the handful of individuals quoted in her article.

She then belittles her trendy genderqueer subjects with puerile assumptions as to their motivations (Uma Thurman kicking ass?) rather than delving beneath the surface to examine individuals' core self-identities and drives. If this is what it means to achieve visibility, I choose obscurity.

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