By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
J. Hoberman's astute review is too kind to Spike Lee'sShe Hate Me, even as he pans it ["He's Gotta Have It," July 28-August 3].I have loved Lee's films since She's Gotta Have It, but this is a hateful film. Lee may feel he covered his tracks when he said in one interview that he expected "hardcore lesbians" to rebuke him, but speaking as a "softcore" lesbian, I have to say, that's the least of it. Who isn't going to be offended? No one looks good in Lee's reductive film. There isn't a person in here with any valueslesbians are depicted here as slutty unconscionable bitches who really want dick at the end of the day. Men and women who work in corporations are devils incarnate (corporations are evil, but is every employee satanic by association too? That would mean everyone's hands are pretty damn bloody). And what about Armstrong? Here's a well-educated African American man who once had a conscience and rightfully blew the whistle on the corrupt drug company that employed him. Suddenly he is transformed by economic desperation into an irresponsible narcissist, who can be bought all too cheaply with money, sex, and the prospect of enough progeny to populate an entire city?! I'm all for cynicism about the state of humanity, but I'm not sure that this is Lee's point.
I don't know where to begin unpacking this mess. But here's a tip for Lee: Learn a few things about us cinematically underrepresented lesbians and how we approach the prospect of parenthood before you depict us in film, even in jest. We're not conniving. We don't seek to steal men's sperm, whisk away paternity rights, and scamper off into the night.
The Fogg of Ward
I love Ward Harkavy's Bush Beat [villagevoice.com]. His post on the U.S. Treasury and Riggs [August 4] reminded me that Jonathan Bush, George H.W. Bush's brother, is/was on the Riggs board. 'Tis a small, cozy world indeed.
Hermosa Beach, California
Don't tread on me
The message of James Ridgeway's "Warning Shots" [Mondo Washington, August 4-10]comes as no surprise. After all, didn't Mayor Bloomberg deny permits to groups seeking to hold an anti-Bush demonstration in Central Park during the GOP convention? Bloomberg's wimpish reason was "You'll trample the grass." Homeland Security's newest terror alert, based on information given three years ago, just serves to give the GOP what it wants from New York during its late-August confab: total peace and quiet, total coverage from its mouthpiece Fox News, and lots of Bush loyalists singing "How Great Thou Art." Bloomberg's "Keep off the grass" response to potential anti-GOP demonstrators (no doubt strengthened by Tom Ridge's usual fuzzy and politically motivated alerts) should remind New Yorkers with brains to remember him by voting him out of office at the next mayoral run.
Teresa, Obama, and Ron
Thank you for your long overdue tribute to the real Democrats! I, too, thought Teresa Heinz Kerry to be very effective in her little talk. Unlike some of my friends, I genuinely like the woman. She shoots from the hip and is obviously very intelligent. This quality is her appeal.
Obama, though a "mere" state assemblyman, is a moving force for the party. Confident and articulate, he scored points with every conventioneer and television viewer.
Ron Reagan wasn't overtly political in his plea for stem cell research, but his ending remark, "Let us all cast our vote for stem cell research," was aimed directly at putting Kerry in the White House.