By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
Letter of the Week
Re "The End of Democracy" [October 2026]:Rick Perlstein's piece was indeed spooky, especially seen from outside the country. It's odd, of course, that the media people haven't picked up on this fact of American life, or when they have, as Jeff Greenfield apparently did, they take a rather cavalier attitude toward it. "Follow the money" is the old exhortation: Many media workers have become jobholders and would rather not lose their cushy pay.
They should all read Sinclair Lewis's It Can't Happen Hereperhaps not his most famous novel, but certainly one that bears reading in these trying times.
Sleeping on the job
While working as his assistant on In the American West (2003), I watched as he bounced around the studio like a kid in a candy store. I asked him what his secret was and he just laughed and said, "Catnaps!"
I'm going to take mine right now!
Los Angeles, California
Rick Perlstein's "The End of Democracy" [October 2026]states that George W. Bush is not a fascist. How does Perlstein reach that conclusion? When I look up the word's meanings, I see that Bush's actions match up with fascism. What does your dictionary/encyclopedia say?
Franklin Soults's "A Swinger's Diary: Stars Descend on a Dying Town in Hopes That Cleveland Rocks the Vote" [October 2026] gave this old Midwesterner hope. A great piece! I felt I had actually been in Cleveland, rockin' with the locals. Guess I'll be reading The Village Voice more often. Thanks.
Kansas City, Missouri
Everybody loves Raymond
Re Curtis White's essay on the success of The Da Vinci Code ["Faith Off," VLS, October 1319]: Perhaps this is all only as it should be in a culture that believes it can learn about theology by reading a pulp novel. Assuming that a "culture" can believe (or disbelieve) anything, why shouldn't it learn through pulp fiction? Shades of Raymond Chandler!
Goddess only knows
Re "Faith Off": Only a man would find something new and heretical in The Da Vinci Code.
Feminists have always known that the church has usurped the place of the Goddess and the sacred feminine. This is old news! But I'm glad that Dan Brown wrote The Da Vinci Code. It's about time the men in this world think about an alternative to "the Truth" as they see it.
The whole thing is over
"Hip" died the year David Byrne was the coolest guy in the country. There are no secrets for the cool folks anymore.
Sante seems to have missed an earlier history of hipness, Richard Miller's Bohemia: The Protoculture Then and Now (Nelson-Hall). Miller tracks the history of hip back to the Parisian garret, the Germanic protoBoy Scouts, and, later, the Beats. As in punk North Beach, San Francisco, where Miller wrote the book, there was in these garrets (and other "hip" locales) a spirit that caused a decline in the value of real estate, derided the values of the bourgeoisie, and celebrated the spontaneous and polymorphic.
Follow the money
The line Sante wants to draw between advertising and art doesn't hold entirely true today. There is a lot of art being made, especially at the very center stage of the art industry, that conflates completely the art product and its own built-in market-aware pitch.
Some would call this just more "postmodernism." Whatever it is, it sure generates a lot of cash and market expansion.
Los Angeles, California
I'm pleased the Voice has created a new review format for jazz and jazz-related recordings, as seen in Tom Hull's pleasurable and informative article "The Caribbean Tinge" [Jazz Consumer Guide, September 29October 5]. Hull and Francis Davis are emerging as real surrogates for Gary Giddins.
Joy Press wonders how anyone could believe the New Yorkbased media could have an urban, middle-class, liberal tone in their journalism ["Liberal Comforters," October 612].
This comes after the CBS forged memo scandal in which a leftish producer, Mary Mapes, working for a network run by Clinton friend Leslie Moonves and owned by Viacom, a corporation stuffed with Democratic fat cats, works with Democratic operative Joe Lockhart to plant evidence on a guilty man, for nonpartisan journalistic ends, I'm sure. Press has nothing in the way of an analogous scandal involving a Democratic politician and the "nonpartisan" establishment media to cite.
Mollie Wilson's "Second Spin to the Right" [The Essay, October 1319]was awesome! The Family Feudscenario is the perfect analogy, as it describes the whole "wish it so" phenomenon. "I do believe in fairies, I do, I do, I do . . . "