By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Does she believe any of this? Doubtful. She is a very cynical politician who does not merit the support of those of us desperate to see "two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security." Those are George W. Bush's words, but they are just too dovish for Hillary (or Chuck Schumer, or Jerry Nadler, for that matter). I wish she had been elected from Arkansas. If she had, she might have kept her conscience, at least on this issue.
I am an upstate conservative and an evangelical Christian and probably don't have a lot in common with the typical reader ofThe Village Voice. However, I am appalled at what happened to Elena Sassower ["The Scourge of Her Conviction," February 2-8]. No American should have to go through what she has gone through. There are too many laws in America and too many corrupt politicians and judges, so that even hardworking, law-abiding citizens have to worry about being thrown in jail. True conservatives want as few people in jail as possible. A big prison system is part of big government, and prison should be primarily for the violent. I hope Elena Sassower will finally get her day in court and that her judge will not be on a power trip.
In last week's Letter of the Week ["P&J's Painful Irony," March 2-8], Margaret Dodger stated that a lot of critics polled for the Pazz & Jop issue chose musicians and music that are "apolitical." So? Must everyone and everything be political? Must all music say something very controversial? OK, our most modern music often offers social or political statements, yet what's wrong with expressions of cause for the sake of art, rather than the other way around?
True, today's music industry is more than ever before about big profits rather than musical talent, style, originality, and creativity. And some of yesteryear's artists became today's legends because of political stances, but to condemn apolitical art and artists is like saying "one size fits all" and "free speech is for everybody except those who disagree with us." Can't people and processes be different? Choosing not to have an agenda can be a statement of its own.
Margaret Dodger is rightnot many of Pazz & Jop's top 40 albums had much progressive political import, although I would argue that this isn't true of leaders Kanye West and Brian Wilson. In fact, I did argue itin a Pazz & Jop essay, most of which was devoted to precisely the issue Dodger raises. How flattering it would be to believe that she had read it.