By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
LETTER OF THE WEEK
So zen: Batman is Batman
Michael Atkinson puts on his most dour, scowling mien in order to accuse Batman Begins of being too dour and scowling ["Cape and Scowl," June 15-21]. Wait, he was going to see a movie version of a comic book, right? "[T]hose looking for a taste of Memento's radical perspective amid the stunts and CGIs will feel bereft." My goodness, I should hope so.
Those looking for Memento should watch Memento. Those hoping that a Batman movie magically manages to be something other than a Batman movie should perhaps stay at home and practice zen mind, acceptance of the universal condition.
Re Nick Sylvester's "Mondo Kim's Busted for Bootlegs" [villagevoice.com, June 10]:Mix tapes are not a cancer to the music industry. Just because a CD-R mix tape in Mondo Kim's record store carries a three-minute mix of 50 Cent surrounded by dozens of other more talented artists who wouldn't get exposure otherwise and one major-label record company takes offense to that doesn't mean the Feds should raid a place that tries to do what major-label music companies stopped doing long ago: Find kickass music and expose people to talent.
Los Angeles, California
Not revolution, devolution
Thanks to Nat Hentoff for writing "Castro's Black Prisoner" [June 15-21].As a lifelong New Yorker, and Cuban American pro-democracy activist, I never thought I would see the day when the Voice would finally defend a true human rights dissident in Cuba (Dr. Biscet) and actually tell it like it is regarding Fidel Castro's crimes against the Cuban people.
I remember my father telling me when I was a child in the 1970s that your paper, although OK for movie, art gallery, food, and cultural listings, was a leftist one that praised tyrants and the Cuban Revolution. I also want to commend Hentoff for defending the brave Cuban Independent Library movementas well as lambasting (rightfully so) the reactionary baby boomer hierarchy at the American Library Association which has a dysfunctional infatuation with Fidel Castro's dystopian devolution in the tropics.
Michael Atkinson is way off in his review of Batman Begins ["Cape and Scowl," June 15-21]:Hands down, one of the best films of the year and definitely one of the best comic book adaptations ever. The performances, the writing, the directionit all worked. This is the first time I have ever so strongly disagreed with a critic that I immediately wrote a response.
Los Angeles, California
Batwords and forwards
I couldn't tell if Atkinson liked Batman Begins or not. His vocabulary is vast, but his sentences are mazes. Also, are these words really necessary for a review of Batman: solemnity, tortuous, mano a manos, scion, ludicrous contortions, regalia, ad infinitum, Dolby-bludgeoned tympanic cavity, effete, insofar?
Holy Bananas! I believe in artistic expression, but I can't even understand what he was writing!
Atkinson's Batman Begins review was actually the most refreshing I have read of a summer blockbusterever. Thank you for actually giving a bit of insight into the makings of the movie as opposed to just regurgitating the plot.
St. Louis, Missouri
The fallacy lies
As regards the review of Batman Begins, one of the most poignant unstated arguments is that it repudiates all the prior films in the Batman franchise. Batman begins anew. There lies the fallacy of Atkinson's review. As it is a new treatment of an old franchise it must be evaluated on its own merits. And upon those merits it is a triumph.
The simpleton Bruce Wayne of the prior installments is now given the intense multi-layered psychological treatment that the one and only non-superpowered superhero de-serves. It gives us Batman v.2. It is a wonderful film.
I can't help but wonder if the coming student loan, interest rate hike Anya Kamenetz wrote about ["High Interest in Low Interest," June 15-21] is somehow related to the recent army-recruiting shortfalls. To increase enlistments, the government might increase pay to soldiers, or increase the cost of college. If my vote still counts, I vote that student loans not be used to support the war on terror.
I love Dan Savage's column. I have been an avid reader since I was 16 years old. Now I am 21. It has been so helpful in so many ways. I am a somewhat single, heterosexual male that enjoys pegging and thinks it would be great to have a threesome with a woman and a man. Only his column could have given me the confidence and the knowledge to ever have the courage to pull something like that off. I have engaged in pegging with my former Catholic high school, female art teacher who is 13 years older than me. She also enjoys reading the column. Savage has discussed topics that need to be discussed, like homosexual rights. Dan, I want to praise you for being an amazing person who actually uses his brain. I wish I had some naked pictures of Ashton Kutcher to send you.