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
Hands off the ramen
Re "M. Diddy to the Rescue" [Fashion Forward, July 15, villagevoice.com]: Nina Lalli! What are you doing? Nothing but eroding the final bastion of male-domour own apartment in the Village or wherever. You are exactly the type of "well-meaning" woman I look out for, the one who wants to make "positive" changes in her man's life . . . starting with getting rid of our Alf sheets and ramen. Instead of lining up at Bed, Bath & Soul Begone to replace his colorful collection of cups, just enjoy the experience of dating a cool guy. Worry about the thread count when you're married and in your forties.
Days of cock and poses
I read Tricia Romano's article about the closing of the Cock ["Suck This," Fly Life, July 6-12] and am deeply saddened. I lived at the Cock. I really did. I know it is a very sad, disturbing thing to confess but it is the truth. When I look back on anything interesting that I've ever done in New York City it all comes back to Cock and debauchery. Everything spoken about me is true. I have penetrated myself with unimaginable objects and lived. The only thing I've never had inside me at the Cock was an actual cock. A girl has to have her limits. I live in Berlin now. Thanks for the article.
a/k/a Krylon Superstar
Son,truth, and bars
Re Jennifer Gonnerman's "The Juror and the Convict" [July 6-12]: I am the mother of Sean Salley, the co-defendant of Andre Smith. I am appalled that Lynne Harriton would actually feel sorry for someone of Andre's nature, when it was Andre who asked Sean if he knew where he could purchase some marijuana and it was Andre's idea to rob those people. Andre was already on parole for a long time for a similar crime. His livelihood was robbing drug dealers. While it is sad that his mother was caught up in the drug life, it is even sadder that Andre himself resorted to that type of life. Let's not forget that, as the transcript stated, it was Andre who pulled the gun on those people.
We as Christians must repent for our sins, but first we have to deal with the truth in order to be accepted into the Kingdom of Heaven. I pray for Andre as I do my son, but I would like for the true story to be told. One side in a printed story is not the answer. Let's be fair, talk to Sean and let him tell his story. I will pray for you, Andre, and ask God to forgive you, and having Lynne feel sorry for you is only another way for you to try and beat the system.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Editor's note:During the Carnegie Deli murder trial, the two surviving victims testified that Andre Smith brought the gun to the apartment. Sean Salley testified that Andre fired the gun, but the prosecutor said in his closing statement that Andre handed the gun to Sean Salley and that Sean shot all five people.
In a rock and roll desert
Is Mike Delano harboring an already festering hatred for Oasis ["Through Being Cool," July 20-26]? Don't Believe the Truth is the best damn Oasis recording in years. While their first three records are legendary (and sadly, their questionable antics offstage, as well), every Oasis album since then has had at least a few good tracks. But Don't Believe the Truth is not only their best album in years, it is among their best recordings, period. I've seen them three or four times, most recently at the sold-out gig at Madison Square Garden in late June. They sounded great, and it was the best time I've ever had. I know there are a lot of Oasis naysayers out there. Heck, I'm 44 and maybe, one would think, too old to like a band like this. I say, heck, who else can write such great, killer, hook-laden tunes? The Beatles are long gone, the Stones, Who, and Kinks make too rare, periodical visits to the airwaves nowadays, and except for the last long-player from the Donnas (which gave me a real big aural sonic rushgreat record), only Oasis delivers.
His way or the Skyway
In Robert Sietsema's review of Skyway [Counter Culture, July 20-26], the dish called "house special pork with yam" is actually more a Chinese hakka dish. That's no surprise since most if not all "Malaysian" restaurants in New York are owned by ethnic Chinese ("straits Chinese"), not Malays.
The dish contains braised, uncured pork belly and taro root (also called dasheen), which is definitely not a white sweet potato. The Chinese name for the dish is roughly "utow kow yuk." Let me tell you that every once in a while, to my distress, Sietsema hits on one of my favorite relatively unknown restaurants. Thankfully, the rush from the tin-palated, noisy yuppies who read his reviews looking for new, "hip" places soon subsides, and the place returns to normal.
Please fire Michael Atkinson. He has nothing good to say about anything. The man even went so low as to critically blast penguins in his review of March of the Penguins [June 22-28]: ("But penguins are dull. . . . The Central Park Zoo is cheaper, you can walk away from the penguins after 10 minutes, and it has snow monkeys and beer.") He writes like a 14-year-old who can't see what a film can mean outside of his own narrow expectations and instead resorts to lambasting and self-congratulatory digs.
I am really disappointed with Michael Atkinson's review of the movie March of the Penguins. It almost made me not go see the movie. Fortunately I did not trust the review and I saw the movie. It is one of the most wonderful movies about the lives of animals I have ever seen. It conveys a lot of information in beautiful pictures about the life and beauty of these animals. It appears to me that Atkinson either did not see it or suffers from a short attention span. People like Atkinson obviously do not have the maturity to assess the quality of a movie like this one.
Michael Atkinson replies:To be sure, I did see March of the Penguins, much to my damnable insensibility. For a penguin movie, I'll take Five Corners.
Re Keith Harris's review of Toby Keith's Honkytonk University ["Girlschool," July 20-26]: As a Toby Keith fan for many, many years and true hardcore Toby warrior of his fan club, I find your article insulting. Open your eyes. Go to a Toby Keith concert and ask anyone there what his opinion is. I'm sorry I took the three seconds to read your incredibly shortsighted article. Go back to doing what you usually do and criticize some-one else. Toby's laughing all the way to the bank.
I just read the "Compassion: Impossible" essay by Sloane Crosley [The Essay, July 6-12]. As a Scientologist I am tired of seeing my religion dissed by a small handful of reporters with a "squatting with her pants down would look great on Page Six" mentality.
After being in Scientology for 16 years, I no longer do street drugs and I promote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In other words, I work to help mankind. I think it is sad to see what could be valuable space, reaching a large reading public, wasted in promoting lies and being mean and spiteful. It saddens me even more that any part of the population would find this sort of thing entertaining.
Loved Joy Press's comments in her piece about tryout shows ["Almost Famous," July 20-26]especially how the young contestants are big-voiced and rather bland.
There is, however, something far more pathetic about the INXS show than the fact that the band is looking for a new lead singer. It's that the original members are now all fortysomethings and seem to be trolling for a twentysomething who will bring the faded group back to its glory days. Talk about sucking the blood of innocent (and marginally talented) victims!
At least with American Idol you had a bunch of good-looking people singing songs older than themselves. The aura of midlife crisis didn't linger like bad cigar smoke after Simon spoke his peace.
In James Ridgeway's "Grime Pays" [Mondo Washington, July 20-26], Ridgeway wrote that Karl Rove paid tribute to the Swift Boat veterans "at the Conservative Political Action Conference during the annual Ronald Reagan banquet in D.C." Rove did not speak at the banquet; he spoke earlier that day.