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
Mores are less
In his column "Repairing Leaks" [Press Clips, August 39], Sydney H. Schanberg says that Plamegate special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is testing the patience of the public in taking so long with his investigation. What people in the press do not seem to understand is that the public at large does not care an iotas worth about this story. Joe Wilson has been exposed as a serial liar, and his wife was not undercover except perhaps as his booking agent. I do agree with Schanbergs outline of the obligations of the press when this not-a-scandal is finally laid to rest. The fact, however, that he was compelled to express these should be fair indication of the state of mores among his brethren.
NYers to letter writers: Mind your own business
Re last week's letters in response to Chisun Lee's article "NYers to NYPD: 'I Do Not Consent to Being Searched' " [villagevoice.com, July 21]: If you do not live in New York City and ride public transportation every day like I do, shut up about bag searches and racial profiling. I happen to be an Eastern European woman who is just olive complexioned enough to make the color for racial profiling, so I actually know what I am talking about. As far as you in Atlanta are concerned, you have enough racial profiling already. I believe the term used by my friends is "driving while black." I doubt that Atlanta will be a terrorist target anytime soon.
As a New York City resident, I am sick and tired of red-state rednecks crying about terrorism and racial profiling, which white people know nothing about but have no problem subjecting the rest of us to.
Every day I spend over an hour (sometimes several) on New York City's subways, and I want to be blown up about as much as the next person. Still, security can't be guaranteed by an ostentatious display of the invasion of our personal effects. I would feel safer with my civil liberties intact.
Pretty in pink
Re Jason Vest's "No Heroes in L'Affaire Plame" [July 2026]: Really? The White House leaks an undercover CIA agent's name, and the first people to meet with your contempt are the Democrats? Because historically they weren't that hot for the spooks? Oh. Well then. Sure, I was brought up by folks who found that whole extralegal-assassinationblack-ops thing really distasteful. We were also really pissed about Iran-Contra and all its nasty little avenues. But what could the CIA do that would have my wholehearted support? Easy: They could actually use their double-super-secret spy networks to track who's trafficking in nukes and weapons of mass destruction so that we can find them and arrest them before they kill us. And that's just what Valerie Plame's phony CIA front company did until Novak named it, as well as her, in a follow-up column that made sure to also give Plame's middle initial. Call me crazy, but I think tracking nukes is just the kind of out-of-the-box thinking that'll take us far in this mixed-up, far-out, crazy world. And I think the CIA should be doing more of it. But yeah, you know how bad the Democrats are. And that Joe Wilson. What a gasbag!
Commie Girl columnist
Are we actually supposed to feel sorry for the spoiled brats in Anya Kamenetz's "Rich Little 'Poor' Kids" [July 27August 2]? If they had to make their way in New York City without Daddy's credit card, joint checking accounts, and wire-transferred money, they would be a bunch of mealymouthed pansies on skid row in a matter of days. If you Voicers don't see it the way I do, perhaps you're either: (1) sympathizing with them or (2) of their ilk.
A silver spoon is still a spoon
I am what I guess you can call a trust fund kid but I come from a very humble multimillion-dollar family. Perhaps that is why I have direction in my life. I can slightly empathize with those who are given much and come from tons, but in the end, the silver-spoon set is not so different from the rest.
I think that the families I work with in West Philadelphia, an area affectionately known as the "bottom," and my high school friend who receives public assistance would disagree with the idea that the trust-funders need sympathy because they have a hard time figuring out what to do with themselves. Kamenetz demonstrates that both Thomas and Andrew have jobs or at least gainful activity. I think the "poor me" attitude is the most dangerous attitude that could be introduced to a trust-funder. Their gripe in life would, I hope, immediately dissipate when I introduced them to the Iraq-like conditions I work in every day. If not they are hopeless.
Yeah, I was embarrassed as a kid for my money and I was made fun of but I also got a nice reprieve when my family and I jetted off to Australia using limos as taxis. My message to trust-funders: You were born undeservedly wealthy, now go out there and do something meaningful with your life.
Jarrett Murphy's thoughtful article about the subway searches ["Terror by the Numbers," July 27August 2] was a pleasure to read . We lose liberty when the government searches us at random without even the fig leaf of a reasonable claim of increased security. Empty measures such as this are worse than no action at all.
It's in the bag
It's true, as Murphy points out, that the bag searches are unquestionably a farce, since they create a perception of security that has no basis in reality. Yet he misses another aspect. According to the official story, on 9-11, 19 Arab terrorists not only penetrated the security at three airports, but also evaded the entire U.S. intelligence community. Given this, does anyone really think that if they want to bomb a subway, they will oblige us by entering through one of the stations they know is going to be policed? Please. There are 468 subway stations in New York. If a terrorist wants to set off a bomb, he can simply enter one of the lesser-used stations and ride to his destination. Thus the bag searches are a complete waste of time and money. Meanwhile, they violate the Fourth Amendment and other "freedom of movement" rightsthe very rights we are ostensibly trying to spread around the world, including in Iraq. Murphy would have done a greater service if he did not buy into the current hysteriathus tacitly supporting yet another move toward a police statebut told the truth: that the NYPD is shredding the Constitution by infringing on our fought-and-died-for freedoms.
Hey, I'm working here
Re Rachel Kramer Bussel's "Taxicab Hookups" [Lusty Lady, August 39]: Has it occurred to Bussel that a taxicab is someone's workplace? An adult, working-class, immigrant someone, who has every right not to be subjected to her drunken gropings and copulation? Yes, being naughty is fun. But there's no excuse for such a lack of respect and self-awareness.
Kinda lame that Kelly McEvers's tour of Koreatown ["Close-Up on Koreatown," villagevoice.com, July 20] only manages to name-check karaoke, miso, and sushi . . . all of which are of Japanese origin, not Korean. It's especially disappointing, because McEvers is talking about a block that sports some of the tastiest mandoo, ddukbokki, gochujang, and kimbop I've had outside of Pusan and Seoul. It's the only place I know that rents Park Chanwook films, has the only authentic Korean acupuncture clinic in Manhattan, and offers the cheapest economy-size box of Ssang Hwa Tang this end of the No. 7 line.
Thanks for Dave Queen's crazy comments about our band, Stinking Lizaveta ["Metal Survivors and Doom-Jazz Upstarts Sludge Into the Void," July 2026]. We're glad to have the Rockdetector moniker Doom Jazz popularized a bit, and we've had a great time deciphering what it might mean to be the feta cheesesteak of um . . . well . . . "the feta cheesesteak to Norman Whitfield's vanilla fudge."