Letter of the Week


On behalf of the faculty and staff at Ursinus College I'd like to express my pleasure with Ed Park's bang-up research for his work "H.H.: An Introduction," [Voice Literary Supplement, November 9–15]. Leif D. Warden was a phony and a snob, and Park is absolutely correct that he never taught in any conventional classroom, choosing instead, smelling of Yuengling, to loiter among the coeds at Wazzner Student Center. However, I want to point out that it was actually Warden's wife with whom Salinger was allegedly intimate, not his niece. But that's not important anymore as all the papers were burned at a homecoming bonfire. What is important is that our gem of a college, named for the great German Latinist and theologian Zacharias Baer, sits in the suburbs of Philadelphia; it never has been nor ever will be an institution in western Pennsylvania.

Richard G. DiFeliciantonio
Collegeville, Pennsylvania

Revenge of the not-so-dumb blonds

Re Michael Musto's article ["Death of the Dumb Blond," November 9–15]. No matter what Musto says, society will never get over its fascination with blonds, nor will it overcome its predilection for public displays of stupidity, narcissism, and blatant exhibitionism. Furthermore, it will never give up the misguided belief that blond equals dumb. That's OK by me: The element of surprise is very valuable for those of us blessed with light tresses. Who can forget the subtle sexiness, the inner fire, and the cool surface of Hitchcock's timeless blonde bombshells: Grace Kelly, Ingrid Bergman, Kim Novak? They were not dumb. What Musto is bitching about is the in-your-face aesthetic of our time,the prevailing lack of subtlety. He's wrong about blonds but right that there is no more mystery.

Colleen Kenny

I am a blonde . . . born blonde and still a natural blonde at 56 with just a hint of silver, which makes me appear even blonder! Why are blonds still a target for insults in this age of PC ad nauseam? Why does blond hair invite such sophomoric drivel and attention? Where is the backlash? If a writer on your staff penned an equally stupid article about dumb nappy-haired people, the PC police would be on you like fleas on a dog's butt.

Linda Burton Morgan
Southlake, Texas

I find it hypocritical for Michael Musto to say that women are taking a step backward based on what he believes their mentality to be, calling them sluts. It seems that Musto is the one stuck in the old days with the same views about women. Analyzing a few females and saying they are dumb based on his superficiality is sick. The world is ruled by men, and women are meat, so when I see young females making millions I feel proud. I enjoy watching Anna Nicole Smith; she is an entertaining person even though she may say some weird things. Musto should stop overanalyzing for his pathetic column. It's not women's fault that they are constantly exposed, looked over, and analyzed. Musto used the term DB, but he is the one degrading women.

Yaiza Bernardson
Setauket New York

Yankees in Gabe Wallach's court

Re: Akiva Gottlieb's essay on the Yankees, ["Fantasy Baseball," November 9–15]: First of all, most non-native New Yorkers I know root for the Mets (or their hometown team) and are proud Yankee-haters. Who'd want to root for an overpaid team that expects to win the World Series before the season starts? Maybe some people go for the absurdly moneyed Goliath—the rest of us will gladly take our scrappy, championship-starved underdogs. For the record, the only exciting thing about this sloppy and inconsistent Yankee season was the tantalizing possibility that the Grinch might miss the playoffs for once (damn you, baseball gods!). The fact that they managed to climb back and take the AL East on the shoulders of Aaron Small and Shawn Chacon says a lot more about those two guys (and the Orioles' meltdown) than it does about the Yankees. Sure, they have some great players (what did you think they were spending that $200 million on?), but baseball is about character and chemistry, not one MVP candidate's gaudy regular season stats and subsequent October disappearing act. Just ask the White Sox.

Gabe Wallach

Jersey boys rock

I live in Jersey but I'm not from Jersey, and frankly I don't care about Jersey!

Nonetheless, I found Michael Feingold's review of Jersey Boys [November 9–15] as idiotic as the Jersey electorate.

It was wonderfully written and staged, beautifully played and sung, and absolutely mesmerizing. Seldom have I had or seen more people (of all ages and persuasions) have more fun at a Broadway production. Incidentally, the Four Seasons sure as hell had dozens more than "two or three pop hits." I suspect that Feingold's talent for objective theater criticism disappeared long before Phil Silvers's hair.

Crescenzo Capece
Plainfield, New Jersey

Barbershop quartet

Thank you Jennifer Gonnerman for bringing the life of Marc LaCloche, ["Barbershop ban," November 9–15] to the pages of The Village Voice. As human beings, we fight so hard for distinction, for validation that each of us is someone and that we matter. Illness or age will change one's priorities, but having people in our lives who know us and what we did is everything. The life of Mr. LaCloche speaks to that. Though he didn't have the love of his parents throughout his life, he tried to love—to care about those he built relationships with. He sold drugs just to survive and ended up in prison. Cutting hair is a profession that promotes intimacy, communication, and style, and he wanted to do that with his life for others. Perhaps much of his life seemed as if he'd looked through windows, outside of exactly where and what he wanted to be; but he was a human being and his life mattered. So does your article about him.

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