Melvin Hendrix
Cleveland, Ohio

Ridgeway's article was great but it left out a crucial point. The Bush family coup and shredding of the U.S. Constitution began in 2000 with Bush's theft of the election that year—bypassing the Constitution and Florida law in order to illegally block the counting of thousands of legal votes in Florida. None of the terrible things that Ridgeway described would have happened had all of the uncounted Florida votes been counted ?—Bush would never have been president. No discussion of all of the illegal and bad things that Bush has done will ever be complete without including the crime that started it all, the Bush family's illegal theft of the 2000 election and the end of democracy in America.

Nancy Kuhn
Scottsdale, Arizona

Terms of engagement

In response to Robert Christgau's short take on Antony and the Johnsons' I Am a Bird Now in Dud of the Month [Consumer Guide, January 4–10]: I found it comical when Christgau suggests that "his failure to undercut that emotion with irony or humor is a spiritual weakness." I've been arguing the inverse for years. Reliance upon irony and (supposed) humor has played too much interference in popular art for my taste. It's a defensive strategy that too often hinders sincere emotional investigation and engagement. To quote a friend, "You can't cry ironically." Beyond all that, to hear Antony and only hear "his suffering" seems sadly to miss the boat.

True listening, like "empathy," may not be an obligation, but it definitely enriches understanding.

Patrick Gulke
Bainbridge Island, Washington

Christgau's critique of I Am a Bird Now is a smug, obnoxious crouton of music journalism, ripe with homophobia and a complete ignorance of the "new sincerity." I'm neither a transsexual nor HIV-positive but the music is as important as anything Chan Marshall could have written.

Brian Bauman
Boulder, Colorado

Impassioned palate

Re Robert Sietsema's "Santa's Top 10 Cookbooks" [November 23–29, 2005]: I disagree with Sietsema. How can he say bad things about Jamie Oliver? His recipes are incredibly delicious and he is extremely talented. Also, Rachael Ray's TV show $40 a Day isn't her best show but her book has some great recipes and since it is considered a cookbook (or sold as one), you have to go by the recipes. I've made several of Ray's dishes and they were terrific.

Risa Golding
Oxford, New Jersey


In last week's review of Candida, actress Amanda Jones was misidentified as Amanda Roberts.

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