Letter of the Week
Beef among fruit

I usually enjoy Corina Zappia's pieces—it's always nice to hear a smart and funny female voice. However, I'm extremely annoyed by her article "Bikini Kill" [Fashion Forward, villagevoice.com, July 7], in which her attitude toward the apples of the world displays a certain pearish ignorance. Sure, the grass is always greener, but we apples are not all lithe bodies handily equipped with "mind-blowing, blissfully large breasts." Zappia seems to be calling anyone with large breasts an apple. FYI, an apple is more than tits—with those bountiful melons comes the apple-centric spare tire. Pears have waists, apples don't—hence the apple shape. The bikini is the scourge of all body types, not just pears. I'd gladly trade a bit of my abundant cup size for a little booty. It's a matter of balance—symmetry is statistically beautiful, and apples and pears are both dealing with an uneven distribution of weight. While arguing whether or not it is better to be bottom-heavy than top-heavy is certainly futile, I'm writing to suggest that in the future Zappia acknowledge that pears don't have the lock on body woes.

Kate Lane

No real choice

Re "Voice Choices Debuts— Bigger and Better": What a joke. The Voice once supplied New Yorkers with a savvy short list, and now that's been replaced with some boring, bloated parade of random happenings. Pithy blurbs from J. Hoberman and other great critics are gone. Now we're left with write-ups on the Chicks With Flicks Film Fest and a Bastille Day block party in midtown. What's happening to the Voice? Who's responsible for this?

Thomas Beard

It's a Dahn shame

Re Kathryn Belgiorno's "Fatal Trek" [July 12–18]: I did not realize that the Voice was so lax in fact checking that it would neglect to Google "cult expert" Rick Ross. He is a convict, a thug for hire, a shrill town crier at best, bleating endlessly of the danger of cults. Ross is an opportunistic buffoon who believes all "victim" stories. The tale of this Dahn practitioner is tragic and needs far more vigorous investigation. Dahn certainly sounds like a shameless money-grab, but then so are most of the televangelist ministries, and you'll never find those listed under the heading of "cult" on Ross's website. Our culture of punditry is vile enough—do not perpetuate this sorry trend of trusting people who pontificate while entirely ignorant of the source material/context by passing them off as experts.

Nandalal Rasiah
Richmond, Virginia

The article about Dahn yoga is highly slanted to say the least. The Village Voice is certainly emphasizing the possibilities of laced foods to make for a bloody news story, even though there is no reason to suspect such a thing. Even though the article mentions that Julia Siverls's death might have been caused by her medication, the laced food is noted again to keep this biased story juicy. There were no comments from any practicing advocates who have gone through the same training. The death of this young woman is a tragedy, but not every master, member, and instructor should have to be put in jeopardy because of articles like this one.

Matthew Palumbo
Bergen County, New Jersey

Slummin' it up

For four months I lived in a "newly renovated" apartment owned by Steven Kessner, named on your "10 Worst Landlords" [July 5–11] list. I too was told of the up-and-coming neighborhood. I was also longing for something affordable and thought I found it. Wrong. From the first week that I plugged in my air conditioner and it nearly blew up because the outlet was wired for 220 volts with an illegal receptacle and they refused to take responsibility, I knew it was going to be downhill from there. From the rotting food in the hallways to the piss and needles in the stairwells, it was one giant nightmare.

Norina Michele

The landlord stories make me reflect on the dilapidated tenement building that I grew up in on the Lower East Side during the '70s and '80s (my parents and brother still live there). There were roach infestation; rats; front doors that barely closed, let alone locked; mailboxes without doors; and elevators that stopped and opened between floors—the list is endless. The tenants blamed the landlord. Since moving out 20-odd years ago (yet visiting often), I have been able to see the environment from a different perspective. It dawned on me that the tenants have always contributed to the horrible condition of the building. They leave bags of garbage in the hallway for days. I remember people throwing garbage out of their windows. Tenants would steal lightbulbs from the lobby, hallways, and elevators to use in their apartments. Parents let their children color and paint on the walls of the building and then complained that the landlord never painted. The same practices go on today. My 67-year-old mother scrubs the elevator with bleach twice a week because people leave dog crap, piss, and cigarette butts there. Shitty buildings cause some tenants to have little regard for their homes, causing worse conditions and greater landlord apathy.

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