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
Re "Mugging the Minutemen" [Nat Hentoff, villagevoice.com, November 3]: The leftists in the institutions of higher learning today most certainly do believe in free speechfor them, but not for others of opposing views. It is sad to behold. Could it be what is taught to them, and who is teaching it? Such sorrowful antics make me glad I did not obtain a higher-learning degree, or even a high school diploma. Actually I am quite content, maybe even a little smug, with my seventh-grade educationthat and what I have learned since on my own hook. As a young man back in the 1960s, I was inspired to obtain knowledge from the life and writings of Eric Hoffer, who believed in freedom. I fear for the future of America when such closed-minded and totalitarian young people in today's universities are to be tomorrow's leaders.
Tom Robbins and Wayne Barrett deserve a strong salute for "A Hevesi Heresy" [November 17]. Finally, after days of a media feeding frenzy on Hevesi's supposed misdeeds, someone took the time to report about the unethical head of the ethics commission and the ethically challenged governor who appointed him.
Long Beach, New York
Hevesi's performance as comptroller outweighs any poor judgment he committed while protecting his ailing wife. Hevesi reimbursed the state, admitted what he did, and apologized to his constituency. What else do you want, his blood? Where were you moralistic bastards when Bush used poor judgment by attacking a sovereign nation that had nothing to do with 9-11? He didn't apologize to anyone, and he lied to everyone. Hevesi's so-called crime didn't cost the state one ounce of American blood, whereas Bush's crime cost the blood of thousands. Republicans talk about family values. Hevesi valued his wife's health and safety, and anyone who votes against those values deserves a less-qualified Republican for state comptroller.
Re Rosa Clemente's "All Eyes on Her" [ November 17]: Oh, the irony. As the editor in chief of The Source, Kim Osorio helped perpetuate the sexual objectification of women in the magazine, and now she gets 15 million smackers after crying about how badly she was treated at the hip-hop publication. What next? Eminem suing his record company for being offended by vulgar language?
Sure you wright
Please pass along my thanks to Michael Feingold for almost reviewing Wrecks ["Unnecessary Evils," October 2531]. I'm sorry that he didn't enjoy it any more than he did, and I hope he enjoys the next play a bit more (it has "jerks" and "twists," so he should, as it takes one to know one). As for me, I'll wait happily to see his next translation/adaptation of a more suitable play for the New York theatergoing public.
Los Angeles, California
Shots in the dark
Re Sarah Ferguson's "New York Indymedia Journalist Shot in Mexico" [ Power Plays, villagevoice.com, October 28]: It's all well and good to sit in New York City and bemoan the death of a reporter in Mexico and blame the powers that be. However, most U.S. residents have so little knowledge of Mexico that their comments, good or bad, are woefully misdirected. People in America reside in a completely different environment and do not really understand what occurs in the minds of people in other countries. Certainly there is every reason to have some sort of a revolution in the U.S., but it's a nation of lawssometimes subverted and when people believe in the system, they tend to try to work it out peacefully. Latin America is not so blessed.
Wait a minute, man
Re "Mugging the Minutemen" [Nat Hentoff, villagevoice.com, November 3]: Nat, the Minuteman Project is not anti-immigration, as is routinely written in the media. The Minuteman Project is a multi-ethnic immigration law enforcement advocacy group. That is the precise description of us. Thank you for writing your opinion piece about my loss of freedom of speech at Columbia.
No laughing matter
Rachel Sklar's article on SNL ["That '70s Show," November 17] didn't explain why the skits aren't funny anymore. Her story read like a big, fluffy pat on the back for the show. SNL's sketches are so safe now no edge. Where's the critical bite in The Village Voice that I knew so well? Toward the end of Flip Wilson's life, an interviewer asked him why he stopped doing comedy. His reply: "I lost my funny." I think that happened to SNL a few years ago.
Right of refusal
Re Rachel Kramer Bussel's "Pure and Simple: The Case Against Having Sex" [ Lusty Lady, October 2531]: This virginity issue is hilarious. In 1980 I decided to go to San Francisco on holiday. While I was there I watched a news story about the Chastity Club with total bemusement and incredulity that people could be so loopy. They even had badges and pillowcases with cartoons that said "NO!" Weeks later I met this gorgeous woman named Barbara, and we went to the Exotic Erotic Arts Ball on Polk Street, where I was entertained by an unbelievable gamut of exhibitionists. We ended up at her apartment, and to my horror she had one of the "NO!" pillowcases. Not my lucky night.
Bussel is great and brave to tackle anything (in a popular newspaper such as yours) with a fair view of this once perfect morality that has now become a persecuted morality. Congratulations on preserving free speech in a more-than- ever oppressive medium.
Denville, New Jersey
Bright lights, dim city
I cannot put in words how pleased I was to read Mara Altman's article "The Young and the Helpless" [ October 2531]. With all the publicity concerning the city's efforts to eliminate the Morrisania Multi-Service Center, no other news vehicle adequately portrayed the community it serves and the negative impact its closing would have on New York's neediest people. As a resident of the South Bronx who has knowledge of the center, I am totally dismayed by the city's actions. I do not understand why the city has created a conflict between the need for high schools and the need for services. Hopefully, the city will see the light.
For Robert Wilonsky to bring up the homosexual subtext in his review of Infamous[ "Repeat Offender," October 1117] but quickly dismiss it smacks of inattention if not superficiality. One thing this movie does over its predecessor, Capote, is suggest that Smith was goaded into killing both father and son because Hickock derisively accused him of being gay after Smith curiously placed a pillow under the boy's head in the process of tying him up. If nothing else, that scene makes me want to reread Capote's rendering of it in his book. Murderous violence as a defense against homophobic taunts may seem commonplace now, but it was probably a psychological point with impact at the time the book was published.
Mountain Pine, Arkansas
I am offended by Eliza Strickland's "Drawn Together" [villagevoice.com, November 2] on yaoi. I've been a fan of all things yaoi since I was 14, and to hear someone who has never even sat down and read a nice fic is really annoying. What are yaoi fans supposed to do, keep our thoughts to ourselves? Americans have no problem dealing with lesbians, but they see something wrong with butt sex.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Strickland's story was biased and portrayed yaoi fans as either poor, underaged victims of violent pornography or incestuous, child-molesting deviants interested in bestiality. Much of the information was taken out of its fandom culture context or was downright wrong. Obviously Strickland did not do all her homework. Articles like this one perpetuate the negative and false stereotypes that threaten yaoi's presence in our society.
I happen to be the "Luke" mentioned in Chris Korman's "Field of Queens" [September 27October 3] and I am horrified by how wrong you got what happened that night. Korman has painted a picture of me as some oversexed fag who was flirting with Eric Merfalen. That is not the case at all. I ripped up Eric's business card not because he voted for Bush, but because he was nothing but a judgmental asshole the entire evening. He was argumentative, rude, and nasty. Furthermore, my conversation with Eric was private, and I had no idea anyone from your paper was listening. Also, I never touched Eric's leg, but I did tell him he was cute. I did talk about my sex life, because he askedno doubt for the glory of the reporter listening. My God, how desperate do you think I am? Most of the things in the article were untrue, and others were clouded to make me sound like a pretentious whore.
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