Kathrien Ahn
Los Angeles, California


City limits

In addition to the Voice's broader areas of focus, the paper has always done a good job covering New York City and the concerns of its boroughs and more specific neighborhoods. Sometimes, because of the city's significance in the U.S. and the world, such local coverage has been relevant to readers outside the city. But the recent shift to heavy emphasis on local coverage and entertainment has eviscerated the national and international relevance of the paper. With very few exceptions—such as Nat Hentoff's column, some reviews, and a couple of cartoons—the Voice has become a local, provincial publication. As recent letters have indicated, this is a loss for many readers in the city as well as those outside. The paper is no longer the voice of the village at the heart of New York City, the multifaceted and vital voice that played a key role in the conscience of the nation.

Scott DeShong
Hampton, Connecticut


Cloak and swagger

Michael Feingold is a living god to all of us around the world who need someone—not just to tell us about what's happening in New York—but more so how to come to grips with the art form we call theatre in this strangely sad, unraveling age. Give him a pay rise and a magnificent velvet cloak to wear out on cold nights.

James Waites
Sydney, Australia


Rite of anal passage

After reading Feingold's sour review of John Epperson's My Deah ["Tragic Kingdom," November 1–7], I am convinced that Feingold is an unhappy person, incapable of joy. I went with several friends to see the play, and it was absolutely hilarious. The entire theater was rocking with laughter. Of course, Feingold is entitled to his opinion. As the old truism goes: "Opinions are like assholes. Everybody's got one."

Kal Wagenheim
Millburn, New Jersey


Mack daddy

Tom Robbins's splendid bio of Walter Mack ["The Man Who Wanted to Know Too Much," November 1–7] details the price of effective whistle-blowing. Mack's track record in probing the deep-rooted culture of corruption in the construction industry clearly led to his getting fired as an investigator by the laborers' union and recently by the carpenters' union. Rank-and-file members trusted Mack to keep their identities confidential in order to prevent black-listing and retaliation in this scandal-ridden industry. Martin Forde, indicted back in 2000, still heads the New York District of Carpenters while awaiting retrial by D.A. Morgenthau's labor racketeering unit. Regrettably, the labor movement is unwilling and incapable of removing corrupt and undemocratic officials. Who says no good deed goes unpunished? Walter Mack merits a badge of honor for his valiant efforts.

James F. McNamara
Association for Union Democracy Inc.
Brooklyn


Private practice

Re "Mugging the Minutemen" [Nat Hentoff, November 8–14]: The First Amendment concerns governmental interference with the free-speech and association rights of citizens. Columbia University is a private institution, and thus the First Amendment is not applicable to allegations that the Minutemen were wrongfully silenced. Hentoff got his facts wrong. The anti-Minutemen protesters got onstage and unfurled banners and then melee ensued, which included violent conduct on the part pro-Minutemen supporters. If anyone shut the Minutemen down, it was the Minutemen and their supporters, who'd rather not share the stage with anyone with a differing opinion.

J.P. Wentford
San Francisco, California


Correction

In Angela Ashman's review of Live Girls["Pictures of an Exhibitionist," November 8–14], the actress who played porn star Sonia Ridge was misidentified. Her name is Suli Holum.


Return to Letters

Film editor wanted

We need someone with a deep, working knowledge of movies past and present, a passion for the form, and the skill and experience necessary to edit critics, assign reviews, and coordinate coverage of releases in 17 major American cities. The job requires high energy, a reader-oriented sensibility, and a commitment to provocative, entertaining criticism that informs, challenges, and excites a broad national audience. We're not looking for a film scholar or historian; we want an experienced, smart, witty, hardworking editor to produce coverage that appeals to the widest possible audience. Send your résumé, a cover letter that explains your qualifications and philosophy, and any other relevant materials to:

David Blum
Editor in chief
The Village Voice

36 Cooper Square
New York, NY 10003

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