By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
Re Rachel Kramer Bussel's "Like a Virgin" [Lusty Lady, October 2531]: You don't value intimacy. It makes no sense to be more timid about sleeping with someone you actually love than sleeping with a stranger. What do you have to offer when it's time to commit to someone you actually love? Nothing but the fun of telling them about all the people you fucked whom you didn't care about. Control yourself until you're ready to commit so you can really feel special about having sex with someone you love.
Flirting: Staring at the car in the lot.
Hugging: Getting in and testing out the comforts.
Kissing: Starting her up.
Sex: A reckless drive on a rocky road, chipping the paint, over-revving the gears, scaring the fuck out of the salesman. Bringing her back with well over a hundred miles on the odo. Moral of the story: Buy it before you drive it. It won't sell as well after it's been driven into the dirt.
Ben Westhoff's "Private Enemy" [November 814] left me feeling sad and angry. When will the hate stop? What will it take for men of color to understand the need for unity, peace, and love? Why has the worship of money become greater than the value of God? How many bullets will it take for men of color to kill the hate for each other? Unless we learn to respect each other, all the money in the world has no value without "doing unto others as we would have done unto our- selves." MF Doom, MF Grimm, when does it stop, when we are all dead, in jail, or in wheelchairs?
The photographs used to illustrate the story on rappers Grimm and Doom were just fabulous. They got me to read the piece. And that's what it's ultimately all about. Congratulations to the two photographers, especially David Yellen. I like to send out huzzahs when images get this good.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Re " Savage Love" [November 814]: CAP obviously knows very little about sex. I have a penis that's four and a half inches when fully erect. It's so not important how small my penis is. If you have a healthy attitude toward sex, penis to vagina sex should be about 10 percent of your lovemaking experience. Your penis can't satisfy your girlfriend? Big fucking deal. Do you have a tongue? Do you have fingers? Do you own a credit card to order a freaking vibrator? Spice up your lovemaking instead of complaining about how small your dick is.
Round Top, New York
Having a little dick is a big deal, at least according to most women I talk to (I, thankfully, have a big dick), but there are some simple physical techniques that CAP and others can try that don't involve drugs or surgery. I'm a yoga instructor, and have found that certain yogic practices tend to increase the size of the penis noticeably. Also, the general emotional honesty that yoga promotes (a whole heart makes for a wholehearted penis) may in any case make him more attractive to everyone, including himself.
I think you made a boo-boo in your ad for a film editor. People who read The Village Voice don't want film criticism "that appeals to the widest possible audience." Do you realize what appeals to the widest possible audience? Tim Allen movies, Carl's Jr. jalapeño poppers, and dogs biting a frisbee on YouTube. That's not what the Voice is all about. Call those smart people you fired and tell them you're sorry.
Los Angeles, California
Lost in translasian
Re Vickie Chang's "Yellow Fever" [villagevoice.com, November 8]: Chang needs to get over herself. Women with big breasts deal with various fetish-sick men. Women will always have a certain number of men who hit on them for reasons they feel are fetish-related and men also have stories relating to fetishes that they attach to various ethnic attributes: Catholic schoolgirls and Jewish girls are oral experts, black women give it up, redheads are hot, etc. It must have felt nice to write the article that implied a sense of self-importance, but the truth is, you're just an average Asian chick who hasn't learned to get over the strange men that exist in the world.
San Diego, California
Chang's article was awesome and true. I'm a recent NYU graduate and originally from a small town, and was initially happy by the attention I received from white guys at school. Slowly, I started to realize that they just wanted to try me out, because they heard Asian chicks are good in bed. It's great when people like Chang come out and keep it real. Not every Asian girl has an accent and will screw you just because you're white. We were brought up in a culture that is based on Confucian values, but we also grew up going to school and being a part of American society. We're not subservient whores, we were just brought up with different values. This article was so true because it does hurt when people think you're exactly the same as another girl, and then think you should take it as a compliment.
Los Angeles, California
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 exceptionssuch as Nat Hentoff's column, some reviews, and a couple of cartoonsthe 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.
Cloak and swagger
Michael Feingold is a living god to all of us around the world who need someonenot just to tell us about what's happening in New Yorkbut 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.
Rite of anal passage
After reading Feingold's sour review of John Epperson's My Deah ["Tragic Kingdom," November 17], 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."
Millburn, New Jersey
Tom Robbins's splendid bio of Walter Mack ["The Man Who Wanted to Know Too Much," November 17] 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.
Re "Mugging the Minutemen" [Nat Hentoff, November 814]: 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.
San Francisco, California
In Angela Ashman's review of Live Girls ["Pictures of an Exhibitionist," November 814], the actress who played porn star Sonia Ridge was misidentified. Her name is Suli Holum.
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:
Editor in chief
The Village Voice
36 Cooper Square
New York, NY 10003