By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Graham Rayman's coverage of 9/11 heath issues,'Clearing the Air'[September 511], omits the key question of preventing additional exposures to the highly toxic Ground Zero dust. As the EPA's own inspector general made clear, the EPA never conducted the required building inspectionsworking outward from Ground Zeroto map what buildings were and were not contaminated by the terrorist attacks. As a consequence of the EPA's continuing refusal to conduct such testing of offices, schools, firehouses, and police stations, we never got a list of the buildings that need to be cleaned. There is therefore every reason to believe that we are creating additional 9/11 victims every day. For example, the firefighters testified before the EPA's 9/11 panel that newly recruited firefighters who had no Ground Zero exposure were coming down with Ground Zero cough after being exposed to NYC firehouses.
I just wanted to commend you on Graham Rayman's fine article. As a fitness professional, I hope the article was able to move some people to take action. The more people we have explaining the health problems associated with breathing in the dust, the better. It's unfortunate that our country has gotten to this point, but it is what it is. We all need to realize that there are still very serious health risks. Nowadays, it's more about staying alive.
Re Chris Thompson's 'Plastic Surgeon to the Scars' [August 29September 4]: Perhaps the butchering of unwary cosmetic-surgery patients by Dr. Brad Jacobs and his ilk will finally stop when these women wise up and realize that, as with sex, the safest plastic surgery is no plastic surgery, and they don't really need nose jobs, boob jobs (is bigger really better?), or "star butts." Perhaps these ladies will get around to deciding that they look OK just the way they are, and that they don't have to risk their health or their lives chasing some phony ideal of beauty.
Re Ed Halter's 'Anger Me' [August 2228]: The Voice has always positioned itself as the "avant-garde" of hipness, the self-proclaimed mouthpiece of "NY cool." Thus, anything that comes under its purview that it doesn't consider "cutting-edge" is dismissed simply because it doesn't conform to the criteria of the source. This kind of attitude gives itself away by its own admission: The numerous references to "[Anger's importance] to cinema or American counterculture," "the true avant-fan," "anyone who has read the various tomes covering Anger's career," and "an affront to everything holy" all telegraph the elitist and dismissive attitude that Anger needs no explanation, simply because of the underlying assumption that all Angerphiles de facto understand all that needs to be understood. Implicit in the criticism is also the assertion that a documentary on Anger is worthwhile only if it is at least as "visionary" as the work of the master himselfwhich becomes as illogical a claim as suggesting that a documentary of, say, Dalí is valid only if it includes deserts and melting watches. In addition, there is the frankly erroneous statement that the film "consists of a single extended monologue from Anger himself" when, in fact, it is a tapestry of insightful, original-source commentary woven around carefully selected film clips, all thoughtfully and imaginatively edited. When we step away from the self-indulgent prose and pomposity of Halter's review, we're left with the fact that Anger Me actually achieves quite an admirable effect: It makes Kenneth Anger and his formidable work accessible to the much larger world of average filmgoers and the general public in a way in which they can begin to understand and become interested in the man and his films. And this missed point is so much more valuable than some "artsy-fartsy," iconoclastic rendering that appeals merely to a handful of "the converted."
Professor Bernie Gaidosch
Wayne Barrett: Can you give yourself a break when it comes to Rudy Giuliani? Does Hillary get any negatives from you? I think not. You are so biased that I can watch you on NY1 News and see that you truly hate Rudyas if he did nothing good at all. So much for being a reporter. I want to see some Hillary bashing, too.
In his review of Clive James's Cultural Amnesia ['Total Recall,'April 410], Gary Indiana has written a generally insightful critique of the book. It seems, though, that Indiana has made the same mistake for which he castigates James: that of inaccurate quotations furthering an argument used to attack an artist's character. Indiana says, "But if part of James's project is to 'destroy' people he considers malignant or less wonderful than other people think, as the jacket of this book asseverates, he should, at least, hire a fact-checker. It really is inexcusable to reproach the writer Karl Kraus for failing to raise his voice against Hitler's onrushing Anschluss with Austria, if only because this event occurred in 1938. Kraus died in 1936." In his biographical introduction to Kraus, James is methodical in giving Kraus's dates, and says that he "luckily did not live to see" the Anschluss. If Indiana is to set about criticizing an author's veracity, he should have used a better example, rather than risk being accused of the same crime.