Letters 6.25.08

Raw emotions

Re Graham Rayman's 'A Quiet Little Death' [June 18–24]: A "quiet little death" at Bellevue? More Americans have died in U.S. mental institutions than in U.S. wars.

The deaths are not quiet—they are muffled.

Harold A. Maio

Fort Myers, Florida

Sheikh your booty

As an Arab, I am writing to you to protest and question Trenton Straube's 'Gay Arabs Party Here, Risk Death Back Home' [June 18–24]. I believe that the headline is not only inaccurate, but also reeks of prejudice and promotes negative/racist feelings toward the Arab people as a whole. Moreover, contrasting "here vs. there" promotes simplistic views regarding other cultures and a sense of "superiority." This is exactly what breeds and feeds prejudice.

I am a Moroccan who grew up in Morocco, and while there is generally some kind of prejudice against gays of varying degrees (at times not so different from, or even less than, the homophobia I have noticed in the U.S.), I have never read or heard of any killing of gay people in Morocco. In fact, I challenge the editors and the writer to find such instances. If they indeed happen, they are surely rare and not as common as the headline suggests.

Karim Zamani

Germantown, Maryland

Shoot the editor

Re Sean Gardiner's 'Shoot First, Hand Over Film Later' [June 11–17]: I just finished reading the article about the photographer hassled at Coney Island. This is an important issue; I've been following similar stories throughout the U.S. and Europe. But I'm sorry to say that the article was so poorly written that it actually distracted me from the issue.

One of the hallmarks of Voice journalism has been the quality of the reportage. I realize not every story is going to be a masterpiece, but when an article is so badly written that it actually detracts from the importance of the story, you have a serious problem. Somebody find this guy an editor, please.

Greg Fallis

Columbus, Ohio

Seeing is believing

R.C. Baker's article on Kerry James Marshall ['Black on Black,' Best in Show, June 11–17] was great. I am encouraged by your coverage of the visual arts in New York.

Melvin Hardy

Washington, D.C.

Honors to Yaeger, Robbins

Voice staff writers Lynn Yaeger and Tom Robbins have just won major journalism awards.

Yaeger won first place in the National Society of Newspaper Columnists' humor category for papers with a circulation over 100,000, beating out big-city daily columnists from all over the country.

And metro columnist Tom Robbins won the New York Press Club's "Continuing Coverage: Newspaper" award for "Tall Tales of a Mafia Mistress," his October 2007 story about a key prosecution witness in the murder trial of ex-FBI agent Lin DeVecchio. In winning that category, Robbins beat the New York dailies at their own game.

Boy howdy!

I take issue with John Kwok's comments ['Youse Guys Ain't Country,' Letters, June 4–10] regarding Marc Ferris's 'This Here's Brooklyn Country' [May 28–June 3]. The bands from Tucson that Kwok extols are not even country bands, for the most part. And Mr. Kwok has never been to the Kings County Opry, as far as I know, yet he's singled me ["Dock Oscar"] out.

I think the point Mr. Kwok is missing is that country music in Brooklyn is traditional despite the fact that it's not in Nashville—and that's a good thing.

Oscar Stern

via e-mail

Correction

In Wayne Barrett's 'Want to Work for Mike?' [June 11–17], Julie Shapiro, the senior vice president of a contractor that runs a workforce center for the city's Small Business Services agency, was mistakenly quoted as telling a City Council committee that "we are serving people who would end up finding jobs on their own." Her actual statement was: "I think the impulse with a lot of this funding is to try to find the people that are easiest to place. . . . And in terms of return on investment, you don't want to end up serving the people who really would find these jobs on their own."

 
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