By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
Cops vs. hip-hop
Re Tom Robbins's article 'Cops Rip Up Rappers' [July 9–15]: This is yet another story about bad cops in NYC. How did he get this story? Was Sean Gardiner on vacation? He's usually the one to rip the cops up in his articles. I'm sure that the "Brothers Venegas" were as polite and calm as they stated in the article—just trying to help a poor vendor, being good citizens. I'm sure that they also attend Mass every Sunday, feed the homeless, and were Boy Scouts back in the day. Give me a break! The writing staff of The Village Voice always portrays the NYPD as either crazy, dirty, or belligerent. Why doesn't someone on staff interview the officers and get their side of the story?
The police seem to be trying to keep Rodrigo and Gonzalo Venegas quiet. Pretty scary that this stuff is happening in 2008. You would think they would have stopped with these criminal tactics. These kids are heroes and should be looked up to and supported. With all the drugs in our community, they're positive role models and they're standing up for immigrant vendors. Go, Rebel Diaz!
Going to war
Re Nat Hentoff's 'Sovereign Evil: Why Won't the U.N. Act on Its Own Mandate?' [June 4–10], on the situation in Myanmar: Now we see Mr. Hentoff's true colors—he is as much a warmonger as George W. Bush and the leadership of both major parties. Please, Lord, spare us from the "peacekeepers"!
Sounding the all-clear
Re Tony Ortega's 'Scientology's Crushing Defeat' [June 30, villagevoice.com]: Thanks to Ortega and the Voice for this article. The time is long past due for the media to recognize the impact that Larry Wollersheim has had in exposing Scientology and alerting us to the dangers of its oppressive and evil tactics.
Smokin' after sex
A question about Steve Weinstein's 'The End of Public Sex: Why Isn't Anyone Fucking Anymore?' [Queer Issue, June 18–24]: Do you support the freedom of people to smoke in public places like bars and restaurants? After all, Mayor Bloomberg has made that practice illegal. Or do you believe that smoking is bad and should be banned in public?
Bombing in BC
Your new website design is horrible. I've enjoyed your website for years, as I live in a very vanilla little town in British Columbia—but now when I try to read it, everything keeps moving around. I'll start to read something, and it will just flip off the page and go somewhere else. And the ads that keep changing every few seconds are nauseating. Somebody got seriously carried away when they designed it.
Re Allen Barra's 'The Houses That Ruthlessness Built' [July 9-15]: You've hit the nail on the head. I wanted so much to get excited about this season, in large part because I wanted my beloved Shea to go out in triumph. The new stadium is beautiful, but when I do the math, I'm not sure how many games I'll ever see there. And the Mets have been an important part of my life for almost 50 years. The thing is, it's always been lousy in some way. Look at how cynical and vile and racist the owners were back in the '60s and '70s; look at how the players were robbed and exploited. But aren't we entitled to the beautiful memories we have of seasons in that era? Baseball has always been mythology; it has always existed in the minds of the fans, balanced precariously against a reality created by capitalists as rotten and unfeeling as any in literature. Even so, I hope an article like yours can serve as some kind of resistance to what corporate baseball has become.