By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Re Joshua Kors's 'Through the Cracks' [April 29–May 5]: Thank you, Voice, for doing this story. I went to school with Joi Little and hung out after school in her neighborhood every day. Her death has always stuck with me and others.
Though the neighborhood was going bad, we all knew each other and tried to look out for one another. You were very accurate in this story, and now we all have some closure.
To hell and back
Re Michael Feingold's 'Next to Norman,' a review of The Norman Conquests [April 29–May 5]: What a pompous, preening, self-serving, thoroughly ridiculous, ill-judged review. A perfect example of the critic as devil's advocate. Quite appalling.
I am a playwright currently living in NYC—on leave from Boise State University for the current academic year—who has enjoyed only marginal success in this city. But I want to tell you that your astute read of the theater—in reference to no particular review—is inspiring to me. Just knowing that there is an intelligent critic out there who yearns for the same theatrical experience I'm trying to write for gives me the courage to keep trying. Which is something, I should also mention, that I hardly ever feel from the artistic community itself, here or anywhere.
As a loyal Voice reader, I was quite dismayed to see Tom Robbins's 'Peggy Lipton, the Girlfriend Who Sparked the Pension Scandal' [April 29–May 5]. Do you actually think the educated people who are the readers of the Voice will believe it and not make the comparison to the style of the two NYC tabloid dailies, both of which have used Ms. Lipton's celebrity status to spice up articles about wrongdoings in the office of former State Comptroller Alan Hevesi?
Besides her five decades of fascinating involvement in the entertainment industry, Ms. Lipton has given of herself for her entire life through philanthropic work, helping organizations that promote racial tolerance and also those that help people break free from domestic and dating violence. Most compelling is Ms. Lipton's 40-year history of inspiring people who stutter all across the U.S. While Ms. Lipton extensively discussed her stuttering in her 2005 memoir Breathing Out, more than 35 years before that, during the early years of her Mod Squad fame, she became one of the first entertainers to publicly acknowledge their stuttering.
Re Michael Musto's 'The Naked Truth About Porn Prince Michael Lucas' [April 22–28]: Thank you for your help. I have decided not to buy any more of Michael Lucas's productions. Besides being of poor technical quality—the last two were damaged so I could not see the whole show—it appears as if all of the negative things men say about him are true: He's a jerk! Hey, Lucas, this black man is not a thug, a racist, or anti-Semitic, and none of my friends are either. Maybe you're looking for a certain type.
Re Scott Foundas's 'One, Two Punch' [April 22–28]: It's a good review of the documentary film Tyson, on the former boxing champ. But sycophants and apologists superimpose a convoluted angst on Mike Tyson. They defend him as lost in an unloving, non-understanding, white-controlled America that's out to crush and destroy strong, young black men.
Actually, Tyson once had it all. After all the rationalizing and politically correct explanations of why Tyson became who he did and failed, there's this truth: He was too weak of character to overcome his "ghetto-hood culture" upbringing and its conditioning into the gangsta lifestyle. Since Tyson, to his credit, is into philosophy, I suggest that he and his rationalizers read Camus's The Fall.
Voice staff writer Elizabeth Dwoskin is one of 50 finalists nationwide for the 2008 Livingston Awards for Young Journalists, the country's largest all-media general reporting prizes, awarded annually to reporters under the age of 35.