By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Your next issue is on us
Re Michael Musto's 'Gushing About Broadway' [May 13–19]: As to your reporter or columnist Michael Musto: As long as that hateful human being is on your payroll, I will never again buy a Village Voice.
Re Wayne Barrett's 'School's Out' [May 13–19]: You call the 2005 contract with the UFT generous! It was the worst contract in UFT history. The teachers gave up grieving disciplinary letters in the files and seniority transfer, plus they work longer and for more days. All that for what? Below-inflation pay increases!
This anti-union hatchet job from Barrett is appalling. He blames the teachers, the least powerful employees in the school system, for all of the problems the NYC Department of Education has—and Wayne's "solution" is attacks on teachers! And, of course, billionaire Bloomberg is blameless here! This article is disgusting, all the more so because Wayne Barrett is himself a union member (UAW Local 2110)!
Mayor Bloomberg, UFT president Weingarten, and charter school principal Moskowitz are all disingenuous. Charter schools are public schools—they're only the top deck of a sinking Titanic. And Moskowitz's Harlem Success Network charter schools are proof that blacks et al. will accept crumbs and mediocrity over true school choice. To wit: a public school voucher program so all New Yorkers can send their children to the schools of their choice.
Fact: Thousands of NYC teachers send their kids to private schools—not public schools (the hypocrites!). Other Weingartenians make sure they live in lily-white neighborhoods, guaranteeing de facto segregated, elitist, white schooling for their children. Often beneath the façade of a progressive white liberal is an opposition to good schooling for blacks, and that's racist! How soon we forget. Remember the 1968 teachers' strike that pitted blacks and Latino parents against Jewish teachers and supervisors? Also, like former mayor David Dinkins, Bloomberg, too, is a UFT union appeaser and capitulator.
Czarina Weingarten is an autocratic extremist who supports unaccountable "due process" protections that make it almost impossible to fire bad or incompetent teachers. Nevertheless, no sympathy for Moskowitz nor cowardly Harlemites. Respectfully, Moskowitz, Harlemites, and charter school advocates must stop "waiting for Godot." Instead, shut the schools down until Bloomberg and Wein-garten give you what you want, or vote Bloomberg out of office come November.
Re Mordechai Shinefield's 'Welcome to Paradise: On Green Day's Dystopian, Prophetic, and Extraordinary 21st Century Breakdown' [May 13–19]: I hate to say it, but this is just awful music writing. Talking up Green Day (Green Day!?) as if they are the saviors of rock 'n' roll's political relevance? Or just rock in general? Pleeease. Maybe Green Day have some good things going for them in this album, but please tone down the high school fan-boy worship. How can we take this seriously? Village Voice, stop letting the interns write articles.
Re Ward Sutton's 'Set to Stun: Old Kirk and New Kirk Go Where No Kirk Has Gone Before' [May 6–12]: Isn't enough enough? I can understand the longevity of 007, though I wasn't much of a Bond fan—handsome guy, hot chicks, cool cars, fancy gadgets. But just look at Star Trek. It is soooooooo gay! A guy with a Moe haircut and pointy elf ears. A spaceship that looks like a big plate stuck to an electric shaver. A race of people called Klingons with heads that look like asses sewn together. How can people actually watch this? Are they crazy? Are they gay? It is embarrassing that a nation as rich and advanced as ours would have so many people who spend time and money on one of the most gimpy sci-fi stories ever imagined.