By Steve Weinstein
By Devon Maloney
By Tessa Stuart
By Alison Flowers
By Albert Samaha
By Jesse Jarnow
By Eric Tsetsi
By Raillan Brooks
Bravo on a brilliant cover [July 1–7]. That's Michael Jackson in heaven (if there is such a thing): looking relaxed and completely himself.
Wow. This was really wonderfully put. I've been truly unfortunate to witness the deaths of so many artists I've loved, and they all create different emotions, but Michael's was like some sort of celestial bitch-smack.
I need more Greg Tate.
The magic act
Re Jean Grae's 'In Defense of Magic' [July 1–7]: For the record, you weren't the only one in Bed-Stuy having a teary dance party for Michael. I did some heavy booty-popping right in my bedroom, just like I did when he was my first love back in the day.
I'm gonna send this to all of my cynical friends who just don't seem to get it. I won't tell them they are "dead" inside, although I'll be thinking it. (Semi-joking here.) I think it takes a true, genuine appreciation for art and the conveyor or creator of that art to truly understand what MJ's real impact was on us.
Count me among the indifferent. Enough with all the hoopla. Yes, he was a talented artist, and Thriller sold a zillion copies and influenced a lot of people (back in the '80s). But for the past 20 years, Michael Jackson has been nothing but a walking sideshow/tabloid headline. I'd be willing to bet that more people know MJ as a tabloid freak than as a moonwalking one-man show. Best of all has been the black community's response, with all the tribute shows and how "sad" everyone is that they've lost "one of their heroes." Or how this article states that "the magic is gone."
For the past 20 years, black actors and comedians have been falling over themselves to joke about his "blackness," skin color, alleged pedophilia, etc. An alien beaming in from outer space could only assume this guy was nothing but Black America's biggest pariah. And now everyone misses him—hypocrites.
The plot sickens
Re Tom Robbins's 'Senate Coup Plotters' Hidden Agenda' [July 1–7]: Thank you for calling attention to the agenda behind the New York Senate coup. For rent-stabilized tenants who have known what was at stake, the involvement of the real estate lobbyists has been a given. The general lack of media attention to what's really at stake and why is especially distressing. Even more so is the public paralysis and apathy. As usual, your column is a rare beacon of light.
Wilco: Over and out
Re Mike Powell's 'Wilco: The Review' [July 1–7]: Listen, I know music criticism is missing the whole "opinion" side these days, but come on, this is just arbitrary bitterness. The author is clearly embittered about Wilco's ability to make uncontroversial music, which I didn't know was ever a problem.
I have to come to the defense of this article, and I say that as a Wilco fan. I think he's saying that it's fine to like Wilco and they are quite talented, but don't kid yourself that they are doing anything remotely interesting. It was a fair assessment of the band, in my opinion. They are extremely pleasant music to chill out to—nothing more. It is time a critic in a decently read mainstream music rag come out and explain what is just so utterly banal about Wilco's music.