By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
A Bronx tale
Re Graham Rayman's 'Rat Trap' [July 8–14]: Afghanistan? These guys couldn't find Riverdale on a map! Since their arrests, both synagogues at "risk" will receive $25,000 each from Homeland Security. Now that's what I call proactive.
Don't you dare, Mr. Rayman. Don't start with the sympathy routine for the creeps that get charged in these cases.
The 9/11 bombers were a motley group with only boxcutters. The 7/7 bombers in London were just a supposed group of misfits, and they managed to kill over 50 people. The teenage creep that flew a light plane into a building a couple of years ago was labeled as just a loner with an accutane problem. The murderer that killed innocent people in Seattle was described as just a loose cannon who happened to go off. The Fort Dix group was written up as just a bunch of poor pizza flippers who let a pipe dream get out of hand. These creeps have better legal representation than you or I ever will.
If they can prove entrapment, so be it. If not, they are part of the worldwide Islamist tentacles of tyranny that must be wiped out. The subject you write about is an agent working with American law enforcement—not a rat.
If I offered you $100,000 to kill someone, would you do it? Absolutely not! You would say, "Get out of here, you freak." That is exactly what these four lunatics should have done. What if it wasn't the FBI, but Al Qaeda? Typically liberal ignorance. Go get in a street fight, and see how the world really works!
Re Greg Tate's 'The Man in Our Mirror' [July 1–7]: Best piece I've read so far on MJ's passing and his significance, particularly to black folks. Greg Tate is a Voice veteran, and this piece is a reminder of the unique cultural criticism and reporting the paper used to regularly publish.
"The Man in Our Mirror" by Greg Tate might pass for a pseudo-neo-Hegelian-post-Soul tractatus on God-knows-what. Nonetheless, it has nothing to do with Michael Jackson and is atrociously self-indulgent.
The claim that Jackson is (despite his entire career of continual transmutation) nothing more than the latest installment of "The Real Soul Man" is an absurd form of conceptual masturbation that disrespects Jackson's true brilliance.
And "In Defense of Magic: A Solo Bed-Stuy Dance Party" is not only an example of horrendous journalism, but also a pretty meaningless diary entry that ought to have been burned immediately after writing.
What your writers don't seem to understand is that Jackson was not simply a genius, but also a failure and freak. Mr. Tate almost touches on this point when he compares him to Icarus. Unfortunately, he then wonders if it's not a blessing that we are now freely permitted to forget he ever fell.
I find it telling that in '82, the populace applauded Jackson for pretending to be a zombie, but when he actually became one . . .
Since he appears to have died more than 15 years ago, last week's memorial feature seems woefully behind the times.
If you had one—and a point of reference beyond your own jaded snobbery—you might have heard more of the music and written a better, fairer, and more revealing piece. Not only have you blown the opportunity to write a major piece about a major band, but you've also done a disservice to the artists and the readers with your punkass petulance, and I'm pissed enough to let you know about it. God, I miss Christgau.
Relish the experience
Re Sarah DiGregorio's 'The Cart Is a Lonely Hunter' [June 17–23]: Please tell Ali that the American dream is the freedom to start your own business, and he is obviously living it.