In response to Jessica Seigel's article "Firefighter Chic" [November 6]: It's sad that celebrities give so much to certain companies just because they live in Manhattan, though I am not knocking my brother firefighters in that borough. They have lost so many. But my old company in the Bronx—Engine 75/Ladder 33/Battalion 19, once known as the busiest firehouse in the world—lost four brothers at ground zero.

We do not get the celebrities or the rich and the famous writing checks to us. We get the blue-collar workers and poor children with jars of coins, which means a lot to us.

The people of the Bronx are great. We love you.

Richie Kirsteter
West Jefferson, North Carolina

"Firefighter Chic" by Jessica Seigel was terrific. I've been an active volunteer firefighter up here in northern Fairfield County for 20 years, and the guys of the New York City Fire Department have been my heroes since I was a kid.

Seigel did a nice job writing up two aspects of present-day life in the FDNY. I just hope that the attention the "stars" are currently showing them continues in some way. A lot of the guys will never recover from the psychological trauma that they have endured. I've already attended services for some of them, and I'll be going to more. Some I knew, some I didn't. In the end it doesn't matter. We're all brothers.

Nice job, Village Voice. God bless.

Bob Fish
Brookfield Volunteer Fire Department
Brookfield, Connecticut


I was disgusted by Sean Beavers's cover illustration for Wayne Barrett's article "Michael Bloomberg's Sordid Sexual Politics" [November 6]. The article was about rape, and the illustration shows a bunch of women in short skirts with their shirts half-buttoned.

Rape is about being forced into sexual intercourse. This picture insinuates that these women were running around the office half-clad and, according to society's misconceptions, "asking for it."

Nina Godiwalla
Houston, Texas


Congrats on Sharon Lerner's airing of women's views on war, a man's game ["What Women Want," November 6], although I do wish the piece had dealt with how to root out terrorists and their networks if bombing doesn't work, as well as the causes of terrorism.

The UN should engage in police actions when crimes have been committed—and the horrific murder of innocent people on September 11 was a massive crime.

If thousands of gender-trained police were sent to Afghanistan, showing support for women while hunting down terrorists, it would demonstrate that the victims of 9-11 are not seeking revenge, that we are not making war on Islam, and that we have more civilized ways of dealing with "evil."

Cora Weiss, President
Hague Appeal for Peace


I am astonished by the similarities in your article by Chris Parker, "A Scene Grows in Brooklyn" [November 13], and an article that appeared in our publication, FREEwilliamsburg, in September. Our story, "A Scene Grows in Brooklyn" (note the, um, similarity), written by Grant Moser, also discusses the thriving music scene in Williamsburg. Moser's piece discusses in some detail three new clubs—Luxx, Warsaw, and Northsix—that have recently opened in Williamsburg. Curiously, these three clubs are the focus of Parker's piece as well.

A sidebar to Moser's article discussed the new Arena Rock label. You guessed it . . . Parker wrote about the label too. Their most recent compilation included 42 artists, two of whom (Les Savy Fav and Champale) we selected to feature in our publication. Parker named five artists featured on the label and similarly cited Champale and Les Savy Fav as being integral to the rising music scene.

Granted, we have a significantly smaller audience than The Village Voice and only reach 20,000 people per month, but it seems unlikely to me that anyone doing research on the Williamsburg music scene would not stumble across FREEwilliamsburg. Is it the general policy of The Village Voice to cut and paste ideas and stories from other publications without giving credit where credit is due?

Please compare: freewilliamsburg.com/september_2001/mightymusic.html and www.villagevoice.com/issues/0145/parker.php.

Robert Lanham, Editor


I dug much of Kyle Gann's dinner conversation piece "Musico-Collateral Damage" [November 6]. Yet a lot of what changes in the musical landscape during wartime is merely coincidental. Debussy and the Impressionists had already reduced Mahler's German army-sized orchestras to Peruvian cavalries way before World War I—not, as Gann asserts, after it.

There also is no doubt that Stravinsky would have taken a swing at the writer for the alleged "violence" in Le Sacre du Printemps. "It's only rhythm and notes," Stravinsky would say. But wait a minute: World War I ended Richard Strauss's career? It was those overblown, never-ending endings that killed off the late Romantics, not mustard gas.

Whatever Uptown or Downtown music is in decay today will continue to do so naturally. We shouldn't be blaming Osama for that.

Jesus Diaz
Maplewood, New Jersey


Allen St. John's postmortem on the Yankees was right on the money, and fun to boot ["Here's to the Losers," November 13]. His appraisal of the team, especially his assessment of Ramiro Mendoza (who should've pitched the eighth inning in game seven), was more honest than anything else I read.

Will Goodman
Mount Kisco, New York


Michael Atkinson's review of Monsters, Inc. ["Where the Mild Things Are," November 6] was one of the most useless, overwrought film reviews I've ever read. References to Un Chien Andalou, Swift, and "our self-policing physiognomies" don't tell me if my kids would like the film. Hell, after reading the review, I can't even decide if I'll take the kids or make their father sit through the movie. I appreciate an insightful, educated review; it should, however, discuss the film—not all the junk the reviewer picked up at film school.

Pam Blittersdorf
Wayne, Pennsylvania

Michael Atkinson replies: Who takes your children to the movie, or whether they go at all, is thankfully not my concern. I have kids, thanks. As for my alma mater, there I learned only how to drive and tap a backseat keg at the same time.

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