Brava to Tricia Romano and her article "Bombshells Away!" [March 5-11]:
I am the founder of the Golden Days of Burlesque Historical Society. Our group finds and reconnects the older performers from burlesque, those who worked on the various burlesque stages before 1970, and in the process strives to preserve what history we can. Even though our group, which is over 200 members strong, deals with the older burlesque performers and their history, I feel this is a well-written article that will hopefully enlighten the public about the younger performers who are dancing their hearts out in an attempt to revive burlesque.
Thank you, Village Voice, for publishing this article, and if anyone knows where any of the "old time" burlesque performers are, please contact us at our Web page (www.burlesquehistory.com).
Salt Lake City, Utah
NEXT WEEK: PROHIBITION REPEALED!
Re Tricia Romano's "Bombshells Away!":
I was dismayed at Romano's article about "the New Burlesque." As anyone who is remotely hip knows, the New Burlesque has been happening for at least three years now, and is, for the most part, over. When I moved to New York eight years ago, I thought that your paper would offer some insight as to what's fresh and new, but I am ever disappointed by articles that cover movements that happened in the past.
Look for writers who have a younger perspectivesomeone who will go after what's new!
THE VAGINA MONOLOGUE
Re Richard Goldstein's "Stealth Misogyny" [March 5-11]:
Reading this article scared the crap out of me. Women have worked way too hard to have this fake president take it all back. What does he know about the fear of rape? What does he know about the fear of not getting a particular job, when your only crime is being born with a vagina? Women make less money than men, yet we are the people who take care of the youth and run the households. And do we really have to mention how much money we put into the economy? Who buys most of the clothes, makeup, household wares, etc.?
To sit here and read about RU-486 not getting approved, and rolling back civil rights for women, is horrifying and, to be honest, sad. Bush's wife and children will never suffer as the "regular" women of this country will. They are rich and privileged; they will never know the pain of the have-nots.
To Thulani Davis:
Thank you so much for your interview with the Reverend Al Sharpton ["Al vs. the Dems," February 26-March 4]. I have long considered him a standout in his party, the only hope for a truly liberal, left-wing candidate to run for president via a mainstream political party. Sadly, it seems that Sharpton's views are considered too threatening for the majority of "liberal Democrats" to even consider him, and many white voters shy away in fear of his reputation, not knowing his platform.
Hopefully, this interview will convince lefty voters that Sharpton is a candidate who will truly consider the interests of working people, and not the interests of those who will benefit from Middle East kickbacks and corporate tax cuts.
Re Alisa Solomon's "Busted for Peace," [February 26-March 4]:
Solomon's article validated everything I experienced at the February 15 rally. In the "crowd-control pens," it was painfully obvious that the police were not there to protect or facilitate. They were there to obstruct an assembly.
Why the fear of democracy? February 15 was a day of disgrace for the mayor and the NYPD. Like company men, they responded, wrongly, to a peaceful gathering with a show of force. That they now dismiss their brute behavior as "isolated" and congratulate themselves for their fine work is truly sickening.
As those of us in the crowd were quick to point out: "Shame!"
J. Claire Razzolini
AT WHAT COST?
To Nat Hentoff:
Your article about John Ashcroft was particularly well written and scary to think about ["Ashcroft Out of Control," March 5-11].
Is there no one who will stand up against George Bush and his Draconian measures? If this Patriot Act is put into law as the first one was, how can we truly say we are a free country anymore? I don't want terrorists to be able to attack my country, or any country, but at what cost?
Keep up the good reporting. I just wish The New York Times were as impartial and fair as your paper. What are they afraid of? The truth?
Nat Hentoff replies: The American Civil Liberties Union is standing up, as are the Bill of Rights Defense Committees around the country. One is being formed in New York, and I will give more information soon.
Re Vince Aletti's "Making History" [March 5-11]:
As a 25-year-old who is heavily involved in the cultural realm, I find it very disappointing that such an inordinate amount of media attention has been placed upon what I see as an extremely regressive example of what young, contemporary art can be. Ryan McGinley's photographynot to mention the scene that he documentsputs a slightly more youthful face upon some of the most tired artistic tropes imaginable, particularly that of unthinking hedonism.
Perhaps this was an interesting, even countercultural stance to take when our parents were our age; personally, I'd like to think that we've learned from their example, and instead of cocaine-fueled cliché, we can strive toward something a little more meaningful, something offering more than frat-house values with a fashion-house sheen.
Aletti acts as McGinley's apologist: "If [McGinley's work] makes you think of Warhol and Tillmans, that's fine. McGinley's not thinking of history, art or otherwise; he's already getting off his next shot." Is relative youthfulness a valid excuse for having no sense of one's place in history? What Aletti sees as "rude and funny and fresh" in McGinley's work, I see as wholly, irredeemably boring.
Congratulations to Village Voice photographer Sylvia Plachy and her son Adrien Brody, who received the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of Wladyslaw Szpilman in The Pianist. Congratulations to Village Voice photographer Sylvia Plachy and her son Adrien Brody, who received the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of Wladyslaw Szpilman in The Pianist.
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