Letter of The Week
Deeper than pride

I don't see your publication often, but I did see the review of Brokeback Mountain ["Homos on the Range," November 30–December 6, 2005] and thought it good. There are some people who worry about how spouses are treated, and anyone needing help in this area can contact the Straight Spouses Network. I believe this movie is a landmark that will be discussed in sociology classes for years to come, if anyone is really interested in learning about homosexuality. It is obvious that no one can accuse this film of having a political agenda, a gay agenda, or any such nonsense. The characters aren't even sure they are homosexual and they've never heard of Mattachine, nor would they march in a gay pride parade, or subscribe to The Advocate. They just went beyond Kinsey's idea—it's just a sex act—and fell in love, bonded. That is what scares the hell out of our heterosexuals.

Billy Glover
Bossier City, Louisiana

Editor in chief wanted:

The Village Voice, America's flagship alternative weekly, is seeking an editor in chief to carry on the paper's storied tradition of investigative journalism, feature-length storytelling, and cutting-edge cultural criticism. Applicants should have a fine touch with copy, significant experience crafting stories in magazine style, and strong reporting chops. They should be able to help staff generate superior in-depth stories that explain how New York City works, and guide beginning writers as well as accomplished ones. The ideal candidate will be able to edit and write, leading by example rather than by dictate.

Qualified candidates should send a cover letter, résumé, and clips to:

Christine Brennan
c/o Westword
969 Broadway
Denver, Colorado 80203

Trekking for treatment

Aina Hunter's article "Have AIDS, Must Travel" [Health Watch, February 1–7] perpetuates the unproven notion that people are burdened by the need to travel for services and would prefer to receive locally based services. Research that I participated in during the mid and late '90s (at a time when the general health of people living with HIV and AIDS was worse than it is today) expressly found that persons living with HIV in New York City did not have a preference for neighborhood-based services, and in many cases actually preferred to receive services away from home. While I do think that service location should play some role in the allocation of dollars to support HIV-related services, the primary factor should be the quality of the services provided. The only ones who benefit from the reiteration of the locally-based-services myth are the agencies that cry foul when they fail to successfully compete for available funding.

Gregg Weinberg

From Sallie Mae with love

Anya Kamenetz's article on student loan debt ["Your Late Fees, Their Millions," Generation Debt, January 25–31] betrays a lack of understanding of personal finance, economics, and federal student loan policy. While we sympathize with any borrower who has difficulty repaying his or her student loans, we would hope that stories published by The Village Voice would be based on fact. Leave aside the story's gross exaggerations and misrepresentations on our executives' salaries and on our market share. Let's also ignore for a moment that the article looks at only three of our more than 9 million borrowers. To put it simply, no one wins when a borrower fails to repay his or her student loan—not the borrower, not the school, not the lender, and not the taxpayers who subsidized the loan. We want our borrowers to graduate, to succeed, and to prosper because it is in their interest as well as ours. In servicing the loans of each of the borrowers Kamenetz cited in her story, we followed the rules set forth by Congress—not Sallie Mae—under Title IV of the Higher Education Act.-

Tom Joyce
Vice President of Corporate
Communications Sallie Mae
Reston, Virginia


Re Bill Michie's Letter of the Week [Letters, February 1–7] : Don't you love it when some arrogant, provincial Manhattanite who can't be bothered to find anything west of Lincoln Center on a map holds forth on how surviving the travails of daily life at the center of the universe makes him right about everything, all the time? Hey, Bill, I don't care how many times you think George Bush ought to be impeached, and I don't care what party you're registered with. You got a beef with Chris Rasmussen? Then say what you think he got wrong. 'Cause you don't actually say that. Guess a sophisticated Manhattanite like you can't be bothered to actually engage with someone who doesn't have the right zip code. Bumfuck, Colorado. Nice, Bill.

Jerry White
Edmonton, Alberta

Stroking the Foxx

Re Greg Tate's review of Jamie Foxx ["The New King," January 18–24] : Tate can't be serious, not this time. I've been reading him since "Cult-Nats MEET Freaky-Deke," but he hit an off-color note this time. Jamie Foxx's fine-for-the-shower voice and hype-machine hokum is a signature for our plastic age. Nothing more. A class clown turned loose in public, the equivalent of what Sammy Davis Jr. was in what should have been the age of Harold and Fayard Nicholas. In other words, Foxx is as good as folks need the Negro race to be in this place at this time. But we know better, don't we?

Greg Carr
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Shades of colonialism

Re Naomi Pabst's "Black and White and Read All Over" [February 1–7]: Here's my take on why that nice flight attendant thought Pabst was Italian: I'll bet Pabst was dressed more fashionably than the usual American tourists. Was she wearing no-wrinkle slacks, preferably pastel, and generic running shoes? A fanny pack? Was she moving in a herd of similarly attired folk? Probably not. This will come as no surprise to Pabst, but it might be worth reminding U.S. readers that Italy had a brief bout of colonialism: Ethiopia. So, there are some very elegant Italian ladies walking around with distinctly Ethiopian features.

Mary O'Keefe Kellogg
Prévessin-Mo France

Art works

I would like to thank Jennifer Gonnerman for her outstanding article on the Bridge arts program ["Tuesdays With Judy," January 4–10], which I founded and continue to run. Gonnerman's own value of unhampered creativity has enabled her to understand the people in my group who are facing their demons and valuing themselves as contributors to society through art. Sensational journalism has always concerned me, but Gonnerman has always respected our privacy, has never sugarcoated anything, and has addressed the artists' growth and development. Her accurate and human portrayal of the group and the Bridge is what is needed today to clarify the value and beauty of art and art therapy in a creative environment like the Bridge.

Judith Raskin-Rosenthal

Conversion therapy

Re Mark Holcomb's review of End of the Spear [Tracking Shots, January18–24]: I think Holcomb missed the point of this film. It isn't a story about how "undeveloped cultures continue to require prophylactic doses of Yank benevolence in order to survive and thrive." The film is about five men who died trying to share their faith with the Waodani. It is also about five women who risked their lives to bring the same message to the people who killed their husbands. I think that Holcomb's assumption that the Waodani's conversion is a story of American ethnocentrism is a slander against these people's ability to make their own choices. What right does Holcomb have to doubt their ability to accept the message brought by these women? Who is Holcomb to tell the Waodani that their religion is only fit for white people and they should doubt it, because it wasn't their native belief?

Steve Kafkas
Wheaton, Illinois

Ungrateful liberals

Mark Fiore's animation "Welcome to Greater Georgelandia!" [January 19, villagevoice.com] is not funny and the accusations made against President Bush certainly are not true. Every point made in Fiore's animation is taken out of context. I suppose his intended audience is narrow-minded and does not think very clearly about these matters. You should be very thankful that President Bush is taking care of you extreme liberals.

Carlos Caldwell
Palm Bay, Florida

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