Letter of The Week
Village under siege

Re Tricia Romano's "Party's Over" [Fly Life, November 30–December 6]: In describing the so-called "crackdown" on East Village bars, Romano writes entirely from the perspective of the bar owners. Never once does she mention the community activists who gathered weeks before the raids because they were fed up with the rampant noise, vomit, and fake bohemianism that have come to define East Village nightlife. The cabaret law Romano cites is indeed illogical, puritanical, and counterproductive—it should be abolished. But she pulls a bait and switch in her article by referencing the law. The issue at hand isn't people dancing in bars. It's about thousands of drunk frat-party assholes invading our neighborhood every weekend—puking, pissing, and starting fights. The East Village I grew up in was more than just a bunch of overpriced, trendy, velvet-rope clubs for the trust-fund set.

Quinn Raymond

Return fire

Aina Hunter had the audacity to question The Source's journalistic and business credibility ["The Source Under Fire," November 23–29]. Yet her sensationalized, slanderous, and one-sided attack demonstrates obvious bias to anyone who looks at the facts. In her rush to make The Source look bad Hunter neglects to mention that the EEOC officially closed the books on the Osorio/Joyce case with a no findings ruling. Instead, Hunter misleads readers to believe that the EEOC responded in support of Osorio's lawyer's requests for a right-to-sue letter, which is false. She quotes extensively from allegations in a lawsuit filed by The Source's bank, Textron Financial, but neglects to report the fact that Textron's lawyers have been unable to convince a judge that The Source should be placed into receivership, the emergency remedy requested in their lawsuit. Hunter goes on to quote Essence magazine writer E. Assata Wright's denigrating comment about The Source yet fails to reveal that Wright is a former employee of the magazine. This is hardly a shining example of journalistic integrity on Hunter's part. Instead of trying to question our credibility, I would strongly recommend that the Voice's editors and writers thoroughly verse themselves in the definition of "credibility"—I'm sure they will find it is not consistent with the actions described above. While Hunter and the Voice were so quick to try to use attacks on our credibility as a weapon against perhaps a more professional media competitor such as The Source, your own actions speak louder than anything I can say.

David Mays
Co-founder & CEO The Source

Blood brothas

Evidently, Tom Breihan doesn't know much about hip-hop ["The Gotti Trial's War on Love Songs," November 23–29] and what lies directly beneath the surface. Hip-hop is not the stuff you see on TV or something you can purchase at Tower Records or the urban-wear section of a department store. Anybody who isn't born and bred into hip-hop and who only has a casual acquaintance with the culture needs to study its relationships with criminal elements. There are reasons why hip-hop loves criminals and criminals love hip-hop—each glorifying the other in a uniquely warped, oftentimes symbiotic and symbolic relationship. Criminals admire the glamorous lifestyles of successful rappers and their seemingly unconscious abandon for spending money. Rappers, on the other hand, dream about the street credibility of major criminals and being involved in their underworld exploits: money laundering, drug dealing, gun battles, scars, and the jail time they have racked up on their way to infamy. The lines have been blurred for a while now so it's not that far from reality when rappers name themselves after major criminals such as Scarface, Capone, Noreaga, and Gotti. It's also not a stretch that they would name their companies after criminal enterprises and pattern their corporate structures loosely on those of organized crime.

Gucci Man

Sexual healing

Gary Indiana has every right to his jaded opinions on queer relationships ["West of Eden," November 30–December 6], but as a fag activist who has lived in a loving sexual relationship for 30 years, I think his "two year" limitation on sexual attraction is a tad barbaric. Duh, wasn't the point of gay liberation that people should be able to live and love how they want, and without all that Genet/Burroughs/Rechy/Cooper (and Indiana) crap? As a queer I'm happy to celebrate my friends' serial polyamory as much as their lifelong devotion to one partner. Indiana is playing into a very nasty form of sexual fascism.

John Gill
Andalucía, Spain

Conspiracy corner

Jarrett Murphy's excellent piece on the questions surrounding the bombing of the World Trade Center ["The 9-11 Files," December 7–13] states that "We still don't know why" 7 World Trade Center collapsed. Perhaps Murphy is unaware that the building's leaseholder, Larry Silverstein, said in a PBS interview that he ordered the FDNY to "pull" (demolish) the building on the afternoon of 9-11. Silverstein's statement makes sense in light of how the building collapsed. It appeared to be a textbook demolition job, in which all of the building's underpinnings gave way at the exact same instant—a physical impossibility otherwise.

Daniel Drasin
San Francisco, California

Why don't you ask some real questions about 9-11, like those asked by the 9-11 Family Steering Committee? The 9-11 Commission left 70 percent of their questions unanswered, notably all those that addressed the question of U.S. responsibility. Key people in the Bush administration, FBI, CIA, and defense and justice departments need to be cleared of (or convicted for) involvement in 9-11.

Erik Larson
Rancho Cucamonga, California

I would like Murphy to comment on the fact that no airplane parts were found in or around the Pentagon site. That is the issue that feeds us conspiracy buffs. We would like you to set our minds at ease that the Bush neocons had nothing to do with this event.

Joan Covici
Dallas, Texas

Even if the towers had "sheetrock over steel," it still would have been a physical impossibility for a fire to bring them down. The only fire that can weaken steel beams to that extent is one caused by an oxygen-fueled blast furnace. The only way they could have collapsed was by planted explosives. Do you have the guts to print an accurate story? So far the few that have have been dismissed as lunatics, whereas the real lunatics believe a concrete building can burn down.

Robert Torre
Olympia, Washington

Another question is why some Shanksville residents reported hearing, but barely seeing, something flying low and very fast out of the area after Flight 93 crashed. My sincere condolences and respect to those brave Americans who perished in Flight 93. I just know what I heard on local southwestern Pennsylvania television news that day, and never heard again.

Dan Wasson Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Paper thin

Re James Ridgeway's "George Bush, Meet Reality" [November 30, villagevoice.com]: This article has about as much depth as the paper it's written on. Simply pointing a finger and saying "You're a witch" used to be grounds for having the accused hanged or burned at the stake. Ridgeway seems to think it's possible to do the same today by saying that Bush is "devoid of reality" and that "To listen to Bush is to enter a dreamworld." Thanks for the insight, Ridgeway, but I think I'll get my information from someone who can pen an argument based on fact rather than name-calling. If you think a 20-year-long jihadist buildup culminating on 9-11 should be answered with doublespeak diplomacy and powerless U.N. sanctions, I'd suggest your own "reality check."

Dave Pollock
Morton, Pennsylvania


Wayne Barrett's article "Stripped Bare" [December 7–13] inaccurately suggested that Clyde Haberman and much of the press corps "circled the wagons" in part because of criticism of the mayoral campaign coverage leveled at a recent New School conference. In fact, Haberman's column on the coverage was prompted solely by a Ferrer interview in El Diario. He was unaware of the New School critique.

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