Richard Goldstein's sharp analysis of Frank Rich's hypocrisy ["Celebrity Bigots," July 18] did not go far enough. While Goldstein noted Rich's greater tolerance for straight bigotry against gays than black bigotry against Jews, Rich's collaboration with the worst homophobe in the American media was left unstated.
In fact, Rich is a regular guest on Imus in the Morning, where fag-baiting is standard practice. Despite Rich's reputation as a defender of gay rights and his columnist of the year award from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination, he is a traitor to his intellectual class. His silence vis-à-vis Imus's obsessive smears of "homos," "lesbos," "load swallowers," and "carpet munchers," as documented on my "Imus Watch" on TomPaine.com, is matched in media shame by The New York Times, the New York Daily News, and Newsweek, which sponsor Imus's homophobic grunts and rants.
Free For All
Richard Goldstein's article on hate in the form of free speech struck a chord with me. I'm glad someone has pointed out that just as people have the right to say whatever they want, we have the right to say it's hurtful, and protest.
The hypocrisy of Dr. Laura trying to keep others from doing what she has done, speaking their minds, was well noted. Thanks for making points I've often felt, but didn't express. It's true that silence is the voice of complacency, and it's dangerous to pretend that hateful words drummed into our ears have no effect.
Jersey City, New Jersey
Thank you for publishing Debra DeSalvo's article "Eat It Raw" [July 4]. Ms. DeSalvo is a trendsetter in giving information on the cutting-edge raw/live food movement. However, this movement and its insights go far beyond what was written and truly could be the salvation of a planet on the way to extinction because of man's arrogance in tampering with nature and the ensuing ecological calamity.
Dietitian Jyni Holland was quoted as saying "there are no scientific studies showing an advantage to eating raw broccoli instead of cooked broccoli." However, there is a plethora of scientific studies showing the life-giving advantages of eating raw instead of cooked broccoli as well as other foods. Holland says that fruit off a tree is separated from its "life force." If this is true, how does seeded fruit bear new life when deposited in the ground? Just because Holland has not seen scientific studies justifying raw-food concepts doesn't mean they aren't viable. No scientist can explain or replicate the miracle of birth, yet it happens daily.
In Robert Sietsema's sidebar, reference was made to the juicers and other processing equipment used by some raw foodists, with no indication that the mainstream chef's arsenal of processing equipment is staggering. At least raw foodists don't have to worry about stoves and burning fossil fuels.
Director, Hygeia Center
Food For Fought
Re Robert Christgau's coverage of Let It Blurt, my biography of Voice contributor Lester Bangs ["Impolite Discourse," July 4]: Christgau complains that I didn't call him for comment about a rock-crit food fight that happened three decades ago. Indeed I did not: It was never in contention in anyone's account that victuals went flying. Ellen Willis insisted that the specific course was dinner, not dessert. I quoted her and not Bob because the perspective of the hurled-at seemed more significant than that of the hurler; us rock criticswe always like to side with the underdog. As for me being jealous of anyone, listen up, Bob Christgau. I still want to be you when I grow up. Except that I will always favor "elementary" ideas over impenetrable pondering, so perhaps I'll never make the cut. How does one become Der Dean, anyway?
Robert Christgau replies: My sources, including the person sitting next to Willis and another to whom I related my recollections immediately thereafter, remember pie, but that isn't what matters. The point is that whereas different observers can disagree as to facts, there's only one primary source about a person's motivesperhaps a deluded or dishonest one, but in a uniquely privileged position nevertheless. I'm genuinely flattered that DeRogatis aspires to Deanhood. But that missed distinction is sadly typical of what he is and isn't capable of pondering.
In Peter Noel's article "Homeboys and Girls" [July 4], I found the following sentence odd: "The Central Park sexual assaults crossed racial lines: Suspects allegedly attacked three British tourists and a French sightseer. . . . "
There are people of various races in Britain and France.
Season of the Which?
In Michael Feingold's otherwise excellent tribute to Nancy Marchand's career [July 11], he did make one factual error when he stated that Marchand played Dot Common in The Alchemist and Elizabeth in Mary Stuart in the same Lincoln Center season. In fact, The Alchemist was in 1966, but Mary Stuart was in 1971.
Michael Feingold replies: "Season" should have read "seasons." The typo was mine.
I much appreciated Emma Pearse's article about Bardot ["Platypussy Galore," June 13], because I am one of the band members! However, I must inform you that it is I, Katie, who have short cropped red hairnot Tiffany (one of the brunettes). Nevertheless, the fact that you are talking about us at all is a great compliment.
In "Motor Suburb Madhouse" (Chuck Eddy, July 11), the distances from Detroit listed for Michigan suburbs Warren (13 miles) and Romeo (40 miles) are driving distances from downtown, not direct-line distances from the city border.
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