Mighty Mighty Musto

After reading Michael Musto's column last week on Kurfew, "the Saturday night gay teen fest" at the Tunnel, I was not only amused. I was also touched.

I was reading the article laughing out loud with a big cheery smile because all of it was so true. Especially the part about all the "sloppy kisses."

Then, about halfway through, I came across promoter Jeff Brenner's story (he says he lost his white-collar job because he was gay)—and a tear ran down my cheek. That was the first time I ever read anything online that made me cry.

I want to thank Michael Musto for the enlightening experience. I now have a greater respect for Kurfew.

Ish Genao
Westchester, New York

I was made aware of Michael Musto's column by the national Australian glossy gay/lesbian magazine Outrage. They called him "brilliant."

Indeed, it's so refreshing to find a wise, witty, and wonderfully funny writer on the New York social scene—and one who tells the truth, not the usual public relations crap. He'll be a hot favourite way down here in New Zealand soon, if I've got anything to do with it!

James Macky
New Zealand

Not A Drudge

Re Cynthia Cotts's Press Clips column ["Wishful Reporting," January 19]:

It seems that all one has to do in order to be called a fabricator and a peer of Matt Drudge is to print a story about Kissinger and then find that he denies it. ("Why ruin a good story with the truth?" Does Cotts think up these lines all by herself?) I have three good eyewitnesses to Kissinger uttering precisely the words about Clinton which I attributed to him. Did I check with Kissinger himself? He doesn't take or return my phone calls, and also has an animus against me and a motive to deny anything I assert, for reasons which (though not shared by her with Voice readership) were clearly stated in the same column that Cotts claims to have read. I must also say, shocking as it may sound, that many of us have learned from experience not to take Henry Kissinger's unsupported word, even about his own deeds and utterances.

After failing to get through to Kissinger in the past, I have sometimes asked to speak to one of his mouthpieces or flacks. In the future I'll just get someone to call Cotts, who appears to have no trouble taking his avowals as unimpeachable, and using them to spread innuendo.

Christopher Hitchens
Washington, D.C.

Out To Pasture?

Guy Trebay did an excellent job in his column last week reporting the on the carriage horse business, and gets it right when he says that there is no valid reason for the continued existence of this industry ["Hack Work: The Not-So-Quaint Lives of New York's Carriage Horses"].

Carriage horses are from another, quieter time, and simply do not belong in the traffic of one of the most traffic-clogged cities in the world.

The quote attributed to me when I refer to our group as "ragtag" was unfortunately accurate at the time in trying to convey my frustration in not feeling prepared to take on this issue.

But make no mistake, after a challenging period of time, we are back, and we are committed to get more humane laws for the horses or eliminate carriages entirely from New York City as many cities in Europe have done.

Elizabeth Forel
The Coalition for New York City Animals, Inc.

Penetrating Thoughts

I read Mark Schoofs's very interesting article "The Deadly Gender Gap" [January 5], which focuses on the imperative for men to take responsibility for preventing the spread of AIDS, often perceived as a woman's disease in Africa.

I am curious about what might be referred to as "male penetration culture" in some Islamic and African cultures, and its connection to the spread of AIDS in those countries. In certain Middle Eastern and African countries, "penetrators" have male-to-male sex, but they are not seen as homosexual.

The penetration of another man becomes a social catastrophe if it is spoken of or named.

In Schoofs's article nothing is mentioned about men having sex with other men. I believe that the male-to-male sex in Islamic and African countries needs to be more analyzed and spoken of and taken
into consideration in reference to developing HIV-prevention strategies.

Lennart Alm

Mark Schoofs responds: While AIDS education for individual men who have sex with men is important, in Africa the epidemic is overwhelmingly fueled by men having sex with women—best estimates indicate that more than 90 percent of HIV cases are spread through heterosexual sex.  

Not So Cute

In Toni Schlesinger's column, Shelter [January 12], she quotes a cute story told by one of her interviewees, who recounted how once she noticed a "lovely old couple" standing in her building's courtyard at 4 a.m. For some reason, Schlesinger feels compelled to follow this vignette with a cheap, ageist joke by writing, "That's probably when they woke up. They want to be awake as much as possible while they're still alive." How clever. Schlesinger would do better simply reporting about her subjects and their homes. We'll all be there someday, Toni.

William Coyle
Huntington Station, New York

Toni Schlesinger responds: Please know that I was writing from the point of view of people who love life so much that they want to spend as much time as possible enjoying it.

Reel To Real

Linus Coraggio Brant's letter [January 12] takes to task Sarah Ferguson for comparing Phil Kline's electronic works to those of the "acoustic purists" Charles Ives and Henry Brant ["Season's Bleepings," December 29].

As a record producer for both Brant and Kline, as well as of works by the late Ives and dozens of other American composers, and as executive director of Composers Recordings, Inc., I believe that comparing younger composers to their elders and ancestors is always a valid and useful route toward understanding and appreciating new musical styles and techniques.

What is irksome is that Brant refers to Kline as a "synthesizing sound-lab technician," when he is, in fact, a trained and respected composer who, the Voice's own Kyle Gann says, "is doing the most original things with tape recorders since Steve
Reich's Come Out."

Joseph Dalton

He So Horny

Charles McNulty makes a significant mistake in his review of the Pearl Theatre Company production The Country Wife, by William Wycherley ["Lust Horizon," January 19]. The name of the leading male character is Horner, not Homer. This is important because the name puns on cuckoldry. Horner sleeps with other men's wives and thus, as convention has it, makes their husbands wear horns.

Jonathan Brody Kramnick

Healthy Writing

Re Sharon Lerner's "The Trueman Show—One Lawyer's Crusade Against Managed-Care's Protective Wall" [January 12]:

Lerner obviously understands the subtleties of complicated medical issues, and writes about them so well. I pay $2400 a year for health insurance, and I want to know what's going on with HMOs in New York. As far as I know, she is the only one regularly covering the subject.

I'm going to recommend this column and its archive to some people I know who would also be interested.

Norman Bauman

Funny Review

Like Alexis Soloski, I also saw the production of Lyz!, a new musical adaptation of the classic Lysistrata, and I do not agree with Soloski's harsh critique ["Sex Shirkers," January 19]. And apparently neither did the audience around me.

The man who sat to my left laughed himself to absolute hysteria because the play was so funny. He nearly fell from his seat.

The play was written with humor and brought Greek comedy into the current ages.

Ella Eyet
Califon, New Jersey

Creepy Clinton

Re Nat Hentoff's "The Trashing of Clinton's Women" [January 19]:

I look forward to more information from Nat Hentoff on the Clinton secret police and on their attempts to intimidate potential witnesses. I personally can't imagine anything more frightening.

I, too, have long thought that this underside of the Clinton saga is far more important and sinister than most of the surface information relayed to us by the press, particularly the electronic media. If, as Alan Dershowitz would have us believe, this trial is merely about sex, then I guess the American Revolution was just about a little tea floating in Boston Harbor. No big deal.

Laurie Storey
Eustis, Florida

King Of Jungle

Re Jeff Salamon's music review "Moment by Moment" [January 26]:

Thank God someone can write about jungle jazz with a sense of authority, linking classic jazz tracks with the latest 12-inches. As someone who listens to drum'n'bass far more often than I actually dance to it, it's refreshing to have a knowledgeable writer confirm my suspicions about the music's reference points. I'm also grateful Salamon didn't needlessly praise drum'n'bassheads who talk a better game than their music would suggest—most of whom give me fusion flashback nightmares.

Michael Barclay
Guelph, Ontario

Talking Trance

Ethan Brown's review of the New Year's Eve party at Vinyl was excellent in its description of the crowd, the music, and the environment ["Happy New (Age) Year," January 12]. The quibble I have is his generic "trance" label for the music, when it was, in fact, the subgenre known as Goa or psychedelic trance. There's a lot of other trance music that does not feature "Hindi-fetishisms," fluorescent body paint, and other similar trappings. Brown should have been at Roseland on the 26th, when X-Dream, Chris Liberator, and Commander Tom (among others) provided ferocious, hard acid trance: a very different sound that is still equally compelling to a dance crowd. It's great to see a positive review of a trance event, but it would help if the reviewer were a little more knowledgeable on the subject matter.  

Bill Brown
Long Island

The Big Surprise

Re James Ridgeway's "In the Interest of Justice" [January 19]:

Ridgeway states that Chief Justice Rehnquist could be the "big surprise" in the president's Senate impeachment trial. But then he incorrectly points out that Rehnquist has been "attacked on the left" because he "ignored evidence" of impeachable conduct by federal judges under his supervision.

To our knowledge, no one "on the left" has made such an attack. Rather, the charge comes from the completely nonpartisan Center for Judicial Accountability, Inc. The center filed an impeachment complaint with the House Judiciary Committee last November, asserting that the chief justice had mandatory supervisory and ethical duties that he jettisoned to cover up corrupt judges—with whom he has personal and professional relationships. By law, the chief justice was required to have disclosed those relationships or recused himself.

The "big" surprise then is an impeachment complaint against the chief justice that could blow up the Senate trial—because the real obstructor of justice is Rehnquist.

Elena Sassower
Center for Judicial Accountability, Inc.
White Plains, New York

Mea Culpable

I commend Dennis Lim for (finally) recognizing Mercury Rev's Deserter's Songs as an overlooked masterpiece of '98 ["Mea Culpa!" January 5]. But the first track on the album is not "Heroes," it's "Holes." (You know—"dug by little moles," etc.)

Mike O'Hare
Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania


Actress Louise Goodall's name was incorrectly spelled in "He Got Name" (January 26).

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