Re Tom Robbins’s ‘The Clintons’ Grim Fairy Tales’ [January 23–30]: I cannot tell you how disappointed I am to see The Village Voice become part of the attack on the Hillary campaign and Bill. The entire media establishment, underground as well as overground, is demeaning Hillary’s pursuit of the presidency. Why are you doing this? Why are you playing this cowardly and silly anti-Hillary game, which is being played all over the media?

John Polifronio
Los Angeles, California

TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE Please add two more chapters to “The Clintons’ Grim Fairy Tales.” Consider Hillary Clinton’s theme of being the first serious female candidate for president. Two Congress members—Brooklyn’s Shirley Chisholm in 1972 and Colorado’s Pat Schroeder in 1976—preceded her on this journey. In addition, Bill Clinton served as Hillary’s hit man with such quotes concerning Barack Obama’s campaign qualifications as “You’ve got to be kidding me.” Then he went on to congratulate Obama for being the first African-American candidate for president. That’s revisionist history: Chisholm and Jesse Jackson (1984) both preceded Obama.I would love to be a fly on the wall the next time Bill Clinton meets up with Jackson and tries to explain this most recent faux pas. It appears that the Clintons’ lust for power and for returning to the White House trumps reality and truth.

Larry Penner
Great Neck, New York

Kudos to you for the work of Tom Robbins and Wayne Barrett [‘Rudy’s Alien Nation,’ January 16–22] for exposing the darker sides of two wannabes for president. And I’m not forgetting Tom Tomorrow for his continuing on-target exposure of all sides (for those who don’t like to read too much).

Edgar Moutoux


Re Nathan Lee’s Cloverfield review, ‘Douchebags, Run for Your Lives!’ [January 23–29]: Better reviews have come from mine arse. “Neo-yuppie”? Sheesh.

via e-mail

“Neo-yuppie” or not, this review is better than the bullshit reviews at Rotten Tomatoes. Well done. A review that I found entertaining, finally. Fuck.

Seronies via e-mail


Reading through your 50th-anniversary salute to Nat Hentoff [‘Pissing People Off,’ January 9–15], I was surprised to see that in Hentoff’s very first Voice column, in 1958, he called someone a “little hippie.” Wasn’t this almost a full decade before the term “hippie” was officially coined? I guess Hentoff was just ahead of his time.

Richard Fried


Re Christian Viveros-Fauné’s ‘Great Building, Weak Show’ [December 5–11]: The “new” New Museum is an ivory tower. Literally. Sometimes a bright silver ivory tower, sometimes dingy, depending on the position of the sun. But all this talk of “blending in” with the surrounding tenements, warehouses, and supply businesses due to the stacked-block, off-kilter construction is balderdash. It sounds like an apologia created by in-house publicists and swallowed whole by the press and the chattering classes.

The museum is a temple of privilege, of scurrying trust-fund interns and breathless conversations in elevators. There is nothing working-class about it, the bare-boned concrete floors and fluorescent lights notwithstanding. It has much more in common with the newly constructed “luxury” apartment buildings hastily erected on the Bowery to cash in on a newly hip area just east of Nolita. Art remains the battering ram of real estate.

via e-mail

Re Tony Ortega’s Editor’s Note [January 23–29]: It’s a real pity that Christian Viveros-Fauné has been suspended from his lively column. CVF’s arguments were always a pleasure to read, even if one did not always agree with his assessments. Every so often, he would bravely go against the grain of the wearisome paeans that are routinely churned out by the art world’s self-serving critical apparatus. CVF juggled with problematic issues that most of us acknowledge but shy away from addressing publicly, from widespread but shoddy curatorial practices to the reverence for icons-become-hacks.

The reason given for CVF’s ousting—that his job as promoter of two new art fairs creates a conflict of interest with his practice as an art critic—is quite debatable. In the case of his writing, I cannot discern any suggestion, let alone evidence, that Viveros-Fauné the critic has skewed his published criticism in favor of one or another gallery in order to flatter either existing or potential clients of Viveros-Fauné the art-fair promoter. If anything, it has been the very opposite, since his reviews in the Voice have tended to focus on institutional exhibitions.

The whole affair is ultimately a regrettable loss for the Voice. Those of us who have enjoyed CVF’s articles will be looking forward to finding them in a less parochial publication.

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Re Chris Thompson’s ‘Ron Paul’s Bloody Victory’ [January 9­–15]: Actually, I was in the march; it was a lot of fun. It was something of a misconception that we stormed Orgrimmar with the intent of invading—it was just a “mass suicide for fun” all along. What we were doing was taking a grand tour of the game in march formation. There weren’t that many anti–Ron Paul duel challenges either, although there was plenty of yelling on open channels from politically unfocused players who didn’t like the “lag” we generated with our massive numbers. Very fun, overall. I’d do it again.

via e-mail


In response to a parenthetical remark in Lisa Katzman’s review of Red Zion [‘In Memory of Myself’ [January 9–15]: She writes that the Soviet program to settle Jews in agricultural communes in the Crimea in the ’20s served as a model for the Israeli kibbutz. But that is untrue and absurd. The Israeli kibbutz started with D’gania, on or about 1913, which even precedes the Russian Revolution of 1917. The Russian communes certainly did not serve as a model for the kibbutz.

Eyal Katzman

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