Re 'Beatlemania' [January 2–8]: Aaron Hillis's review of The Killing of John Lennon was rather jaded, and anything but objective. Had he done research rather than kicking what he thought was a dead horse, he might have found out some interesting things.

For example, the "depraved Beatle completists" have developed a concept that is beyond the mental capabilities of most of the free press. In order not to encourage other potential killers from seeking fame for their crime, Depraved Beatle Completists decided to substitute the phrase "Lennon's killer" for any use of that fellow's name.

Think about just that. What a concept. This is a legacy to be proud of, for fans of a man who was followed and wiretapped by the FBI, who encouraged world leaders (and the rest of us) to give peace a chance, and who had people around the world in tears over his passing.

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Maybe he was not as inspirational to you as Gerald Ford or Richard Nixon, but Lennon was a vital part of history, and as far as I can tell, history is a valid subject for films and print media. Sorry you didn't like the man or what he accomplished.

K.C. Jacobs
San Francisco


In response to John Francis Fox and Nick Vetrano's comments [Letters, January 9–15]: Good cops do exist. Remember Officer Frank Serpico, circa 1971?

However, to stay on-the-job, you must be crooked. Why would someone take this job for such low pay, particularly from outside NYC? Cops get plenty of praise through TV shows like Cops. The NYPD in particular is promoted commercially as if it were a commodity. Afraid to see the other side of the coin?

Ralph Willis


Re Robert Sietsema's "Big Balkan Burger" [January 9–15]: Concerning your article on Bosnian cafés and the "old bridge" of Mostar, be advised that the bridge has been reconstructed with E.U. funds. It is an exact replica of the old Ottoman-era bridge destroyed during the conflict.

Vangelis Tsempelis
Athens, Greece

As far as Serbs, Croats, and Bosnians not rioting, that is because they hang within their own national circles, there are few who look at nationality seriously, and there are some like me who don't even interact with their own community. We all have a bad taste in our mouths, but we still recognise who is who with smiles and handshakes.

We are the most gentle and kind—yet most destructive—people. Balkanese are one of a kind.

Ahmed R.


Re Graham Rayman's 'Do Not Go Directly to Jail' [December 26, 2007–January 1, 2008]: Maybe, just maybe, someone who is about to commit a crime will realize the myriad suffering that is spread from these crimes by boastful wannabe thugs who prey on largely black and Latino communities across America.

In the meantime, it's hard to be sympathetic to the relatives of criminals. I am forced to walk these same streets with a legally permitted gun in order to protect myself.

Ludwig vanTrikt
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Re 'Pissing Off People: After Half a Century, Nat Hentoff Is Still a Work in Progress' [January 9–15]: Congratulations on your 50. I never visit New York without picking up a Voice. Thanks for the memories.

Steven Thompson
Guernsey, Channel Islands

I read with interest the feature on Nat Hentoff and his writing. I was hoping to find reprinted there his masterpiece of satire, "Gun Stamps for the Poor." Unfortunately, it didn't seem to have been included.

David Ferrier
via e-mail


Re the "Slowpoke" cartoon [January 9–15, page 91]: Jen Sorenson's cartoon was amusing. But Ms. Sorenson, in common with many people, is truly misinformed about the efficiency of the "old" technology.

Calculations were done very, very rapidly on the abacus. I have seen it myself. My mother, who worked many years as a bookkeeper, used it at work all the way into the 1980s, until her retirement. The abacus and other old tools are not yet totally obsolete. The "new" technology gets all the hype, but your cartoon points out that there is a real downside, too—and the three-hour workday never happened!

Joe Levin

Re M. Wartella's Runnin' Scared cartoons: I'm a public-school teacher and artist in Brooklyn, and just wanted to drop a quick note to let you know how much I appreciate the drawings. They are smart, contemporary, and socially informed—everything the Voice should represent. Plus, the drawings are just good artwork. I'm happy to see this work—it's one of the items I regularly seek out in your newspaper! I know that my friends and colleagues enjoy them as well. Please keep them coming.

Townsend West


Re Michael Feingold's theater columns: I continue to enjoy Mr. Feingold's work, since he writes theater criticism from the perspective of someone who has an opinion of what theater should and could be, as opposed to random snide or rapturish observations that have nothing to do with anything.

Alfred Preisser


Jim Ridley's '10 Movies in 2007 That Deserved More Attention' [January 2–8] mistakenly identified the director of I Know Who Killed Me as Scott Sivertson. The director's name is actually Chris Sivertson.

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