In response to Eric Weisbard's "Generation Ex" [July 13]: From the year of my birth came the thundering chaos, the end of all that might have been before its time, cut short, my needle eyes see clearly, the frumpish parody, where girls used to read and heed the call of revolution, with jailbait donning platforms and the media cheering, this exer has had her battle lines drawn since babehood, poverty a criminal act these days/there are some truths seething to happen, hungry for existence. A visual spectacle replaces intimacy, children for sale, innocence purely exploited. Let Mia Hamm carry the banner of the forgottens, run squarely over the backs of Rebecca Romijn and Ricky Martin, tear down the walls of frivolity and eat to our hearts' content the banquet of our own wisdom, surely this age will be ours, though late in coming, the stage is ready set for our sobering abilities, no match in ten gens can stop meted talent, and ours comes in droves.
Claudia E. Scott
Re Eric Weisbard's "Generation Ex": A bit of advice. Stop watching so much TV and so many movies. They have nothing to do with living a fulfilling life. You're too removed from reality. Stop having high expectations for entertainers, and start having them for yourself. Mainly, stop describing yourself and the people around you in marketing terms ("alternative," "boomers," "Generation X"). No wonder you feel loss and dehumanization.
North Hollywood, California
As a Floridian, I read Allen St. John's "Home Away From Home" [July 13], detailing the vitriolic Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, with interest. I felt as a visitor to battle-scarred Northern Ireland might feel, having made an Irish Catholic explain his in-bred hatred for his neighbors. On an inquisitive note, though, I must point out that St. John's Hemingway reference to "The Great DiMaggio" banner of June 28, 1949, seems incorrect. The article states that "a biplane flies over Fenway, pulling a banner that reads, 'The Great DiMaggio,' a reference to Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea." But Hemingway published his novella with Scribner in 1952. Nevertheless, I understand it's difficult to "be worthy of the great DiMaggio, who does all things perfectly even with the pain of the bone spur in his heel."
Reed Between the Lines
In "Passion Play" by Meghan Daum and Joy Press [VLS, June 22], Ishmael Reed is quoted as saying: "I'm obsessed with how white progressive women have different standards for misogyny from black men as opposed to white men." He also states in a later quote: "Generalizing is always the hallmark of racism." So what shall we call Ishmael Reed?
South Orange, New Jersey
I was rather bemused by the level of anger in James Hannaham's review of Jeff Stryker Does Hard Time [July 6]. Having seen Stryker in a guest appearance Off-Broadway last summer, I did not expect Hard Time to rival Not About Nightingales or The Iceman Cometh. Indeed Hard Time may be as preposterous as Hannaham says it is, but I am curious as to why the critic seems so furious at the very fact that "the hottest gay porn star of the '80s" has chosen to act in a play.
An intelligent reviewer will take into account the apparent intent of a performance, and critique the degree to which it is fulfilled. The very apparent reason for Hard Time is to present Stryker in the flesh to his fans, not an unprecedented motive for a theatrical event. And I wonder why Hannaham found it necessary to characterize the audience of fans as "primarily geriatric." Even if that is the case, when did being geriatric become a bad thing?
There may be more to the appearance of Jeff Stryker than a big dick, but that was the only thing Hannaham, much to his horror, could focus on. Indeed the review seems more homophobic than critical, whether because Hannaham is a clueless het or a self-hating homo who can tell?
James Hannaham replies: Hold your horses, Mary. If you think that I'm a self-hating queer just because I consider it a waste of time to watch porno stars act, I suggest you disable the fast-forward button on your VCR the next time you rent a ChiChi LaRue video, so you'll have to sit through the exposition.
Thanks for Guy Trebay's article ["Rubbed the Wrong Way," June 29], on the NYC vice squad, and how nicely effective they were against the subversive threat posed by shiatsu therapist Milla Ulrich. Perhaps New York might post signs at major entry points to the city: "No Touching Allowed Except By Police." We have our own kind of silliness here in Atlanta. Recently, DeKalb County, on the recommendation of its Public Safety and Finance Department (the same folks who administer the licenses to serve alcoholic beverages who else would regulate massage?), decided that all massage therapists practicing in the county have to reside there as well.
I have yet to read a massage ordinance that isn't both an obvious attempt to control prostitution and an affront to common decency. In their infinite wisdom, the people who write anti-prostitution massage laws use a veritable sledgehammer on the easy targets, the therapists who are interested in setting up a stable practice in their community, while the real targets duck and cover.
Thanks for reporting the blatant distortion of common sense exemplified by the NYC vice squad. Touch therapists are the miner's canaries in our society as regards repression. They are easy marks for the rough boots of conformity and standardization in the name of public safety.
Karl W. Frederick
Georgia Massage and Somatic Therapies Association
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