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Hustle and flow

I was on Craigslist trolling through the classifieds when I thought, "Oh yeah, the Village Voice, let me check them out." When I arrive to the homepage . . . Badow! Greg Tate's 'In Praise of Assholes' [September 12–18] was brilliante (with an e on the end for sheen). It reminded me of why I used to love the Voice—and why I need to start reading it again. And why it is still one of the rare publications not afraid to dole out honest music critiques versus the PR kiss-ass reviews often highlighted in the press. Yes, the picture caught my attention, but that cover line and head drew me in—and the article . . . wow! It quenched my thirst when I didn't even realize I was thirsty. Tate espouses a poetic lingo so strong that I could easily see Fiddy and Wes sitting cross-legged at his feet as he doles out instructions on the "Art of War"—I mean, music. Thank you,

Greg Tate, for bringing a smile to my face. I'm sure the intent of this story wasn't meant to spread joy, but it's funny how reading can affect you.

Tonia Shakespeare
Via e-mail

Yeah, but it's Giuliani time

Re Karla Swanson's letter 'Partisan Pooper' [Letters, September 12–19]:

I agree that the equally odious Hillary Clinton should receive "equal bashing time." But the author omits a key point: the utter deification given to Rudy by the mainstream media—a deification that led to undeserved five- and six- figure speaking engagements and tens of millions of dollars in lucrative contracts for Giuliani's firm, all as he grew taller and taller by standing on top of the bodies of all the WTC victims and first responders. Without journalists like Wayne Barrett, it would go unnoticed that Giuliani's leadership in the days and weeks following 9/11, while competent, was nothing extraordinary or exceptional. It would go unnoticed that the death of so many firemen in the WTC was arguably preventable—that Giuliani failed to address the issue of faulty radios, that he failed to properly coordinate the police and firemen on that fateful day, that he wasted tens of millions of dollars on a command bunker in the bull's-eye of a target. Yes, I'd like to read more Hillary-bashing articles as well; I think there's a lot to bash. But I will always happily read one of Barrett's articles on the myth of America's Mayor.

Nathan Weiner
The Bronx

Mad scientist

I am a black Scientologist of at least 10 years. I just read Chloé A. Hilliard's 'Xenu Goes Uptown' [12–18], about the church in Harlem, and I couldn't be more disappointed. The church's only mission is to help people in Harlem. The drug-rehabilitation program has about an 80 percent success rate (the highest of any such program on the planet), and the same is true of our program to help rehabilitate criminals. I have too many personal successes of my own, to mention in this letter. There are lots of issues that we face in the black community, all of which can be addressed with L. Ron Hubbard's technology. The community center referenced in Hilliard's article will be a secular center for people that want help with addiction, illiteracy, and other things that are part of every church's outreach programs. The fact that the Church of Scientology finally realized that a church is needed in the black community is the news. No one is forced to do anything. Yes, there are costs associated with the services; however, the abilities gained once those services are completed pale in comparison to the cost. What if you had a drug addiction or were a repeat offender or had marital problems—or had any major problem and no solution? And what if there were solutions for those problems? Could you put a price tag on that? Your IQ will rise; your ability to communicate and earn money will improve; your interpersonal relationships will be happier, etc. It couldn't possibly be free. Anyway, that's my two cents. I've been on a personal mission to help my people long before I was a Scientologist, and I'll tell you, Scientology is helping me fulfill that dream.

Patrick Hatchel
Tenafly, New Jersey

Flip the pages

Rose Jacobs's article on the New Yorker Festival ['Pleased to Meet Me,' September 12–18] was good. I think you could extend that critique to its magazine also: the typical liberal (though I am one) patter of "Talk of the Town," the obfuscating postmodernist poetry, the fiction that is invariably mediocre (with brand names like Trevor or foreign types attempting to be American), coupled with the endless glossy ads for the upper-middle class and beyond.

I always debate renewing my subscription, but I do it for the cartoons and the occasional good "Reporter at Large" or Seymour Hirsch investigative pieces. I'm still debating whether to renew it next time.

Hugh Giblin
Durham, North Carolina

Musical cheers

Re Allen Barra's 'A Darling of Jazz' [September 12–18]: As an erstwhile music journalist and jazz drummer, it is always nice to hear a shout-out to American culture from some sort of celebrity. Obviously as a boxing buff, you are aware that Archie Moore used to sometimes hire a jazz combo to play while he was training, as he felt it kept him in rhythm and was good for his timing. Your piece on Darling was especially interesting, in part because of how you got him to explicate his emotional interaction with something as complex and initially off-putting as the late Coltrane.

Chip Stern

In his article on Mets broadcaster Ron Darling's enthusiasm for jazz, Allen Barra writes that Darling was "the only Yalie ever to play for the blue and orange." He seems to have forgotten Ken MacKenzie, a member of the Amazins in their inaugural '62 season. Especially amazing is that MacKenzie actually had a winning record (5-4) for that hapless team.

Dave Glenwick

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