The Village Voice has an immediate opening for an experienced editorial art director. Applicants should have experience commissioning high-quality photography and illustrations, negotiating fees, clearing rights, and managing a budget. A superior understanding of typography is also essential, as is a firm command of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Acrobat. Helpful but not required: knowledge of PDF and postscript technology, illustration or photography skills. This is a full-time position, with a competitive salary and benefits. Interested and qualified applicants should submit a résumé, samples, salary requirements, and cover letter to Michael Shavalier, Design Director, email@example.com.
Re Adam Matthews's 'Death of Disco' [August 17]: As a close friend of Dave Shayman and his family, I have to say this article was written by someone who doesn't know his ass from his elbow about Dave's history or his final months. Way to put that in the hands of some asshole who dropped the ball! I had the opportunity to make songs with Dave, and this piece is a tremendous disrespect to his craft. He was a genius . . . I wish that Matthews was. And the cover is in such poor taste. Really. You guys are fucking clowns for letting that slip by. A lot of people in the underground-music community are boycotting your magazine because of that. Imagine your untimely death caused by a terrible mental disorder . . . now imagine the magazine that cared enough to write about your death (a half-year later) plasters a huge fucking skull across the cover with the headline "The Death of The Village VoiceThe Rise and Fall of Douchebag, Tasteless Journalism." Sleep well at night.
'Death of Disco' is a very well-written piece that is poignant for many people, especially those of us who were fans of Dave's music. It was well-researched and treated him with dignity. Why, then, did you choose to do the opposite with the cover of the issue? Is it necessary to trivialize Dave's death by putting a grill on a skull? A tongue-in-cheek cover design for an obituary is a new low (at the least, as low as your racist Pazz cover several months ago), comparable only to the New York Post's trademarked lack of political correctness. It was tacky and insulting to your readers.
Disco D was a very big inspiration and influence of mine. He was also one of my mentors. He's one of the reasons why I hustle so hard. Dealing with his death was really difficult, and I wanted to give up around that time, but I knew he wouldn't have wanted that.
ON BONDED KNEE
Re Allen Barra's 'Hoop Screams' [August 17]: Terrific piece on la scandale. I'd never heard the "Rupp" line or a lot of the other juicy stuff you wrote of. Where has the Times been on thisand every other media macher? If you haven't put the Bonds story in perspective, would you please? One thing that occurs to me: His peers sure love or at least respect the shit out of him.
Leonia State, New Jersey
THE RACE GAME
As a black man, I find Bonnie Ruberg's 'Resident Evil 5: White Man Shoots Black Zombies' [villagevoice.com, July 30] infuriating. Not only does she try so hard to reinforce racism and start controversy where there obviously is none, but she actually relates AIDS/HIV to the video game. Now, while I do not know someone firsthand that had the disease, my cousin had a close friend that was positive, and it devastated her. I do not think she should correlate the two so easily. I hope this isn't the stance of the Voice, and I think it's only right that you clarify that it isn't.
In regards to the recent article about Resident Evil 5 being racist, just so you know: I used to respect The Village Voice for its journalism, and if I were you, I'd fire that writer immediately for starting this ridiculous campaign to taint a video game. This article is the laughing stock of the gaming community; go look at the forum on GameSpot. The writer of this piece needs to get a life and find something more viable to write about. (Journalistic integritythere's a thought!) It's Resident Evil; it takes place in Africa; there are black people in Africa, and they turn into zombies, and Chris Redfield must kill them, just like he did in other RE games. The last game was in Spain, and I didn't see anyone freak out about that. They are zombies, and this is just a game; it's not real, nor is it racist. But congratsyour article created some shock value and now is being laughed at throughout the gaming community. When I first saw the trailer, I was simply impressed with how great the game looks, and the great approach to the storyline in Africait changes the settings a little. If he were in China, I'm wondering if we'd see the same kind of ridiculous article! Or maybe the people in Africa should have been made to look green so as not to upset anyone?
GET YOUR HOUSE IN ORDER
Speaking from the point of view of a building owner, the Mott Haven resident who wrote the letter 'Ain't nothin' going on but the rent' [Letters, July 2531] makes valid points, but he or she oversimplifies a very complicated matter. I agree that it's unfair to expect landlords to make repairs/improvements without jacking up the rent. But what MHR doesn't mention are these dynamics: 1) Harlem, Bed-Stuy, and dozens of other neighborhoods have suddenly received interest after being abandoned for decades. Those very same people that propped these neighborhoods up when they were on the ropes are now being pushed out of their homes of 30 and 40 years. 2) Upward mobility is a thing of the past, as hundreds of thousands of American jobs are outsourced to foreign countries. No matter the philosophical arguments for or against illegal immigration, tens of thousands of entry-level blue-collar jobs are going to Mexicans whom the greedy developers exploit, while all layers of government ignore this fact. 3) Subsidized housing programs are drying up. These programs, which were meant to prop people up as they worked their way up to a better life, are now nonexistent. 4) I cannot believe that MHR would be so naive as to purchase a multi-family building, presumably in an area that had been neglected for decades, and not understand that in exchange for living in an area teeming with urban decay, residents paid extremely low rent. As for the statement that tenants should "get real [and] get a job": I have a job. The fact of the matter is that, in this era of outsourcing, illegal labor, mushrooming cost of living, and stagnant wages, it is next to impossible to subsist, much less move up in the world.
Nathan F. Weiner
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