Mara Altman's wonderfully written article 'Class Dismissed' [April 25May 1] regarding teachers in detention serves a heuristic purpose. There needs to be a considerable amount of time spent on the bios of the dirty yellow rat bastards who send innocent or near-innocent teachers to the purgatory of the rubber room.
Altman's article contains a lot of misinformation. As a teacher at P.S. 50, I have seen our principal (an amazing leader) turn a failing school around. Quotes by former principal L. Walford need to be substantiated, as his tenure drew the name "Cinema 50" since he showed SpongeBob movies all the time. Former assistant principal Camiolo gave me incorrect information about my students that could have legal ramifications. Sometimes the United Federation of Teachers gets the wrong info, but how could it be said that Georgia Argyris was denied union rep? That's impossible. Yes, the rubber room is an inadequate solution. The staff should be doing productive work that could assist the system. Principals are put in impossible situations. When principal Mitchell was assigned to P.S. 50 she was also handed all the negative problems left behind. She truly believes in what's best for the students. She should be praised, not denigrated.
A HE(TE)RO'S WELCOME
Re 'Savage Love' [April 25May 1]: Thank you, Dan. You're a hero to more than a few str8s. Odd though it may seem, you have a loyal following among a number of those spouses that you referenced as being "fucked" in your response to the husband of a newly out wife. Your candor means more than you can imagine, especially when one finds oneself a member of a club that no one wants to join: str8 spouse. It's an emotional minefield. The statistical reality is bleak, but not terminal. As the former wife of a gay man (married nearly 30 years) I can tell you that as frustrated as I have been with some of his choices, I will always be grateful that he had the courage to finally tell me the truth. So, if you're at home and reading and wondering if/when to tell all: Do it now. You owe your spouse that much.
San Diego, California
MIMS THE WORD
Re Rob Harvilla's 'Hot Hot Heat' [Down in Front, March 1420]: Harvilla deserves at minimum a Nobel Prize for breaking down "This Is Why I'm Hot." The fact that I sit here wondering if what he taught me is etymological, linguistic, or both is absolutely fascinating. This article was a gem.
Hightstown, New Jersey
'Hot Hot Heat' is hilarious, and very well done. However, there is one mistake: Lil' Wayne said the words "hot like light" in the following context: "I'm hot like light/I'm tough like Ike/ I don't mess with dog hoes/Cuz them hoes might bite. "It was his verse in Cam'ron's "Suck It or Not." Minor detail. Otherwise, I thought the article was fantastic!!
Not to be annoying or anything: I'm not particularly crazy about Mims. It's important that hip-hop has a pop component, I suppose. Point being: Mims doesn't say "Sac-town" solely for the sake of rhyming, and doesn't mean to say that there is a significant subculture of lyricists. It's just a shout-out to 'Pac, who brought the term "Sac-town" to the hip-hop community in his (also strikingly overcommercial pop track) "California Love." Just so you know. Still, it was a very funny articlehopefully it reaches as many educated hip-hop consumers who appreciate how entertaining the sophomoric can be as it does people external to the hip-hop community looking to ground their disdain in a critique they cannot be blamed for, having not written it.
ON THE BALL
I loved Allan Barra's 'Eddie Robinson's Unlikely Pal' [April 25May 1]. I have always enjoyed Barra's writing on sports. It's first-rate stuff. And yes, George can be an s.o.b., but I never doubted that he was a textured s.o.b. Robinson liked him? Eddie was a great man, and I think he inspired George. Hell, I think Willie the Shake would have liked George, too.
WHAT'S A GUY TO DO NOW?
I read Tristan Taormino's 'The Cum of Alt Fears' [April 25May 1]. I'm not looking to go around wanking, but I am a single guy who, sorry to say, is just average, nothing special to look at. It doesn't have to be a sexual event, but where do you suggest a single guy in the city go to meet women? I'm not a big drinker or dancer, and so I usually feel out of place in a bar or club.
THAT ICKY FEELING
For Julia Wallace to start a review of the Alice Neel documentary [Tracking Shots, April 1824] by remarking upon the "ickiness" of My Architect sums up all of the reasons why I have stopped reading the Voice. As an artist, and not an old-school one, though I have worked more than four decades, I have been a film devotee. I was initiated at the direction of Manny Farber. Maybe Manny would not call this "termite art," but he did instill in me a notion of how to look at cinema. I can't tell you how many sophisticated artists/cinema buffs I have spoken with about My Architect, and they are and have been unified in their response to this film: extraordinary. I suppose if you walk the streets of Lower Manhattan and Williamsburg (and beyond), there are legions of sandboxers living on their parents' credit cards who label themselves avant-garde and wait with bated breath to find out ahead of time what they, with their nicotine containers hanging off their smirking lips and their geek-duds, should despise. But you know what? Fuck 'em.
Hudson, New York
SEEKING ART CRITICS
The Village Voice is seeking art critics. We're looking for smart, lively, engaged reviewers, versatile writers whose criticism does not rely upon academic jargon. The ideal candidate is broadly familiar with the New York City art scene, from its major institutions and players to the nook-and-cranny venues mounting the best work of the city's next generation. Please send a cover letter, résumé, and several writing samples to Brian Parks, Arts and Culture Editor, The Village Voice, 36 Cooper Square, New York, New York, 10003.
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