Who says The Village Voice doesn't care about people in New Joisey? For the first time ever, the paper is in Irvington. The brand-new Voice box is at the corner of Springfield and Maple avenues. Now we Irvingtonians can be as hip as New Yorkers. And with all the knowledge and insight we'll gain from reading the paper, not only will we be captivating raconteurs at city parties, but maybe we'll even be able to hook up with some of those beautiful models.
Clyde Lenny Dinkins
Irvington, New Jersey
ALL THAT GLITTERS ISN'T GOULD
Re J. Hoberman's 'The Goulden Age' [April 1824]: I have to take exception to declaring Elliott Gould sexy, just because that is so subjective in his particular case. I have to imagine that many women would find him unsexy. If they do think he's sexy, more power to them. Also, talking about the good fortune of his career timing with the Kent State massacre: Poor taste. Maybe even a bit insensitive.
WEED ALWAYS TAKES THE WRAP
Re Nat Hentoff's 'Saving Free Speech and Jesus' [April 1117]: Alcohol kills more people each year than all illegal drugs combined. Prescription-overdose deaths are now second only to motor-vehicle crashes as a cause of death from unintentional injury. Television is filled with sophisticated pro-drug messages paid for by alcohol and pharmaceutical companies. The Bush administration doesn't have a problem with corporate drug pushers. But hoist a "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner at an off-campus high school rally in Alaska, and they will fight you all the way to the Supreme Court.
It is not clear how this nonsensical phrase somehow merits limiting free speech. Culture warriors in the White House seem to think the war on pot is more important than the Constitution. It doesn't stop there. By raiding voter-approved medical marijuana providers in California, the very same Bush administration that claims illicit drug use funds terrorism is forcing cancer and AIDS patients into the hands of street dealers. So it's not just the Constitution that is expendable. Apparently marijuana prohibition is more important than protecting the country from terrorism.
Common Sense for Drug Policy
I am deeply disturbed by Chloé Hilliard's 'Girls to Men' [April 1117], not because of the young women's sexuality, but because of the lack of successful mentoring options available to these girls, which leaves them feeling lonely and unimportant, with nowhere to turn. The fact of the matter is that there are a number of very successful lesbians in this city. I believe we have done our youth a huge injustice by not being actively involved. I feel partly responsible for that, because I have not taken the time to reach out. I believe if these young women had an opportunity to see that it is possible to maintain who you are and still be accepted by mainstream society, it could change their perspective and heal one broken soul at a time. Therefore, I would like to challenge you to present the other side of the story to these ladies. I am the president of J.O.Y. Productions and would love to meet with them and offer them my consulting services free of charge. Please feel free to visit my website and contact me in regards to the life-coaching services provided by my company.
J.O.Y. Productions Weehawken, New Jersey
Even though I thought the title "Girls to Men" was humorous, I didn't find anything funny about the article. I'm not placing blame; I'm just expressing my feelings. I'm an aggressive female, a title that I hate because I hate to be categorized. I work for Corporate America, and don't wear skirts, dresses, heels, or anything that has to do with femininity, and never have. But I have survived in a white-male-dominated environment because of my determination to succeed. And the reason I personally feel that these young ladies do not have role models is that women like me are not portrayed by the public as suchwhen it comes to certain groups, positive people are never talked about. Articles like Hilliard's are put out to the public and they become a representation of all aggressive women. This is unacceptable, and a slap in the face to all the successful, powerful lesbians who hate being looked at as a fad or being compared to rappers.
I just read Hilliard's article and was deeply offended. As a black lesbian I feel like the article has made sweeping generalizations and is perpetuating negative stereotypes about us. I agree that this behavior is a problem in our community, but it is something that we ourselves must deconstruct. Being analyzed by outsiders does not help the problem, but instead it feeds people outside the community stereotypes about how we are, instead of allowing them to judge us on a one-on-one basis. The article also demonstrates a complete lack of awareness of transgender people. There are many other communities out there that have serious issues (frat boys committing rapes on college campuses, for example). I just find it odd that this would be an issue to be analyzed. I am disappointed in the Voice for publishing such an article, as the paper was once one of the few progressive publications in New York.
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, NY 10003.
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