IRISH EYES ARE CLOCKIN' YOU
I take umbrage at your having published Mark Blankenship's provocative and insensitive statement regarding the Irish Repertory Theatre ['Raising Ire,' March 1420]. Blankenship asserts, "skeptics might assume the company has offered two decades' worth of twee little drunks and English- hating peasants." To see the Voice publish such sentiment about the Irish people in the 21st century is astounding, insulting, and irresponsible. If Blankenship had bothered to think outside the stereotypical drunken box that Hollywood, the English, and old-time comic books put the Irish people in for ages, he'd know that most of the Irish are at peace with the English. Furthermore, alcoholism of "twee little drunks" in Ireland, or anywhere else, ought not to be lampooned in the press. He calls the Irish Rep's focus "narrow." Blankenship's remarks suggest that he thinks it's OK to have a narrow view of Ireland and her people. I can't believe your editors didn't flag his backward thinking. It just goes to show that the Irish are still considered by many to be, you know, that word that the City Council just banned, the "N" word. As a progressive paper many Irish people respect for its fearless reporting, please show more respect for Ireland. I hope you had a happy St. Patrick's Day.
Senior Editor & Founder, The New York Megaphone
COUGHING UP THE GOODS
A number of key points are missing from Wayne Barrett's 'All Wet' [March 2127]. First, assuming for the sake of argument (and I'm not totally convinced) that global warming is real, Bloomberg talks about reducing greenhouse gases in the city. Walk past City Hall and all you see parked there are gas-gobbling, emissions-belching SUVs. Fire and police commanders are routinely issued SUVs. Second, New York City is the garbage capital of the world. Garbage is clogging virtually all the storm drains on the street; during moderate rainfalls, tiny lakes quickly form. All the drains in the subway are clogged, and subway stations long after the rain has stopped look as if Noah's flood has visited. Last but not least, Bloomberg thinks it's great to have 500,000 illegal immigrants living in New York City. Regardless of one's opinion on illegals, they use resources, cause pollution, and contribute to greenhouse gases.
Nathan F. Weiner
Joel Whitney's review of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's Infidel [ 'Un-Veiled,' March 1420] is representative of the patronizingly ideological attitude of liberals on the question of Islamic radicalism. Ali writes from personal, firsthand experience of the unrivaled cruelties women are subjected to in much of the Islamic world. Not to mention the violence committed in Holland against those who wish to give her views and experiences a voice. Whitney seems to think that his comfortable Manhattan digs somehow give him a better view of this problem than those on the ground experiencing it. He objects to anything Ali has to say that doesn't jibe with his own ideological approach. Whitney lectures Ali for being "righteous" where she should be "curious" and seeks to shape Ali's experiences according to his own views, rather than learn from them. Ali lived it, survived it, and escaped it.
Woodside, New York
HYMN AND HER STORY
Ella Taylor's sad and misguided critique of Amazing Grace ['Behind the Music,' February 21 27] astonishes! She dislikes the movie because Wilberforce isn't, what, sinful enough for her saucy cinema tastes? I guess director Michael Apted owes us all an apology for not spicing up this true story with a little raunch to assuage the appetites of today's moviegoers. If only Wilberforce had been a cross-dressing pedophile with a fetish for men's wigs; how much more compelling could this story have been? Taylor belittles this movie because it features "an all-white posse of activists and a single freed slave" and their efforts to abolish the slave trade in 18th-century England. What a keen observation, Taylor! Why didn't Apted consult you first and just rewrite history? Instead of a "white posse," Apted could have invited Eddie Murphy to play Wilberforce and a "bewigged" Jackie Chan to play John Newton. Now we're talking! Chan could've choreographed all the fight scenes needed to amp up this "slackly paced" drama. While we're at it, let's go back and rewrite that old hymn, too. God's grace might be amazing, but it obviously doesn't wow the critics.
A GREEK TRAGEDY
Nathan Lee's review of 300 [ 'Man on Man Action,' March 713] was as poorly thought out as it was written. The film was an adaptation of a graphic novel, which is based on the legend of true events. The movie was never billed as a historical representation of the Battle of Thermopylae. It is a stylized retelling of events. The Spartans, and all the other characters in the movie, were blown up, larger than life, distorted for the style of the movie. Lee's constant use (and overuse) of complaining adjectives makes his review read like a whiny literary rant. The author goes off on a tangent about the "sexual confusion" of the movie, which makes one wonder if he hasn't confused this with a different movie. And as far as the comment goes about the movie being "visually dull," this reader wonders if Lee has any idea what the term stylized even means. But then again, he's probably used to the completely unedited color palette and enhanced night-vision shots of MTV's Real World. Perhaps it is best to end this with a quote from Lee's own article. This review of 300 is so far off, it is "finally, and hilariously, just hysterical."
THE MISSING SHRINK
In Alexis Soloski's detail-filled review of Dying City [ 'Tug of War,' March 1420] she neglects to mention that the character Kelly is a therapist. Why? Because this detail explodes Soloski's assertion that Kelly is a victim. None of the characters in Christopher Shinn's brilliant play are victims. They are all well- intentioned human beings who still seem to perpetrate violence against those they love. To face this truth is to face the violence of today's world. No more denial . . . please.
Los Angeles, California
CORRECTION: In last week's issue, letter writer Marc Spitz's name was spelled incorrectly.
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