LETTER OF THE WEEK
Re Mara Altman's "A Walk to Remember" [January 1723]: It's hard not to sympathize with Andrew Avorn and his generation. Twenty-five years of mostly reactionary government have so degraded political discourse that frat boys who dabble in chauvinist Zionism fancy themselves bold campus activists. The generation of 1968 had Muhammad Ali and his principled refusal to fight in Vietnam; the 2008 generation has Tiger Woods and his fierce commitment to product endorsements. 1968: Dylan, Aretha, and an endless supply of great new music. 2008: crappy imitators and the music critics who love them. I feel no sympathy, however, for Altman, whose ignorance of history is unbecoming a journalist. As for Jerry Avorn, if he wants to take the blame for Ronald Reagan, he speaks only for himself. Reagan was not the fault of the campus radicals of 1968, but rather a perfect product of the most degraded, empty side of American pop culture. None of this is the fault of the now old "New Left."
Elliott S. Hurwitt
A SOLDIER'S TAIL
As a Marine, I felt the title of Daniel Weiss's "Want To Die For Your Country?" [January 31February 6] was fairly offensive, especially considering that a greater percentage of people die in falls than in combat-related trauma. I wouldn't title an article, "Do you want to die? Try falling." Other than that, the article was long-winded and had nothing at all to do with the title. The case of joining the Marine Corps and dying was not constructed, and the attempt to demystify the poolee/boot-camp experience did nothing more than encourage readers to join the Marine Corps.
Woodside, New York
"Want to Die for Your Country?" Dying for the government would be closer to the truth, and dying for those who control the government would be on target. As someone who spent many years in the military, I can safely say this realization escapes the young and the naive until much later in life.
DROOL, UH, COOLER TALK
Thanks to Essie Carmichael for her great piece "Toys Are Us" [Married, Not Dead, January 31February 6]. It made the rounds at my office, Babeland, which you so kindly write about in the piece. I loved the way you took a classic marital dilemma/situation and put such a positive spin on it! You made me laugh out loud. (I gotta tell you: I'm a single mom now, but your whole intro reminded me how much I don't miss having that other kid around.)
Fort Bragg, California
Thank you for running this article about the recent government suppression of our free press "The Enemy Within" Nat Hentoff, January 2430]. It is terrifying how the press has been shrinking from its responsibilities to us citizens in these last few years. Corporate consolidation of media and journalists' fear of losing their jobs are perhaps currently the greatest threats to the survival of our democratic republic.
DON'T BLAME IT ON THE BOOGIE
I applaud Tricia Romano for writing "You're Fired" [Fly Life, January 31 February 6]. Tricia's right; nightlife is, in essence, hedonistic. It is not supposed to be church. There are many clubs and bars with responsible owners and staff. I find it incredibly irresponsible of politicians to speak so confidently and all-wise about something they know little about. The tragic case involving Jennifer Moore should not be about her getting drunk at Guest House. But since we are pointing the finger, I'd like to point it in a few different directions. Before Jennifer went to Guest House, she told her parents she was going somewhere else. Should we blame her parents for letting her go? Did the police at the impound lot say something to make her scared? Did they try to win the war on underage drinking, and scare her about being drunk and using a fake ID? And whatever happened to being held responsible for one's own actions? She drank, got drunk, and wandered off. It's a lot easier to blame clubland.
TRY SPITTIN' THAT IN DA HOOD
Why does hip-hop need an Elvis figure to rape it when there's Tom Breihan, who, in the first sentence of his book review "Wiggerstock" [January 2430], claims that it "isn't black anymore" anyway? I'd like to see Breihan try to argue his point in the "places where the music was invented" (as he puts it) sometime. Breihan's insistence in de-racifying rap (just "pop music" to him)apparently because he sees teenage downloaders as the central locus of the hip-hop experience these days is a lot more insulting to the art form than Jason Tanz's privileging of Public Enemy's politics. Kinda makes me feel like Chuck D.
HEADS OR TAILS
I took great interest in Michael Musto's admission in "Sarah Silverman Is My Kind of Cunt" [January 2430] that he is a "fudgepacking wop," and ever since reading the article my mind has been ablaze with uncertainty. I've always imagined that Musto is a bottom, but if that is the case then he would be a fudgepacked wop, or a wop ready for fudgepacking. The visuals flooding my mind are hard to control, and it has been hard for me to find any satisfaction without knowing whether he is giving the cockin' or greasing poles. Could you clarify this gray area for me? I know everyone says they are versatile these days, but from my own experience I am finding this is rarely true. If he doesn't wanna shout it out, you could always find out furtively and pass on the info to me at my e-mail or phone.
Michael Musto replies: It's actually a brown area, not a gray area, but in any case, those who are familiar with the clinical precision of my prose know that I meant what I said. To paraphrase that old bottom Cole Porter, "I'm the top!"
Musto, you're out of your mind, but this interview with Sarah Silverman was excellent. Sarah sounds very together and she is funny, even if I'm not into ca-ca jokes and degrees of anal excretion. Tell Sarah she's appreciated by a much older demographic. You too, sometimes.
DIDN'T DO THE WRITE THING
Come on, your "All City" section [Camille Dodero's blog, villagevoice.com] is a joke. If you're going to choose a writer, at least choose someone who knows something about graffiti/street art. It also might help if you choose someone who has been in the city for more than a month.
Nathan Lee's review of the egregious Breaking and Entering ["Yuppie Scum Seeks Ravishing Refugee," January 2430] gets the script wrong: Jude Law would love to put Robin Wright Penn's laugh in a box like Bea's (her daughter), not like bees. The sentence is a little less stupid than Lee makes it. Not much, though.
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