Mama's boy

Angela Ashman's article "This Is Constantine Maroulis" [October 4–10] was one of the most brilliant pieces of journalistic work I've read. It shows how big of a tool that guy is, and without stating that fact outright. I'm sure everybody laughed out loud while reading the article—except for Constantine and his mother.

Mary Cloutier
Las Vegas, Nevada

Teacher's pet

Thanks for putting one of my all-time favorite performers on the cover of the Voice. Constantine Maroulis has managed over the past year to re-awaken in this role-model English teacher the excitement of life; he is aconstant reminder that the best journey is like one of his great rock 'n' roll shows: risky; full of electricity, soaring notes, and passionate music; and just plain fun. In addition to his multi- faceted musical talents, vocal pyrotechnics, and his ability to write great songs, he is charismatic both on and off the stage; he's the total package.

Judy Yescalis
Sedona, Arizona

Letters can't buy you love

I notice that you publish many letters that talk about a downward spiral regarding the quality of the Voice. At first, I was not sure whether that was bold or not. I thought about it for a bit and I feel compelled to let you know that publishing a few well-written, funny, and more importantly, true letters isn't going to help you hold on to the candor and edginess that the Voice once stood for. There are still good articles from time to time, but the quality of the paper is quickly declining. Please think higher of your readers by showing us what you are aiming for instead of playing up the faux indie identity that so many corporations are trying to pass off as independent thought, and worse, youth.

Stacey Collazo

Idle time

Have you people been hitting that crack pipe again? Are you all registered Republicans sitting in a room coming up with new ways to insult the paper's liberal-minded readers? Early 2006 had me thinking you were turning into Source magazine: While soldiers were dying and politicians lying, Voice readers were treated to one mind-numbing irrelevant hip-hop story after another. Again, the recent "Field of Queens" cover was like a regurgitation of your Pride issue featuring gay sports. Gay sports? As if the straight version isn't gay enough. Now this week's vomit fluff piece on whatever the fuck his name is? It's just too much for us to take. I'm sure there's a 14-year-old girl out there anxiously awaiting next week's issue covering Jessica Simpson's thoughts on being single and other mind-blowing revelations about lipstick.

Steven Sardanis

You guys finally hit rock bottom with the story about Constantine Maroulis. The Village Voice has entered the esteemed ranks of New York City celebrity tabloid. Watch out, In Touch and Star magazines. There's an old kid on the block with a fresh new bullshit hairdo. I have a question for the new management: Who gives a fuck about Constantine Maroulis? Seriously. Ever since I was 16 in Indiana and struggling to read some form of alternative news source that focused on independent art and progressive news I have found my solace in the Voice. Here's some news: You got where you are today with your incisive and intelligent investigative reporting, national political commentary, coverage of the arts and LGBT issues. You are not and never will be Vice Magazine, Rolling Stone, L Magazine, or any number of newly metastasizing cancerous hipster tabloids. Thank god for Nat Hentoff or I would have nothing left to hope for with you noobs.

John Croner

Budding red Apple

I have been a regular reader of the Voice for 14 years. Through all the changes there's always been something worth reading. But that is now over. The two major pieces in last week's issue ("Field of Queens" ; "When Bad Things Happen to Good Girlfriends") were truly lame—11 pages of crap. I read the paper hoping to find some analysis, something that would make me care about these people's lives, a reason why the editors decided to pay so much attention to them. But there was nothing but filler. I hope this is not a sign that New York City is becoming Middle America.

Ruth Walker

Pending judgment

I just want to make a general observation about the coverage and comments on your editorial changes. To paraphrase Samuel Goldwyn, was it? "The exits weren't big enough." Me, I'm sticking around a few months to watch it all go down; I'm not sure if I agree yet.

Stephen Bickford

Home Alone

Re Kristen Lombardi's "The Squatter" [October 4–10]: The offers made to Daniel Peckham by his landlord may sound enticing to some, but they are in no way equal in value to either the place where he has made his home or to his rent-stabilized tenancy. The article's headline shows bias against the tenant—Peckham is not squatting. Has any court found that he is not paying rent? Even Lombardi acknowledges that he's not a squatter. Peckham is a rent- stabilized tenant who has all the protections that the law affords. That Peckham is using that law to protect his home is not obstinacy, but evidence of a citizen exercising his basic right to assert oneself under the law. To claim that Peckham is doing otherwise shows ignorance.

Peter Davies

The problem is not with Peckham's current rental status or even his landlord. The problem is that Peckham has no life. He's mad at the world for whatever reason and is looking for a scapegoat. Anyone with that much time on his hands cannot be happy. Take the deal, man. At least then you're only a few blocks away from Lincoln Center.

Tomika Anderson

I live in the U.K. and I read your magazine online. I recently digested the article "The Squatter" and had to laugh/cry. Over here in Blighty, people who rent are viewed as one of two things: really poor or really rich. Even moderate standard rental of a small four-room house in a poor neighborhood would be $850. A half-decent flat (as we call them) $1,400 and somewhere desirable, $2,200. You would choke if you saw how pokey our houses and apartments are. I envy you guys in New York. Woody Allen and Will Eisner make it all seem so romantic. Joe's Apartment and Léon paint a different view. Either way, I think it seems a lot better on your side of the pond.

Andrew Fachau
Manchester, England

Dem kids not brainwashed

How could Rob Nelson possibly believe that Democrats indoctrinate their children in any fashion remotely approaching the level of the preachers in his review "Jesus Camp" [Tracking Shots, September 20–26]? Liberal parents may utter the occasional radical statement at the dinner table, but they certainly don't make the brainwashing of children a unique pillar of their political strategy. Nelson must know this, and is most likely a conservative being totally partisan and dishonest in his review.

Andrew Matthews
Hollywood, California

Affirmative pro-action

Though it's hardly news to those of us in the field, thanks to Jerry Saltz for the article on the unequal opportunities of women artists ["Where The Girls Aren't," September 27–October 3]. I hope that rather than simply pointing out the problem, Saltz might actually try to solve it in the future by being proactive and practicing parity in his coverage of the work of female artists.

Kathe Burkhart

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