Letter of the Week
History in the unmaking

When it comes time to write the history of how the Voice went from a vital news and review source for readers across the country to a carbon copy of the lame and forgettable alternative weeklies owned by the inbred new management, I think we'll be able to assign at least three stages to the decline. Stage one, the brilliant idea of removing the Voice from the national stage and putting a lid on anything that's not local coverage. Stage two is the ongoing destruction of the film section, taking what was widely considered to be the most essential and intelligent film coverage of any American weekly and dumbing it down by using (mostly) slack-jawed syndicate critics. Running more capsule reviews from these yobs doesn't really equate to expanding arts coverage. Stage three is the gutting of the books section (maybe the most eclectic and readable around, way better than The New York Times'). I'd like to think there's some greater plan behind all this.

B. Kite

Last American bandstand

Re Lenny Kaye's "Downer at the Rock & Roll Club"[September 13–19]: Sad to hear of the continuing corporate destruction of all that made New York City unique. Maybe CBGB wasn't as vital after 1980 as it had been before, but the joint was always there when we needed a place for a special show or a benefit, and we're all going to miss the institution. Hilly Kristal deserves special credit for giving unsigned bands a fair deal. Just a minor quibble— Television were not the first underground New York band to play CBGB. That honor belongs to Eric Emerson's Magic Tramps.

Peter Crowley
Treasure Coast, Florida

I knew Lenny before I knew CBGB. I once saw him walking outside of Madison Square Garden, and he gave me a pair of Kinks tickets he didn't need so he could go upstairs and see John Lennon sing "I Saw Her Standing There." He was cool, worked in a record store, wrote real articles for Melody Maker about New Yorkers, and then was all of a sudden upstairs at Maxx in a trio doing "Piss Factory" and "Hey Joe" with a skinny girl who could kick you in the chops and spit it out. If it was happening, Lenny was there. I want to say hello to Lenny now, before he becomes past tense, like CBGB.

Joseph Tomasello
Keene, New York

Dumbo in disguise

Re letter writer Vincent's Carrano's "So He Didn't Kiss Your Ass," [Letters, September 13–19]: I don't give a shit if someone wants to tout Giuliani's so-called civic accomplishments or knock the content of the Brooklyn Museum's exhibition "Sensation," but don't then say you are a lifelong liberal New Yorker. I am a lifelong liberal New Yorker; you are a fat Republican in disguise. If you love Giuliani so much, go see the recent movie about him and see whether your stilted opinion adjusts when you learn his family was in the mob. If you had any tenets of liberalism, you would understand the importance of art shows like "Sensation," which help uphold and test the First Amendment. Now go spank your own ass because you've been so ignorant your whole life thinking you were a liberal.

Linus Coraggio

On the attack

Re Tom DelGiorno's online letter to the editor "State of the Union Address" [Letters, villagevoice.com, September 12]: Tom, Please speak for yourself when you say "everybody else" but New Yorkers has moved on from 9-11. For most of us in the rest of the country, the events of that day will be forever etched in our memories and will affect our lives in one way or another until the day we die. There is a difference between moving on and forgetting, a difference between living life in the world as it now exists and remembering what (and who) we lost. It's appropriate to remember and discuss the worst attack on this country, in its 225th year, particularly in a newspaper located so close to the site of the devastation. You don't agree? Perhaps you should be reading The Denver Post.

Chuck Brand
Tyrone, Pennsylvania


I have been reading the Voice for many years. It is a lively link to reality. That's why it bothers me when the paper bashes Hillary and/or the Democrats. Granted, no individual or organization should be above criticism, but if we are attempting to rid this country of the Bushniks and the greedy GOP, why are the so-called liberal media shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to advancing the cause of the Democratic Party? Don't the right-wing media/GOP with all their millionaire backers do a good job at that already? Shouldn't the liberal media be promoting rather than disparaging the only other legitimate alternative to the GOP junta that now controls America?

Jim Guinnessey
West Palm Beach, Florida

Disparaging compliments?

Tom Robbins's piece on the 11th Congressional District ["Brooklyn's Nasty Race Race," September 6–12] described congressional candidate Yvette Clarke as "attractive and well-spoken." This is an irresponsible description. "Attractive" is an adjective that is almost exclusively used to describe women, plus it adds nothing to the story. Why should we care that Clarke is attractive? Moreover, "well-spoken" carries the connotation of a black person who speaks a certain way. How often do we refer to a white candidate as well-spoken? I wonder if Robbins would have used the same adjectives had Yvette Clarke been a white man. I doubt it.

Tsedeye Gebreselassie

Akron avenges the Keys

Nate Cavalieri uses his review of the Black Keys' new record ["As You Loathe It," September 13–19] and his position at a major paper like the Voice to spew vitriol against someone whom he has a personal connection to. I happen to know Pat Carney personally, and so does Cavalieri. He dislikes Carney because they had an argument once about some petty thing, and now he uses his power at the Voice to rail against Carney's critically acclaimed, commercially successful musical project. Perhaps Cavalieri is bitter that he is not rich like Carney. Perhaps he resents the fame and fortune a college dropout like Carney has acquired, while Cavalieri holds a degree from a prestigious university. Perhaps he is just a very poor music critic. As an Ohioan who is very concerned about the future of my state, I consider Carney to be a great man who has given time and money to make his hometown of Akron a better place and is very active in Ohio politics. He certainly does not give Ohio a bad name.

Theodore Mallison
Akron, Ohio

As the girlfriend of the Black Keys drummer, Patrick Carney, I've got more than a hunch that this so-called music critic Cavalieri simply has a giant ax to grind. It would have been at least semi- responsible for Cavalieri to give full disclosure as to his personal issues with the Keys. Cavalieri used to play keyboards with a Detroit-based band called the Sights. The Sights played with the Black Keys on various occasions. This isn't the first time Cavalieri has written about the Keys, and it certainly isn't the first time he's made sure to drag them through cow shit. I'm not talking out of my ass: As someone who attended Oberlin College with Cavalieri, I find it funny that his parents shelled out at least $80,000 for him to study music so he could join an underwhelming Detroit band, only to fail miserably and end up as little more than a struggling music writer who abuses the power of the pen to jerk himself off.

Denise Grollmus
Akron, Ohio

I hope you didn't actually pay for the review of the Black Keys new CD Magic Potion, because that wasn't a review. I think the author needs to get some serious counseling. Only someone with severe emotional problems would write something so hostile.

Mary Buckley
Akron, Ohio

Live up to the lame brand

Re Jim Ridley's "Ain't No Sunshine" [July 26–August 1]: The level of smarm that emanates from the Voice's film critics is getting so predictable it's thrilling. I look forward to your reviews online because I can always count on the bile of some sweaty little misanthrope from Manhattan [Ridley lives in Tennessee—ed], who predictably equates popularity with populist swill. Perhaps slamming Little Miss Sunshine for being glib and smarmy, in a review that's glib and smarmy, leaves some readers scratching their heads. Not me, being glib and smarmy is the Voice's signature style—that and being humorless.

Jacob Richmond
Victoria, British Columbia

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