Letter of the Week
Beef among fruit
I usually enjoy Corina Zappia's piecesit's always nice to hear a smart and funny female voice. However, I'm extremely annoyed by her article "Bikini Kill" [Fashion Forward, villagevoice.com, July 7], in which her attitude toward the apples of the world displays a certain pearish ignorance. Sure, the grass is always greener, but we apples are not all lithe bodies handily equipped with "mind-blowing, blissfully large breasts." Zappia seems to be calling anyone with large breasts an apple. FYI, an apple is more than titswith those bountiful melons comes the apple-centric spare tire. Pears have waists, apples don'thence the apple shape. The bikini is the scourge of all body types, not just pears. I'd gladly trade a bit of my abundant cup size for a little booty. It's a matter of balancesymmetry is statistically beautiful, and apples and pears are both dealing with an uneven distribution of weight. While arguing whether or not it is better to be bottom-heavy than top-heavy is certainly futile, I'm writing to suggest that in the future Zappia acknowledge that pears don't have the lock on body woes.
No real choice
Re "Voice Choices Debuts Bigger and Better": What a joke. The Voice once supplied New Yorkers with a savvy short list, and now that's been replaced with some boring, bloated parade of random happenings. Pithy blurbs from J. Hoberman and other great critics are gone. Now we're left with write-ups on the Chicks With Flicks Film Fest and a Bastille Day block party in midtown. What's happening to the Voice? Who's responsible for this?
It's a Dahn shame
Re Kathryn Belgiorno's "Fatal Trek" [July 1218]: I did not realize that the Voice was so lax in fact checking that it would neglect to Google "cult expert" Rick Ross. He is a convict, a thug for hire, a shrill town crier at best, bleating endlessly of the danger of cults. Ross is an opportunistic buffoon who believes all "victim" stories. The tale of this Dahn practitioner is tragic and needs far more vigorous investigation. Dahn certainly sounds like a shameless money-grab, but then so are most of the televangelist ministries, and you'll never find those listed under the heading of "cult" on Ross's website. Our culture of punditry is vile enoughdo not perpetuate this sorry trend of trusting people who pontificate while entirely ignorant of the source material/context by passing them off as experts.
The article about Dahn yoga is highly slanted to say the least. The Village Voice is certainly emphasizing the possibilities of laced foods to make for a bloody news story, even though there is no reason to suspect such a thing. Even though the article mentions that Julia Siverls's death might have been caused by her medication, the laced food is noted again to keep this biased story juicy. There were no comments from any practicing advocates who have gone through the same training. The death of this young woman is a tragedy, but not every master, member, and instructor should have to be put in jeopardy because of articles like this one.
Bergen County, New Jersey
Slummin' it up
For four months I lived in a "newly renovated" apartment owned by Steven Kessner, named on your "10 Worst Landlords" [July 511] list. I too was told of the up-and-coming neighborhood. I was also longing for something affordable and thought I found it. Wrong. From the first week that I plugged in my air conditioner and it nearly blew up because the outlet was wired for 220 volts with an illegal receptacle and they refused to take responsibility, I knew it was going to be downhill from there. From the rotting food in the hallways to the piss and needles in the stairwells, it was one giant nightmare.
The landlord stories make me reflect on the dilapidated tenement building that I grew up in on the Lower East Side during the '70s and '80s (my parents and brother still live there). There were roach infestation; rats; front doors that barely closed, let alone locked; mailboxes without doors; and elevators that stopped and opened between floorsthe list is endless. The tenants blamed the landlord. Since moving out 20-odd years ago (yet visiting often), I have been able to see the environment from a different perspective. It dawned on me that the tenants have always contributed to the horrible condition of the building. They leave bags of garbage in the hallway for days. I remember people throwing garbage out of their windows. Tenants would steal lightbulbs from the lobby, hallways, and elevators to use in their apartments. Parents let their children color and paint on the walls of the building and then complained that the landlord never painted. The same practices go on today. My 67-year-old mother scrubs the elevator with bleach twice a week because people leave dog crap, piss, and cigarette butts there. Shitty buildings cause some tenants to have little regard for their homes, causing worse conditions and greater landlord apathy.
Campbell Hall, New York
Re Rob Harvilla's "Jesus Is My Hype Man" [Down in Front, July 1218]: I appreciate the effort, well-meaning white guy, but the key is not "talking to" or "speaking for" thugs; the key is to stop the mass production of thugs, a process that American culture is so good at that Henry Ford would be proud. First step? Stop validating illiteracy, the violently macho value system, and the overall ghetto mentality in the next generation of future possible thugs. Like decades of liberal whites before him, Poppa T is part of the problem, not the cure.
Thanks for Bill Gallo's great review of the documentary Once in a Lifetime[Tracking Shots, July 511]. As a cheerleader for the Cosmos, it was a wild and fantastical time, not only in sports and the media, but in New York City during the '70s. Hats off to Paul Crowder for giving the obscure soccer phenomenon I witnessed firsthand the same treatment as he did the surfing world.
Editor in chief wanted:
Village Voice, America's flagship alternative weekly, is seeking an editor in chief to carry on the paper's storied tradition of investigative journalism, feature-length storytelling, and cutting- edge cultural criticism. Applicants should have a fine touch with copy, significant experience crafting stories in magazine style, and strong reporting chops. They should be able to help staff generate superior in-depth stories that explain how New York City works, and guide beginning writers as well as accomplished ones. The ideal candidate will be able to edit and write, leading by example rather than by dictate.
Qualified candidates should send a cover letter, résumé, and clips to:
Denver, CO 80203
What's the idea?
The Voice still has openings for staff writers. We're looking for journalists who understand the difference between magazine-style reporting and the hurried factoid-finding of daily papers. Ideal candidates must be able to create in-depth and compelling stories that explore issues, events, and people. We want to see examples of not only your past work but also your current story pitches. We offer competitive salaries and benefits.
Send cover letter, résumé, clips, and pitchesvia e- mail, if at all possibleto:
Interim Editor in Chief The Village Voice
36 Cooper Square
New York, NY 10003
Last week Julian Dibbell's "Play War" incorrectly stated that America was celebrating 240 years of independence. The correct number is 230.
In Michael Atkinson's review of Guernsey (July 511), the director Nanouk Leopold is referred to as a man. Ms. Leopold is a woman.
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