Letter of The Week
We the people

Jarrett Murphy's "Feeling a Chill?" [April 5–11] exposes the expanding and sinister methods used by the NYPD to intimidate protesters. As the guy mentioned in the article—the one involved with the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade, who has been arrested six times in the past six months—I want to clarify that I am far from indifferent to the now legal NYPD practice of videotaping protesters. Learning to accept this or any of the other new police-state measures—mass arrests (with nets now), roundups and deportations, wiretaps, and surveillance of our every move—means assenting to the rapid remaking of America in a fascist direction. Does anyone out there want to live in such a society? The future is unwritten; which one we get is up to us.

Joey Steel

Holy cover rage

The Voice finds it so easy to mock Jesus by having that stupid picture on the front of this week's paper ["Skyscraper to Heaven," April 12–18]. I know you do not expect Christians to be upset with this; well, I am—this is the same thing that upset the Muslims in Denmark. I find the Voice disrespectful and distasteful for publishing this picture. Let me show you the difference between a Muslim and a Christian. I will pray for you, not that you will burn in hell or some horrific thing will happen to you, but I will pray that you will know the real love of Jesus. I will quote my Savior, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."

Kevin Smyth

I never read the Voice before, but I had the opportunity to see the cover of this week's paper and I find it to be miserably distasteful. If only you knew the love that Jesus had for you. The love that carried him to the cross and held him there, hanging for your sins and mine. As we reflect this Passover season how God provided for the Israelites—the blood of the spotless lamb to place on the lintel posts of the doors on their homes—let us also remember the Passover Lamb that was slain for our sins. The Voice should see this correlation and humble itself in the face of his love.

Anna Marie Misiti

Theatrical warfare

J. Hoberman's "Red Harvest" [March 29–April 4] is a painful reminder of the darkest days under the Communist regime in China. As a teenager toiling in the leech-infested rice field during the day, I, along with my fellow laborers receiving mandatory reeducation in the rural area, was forced to watch some of those plays in the evenings. All of the eight original plays were personally sponsored and choreographed by Mao's demonic and notorious wife, Jiang Qing, a political psychopath who used them to glorify Mao's dictatorship and promote the so-called revolutionary heroism. Each play was a powerful brainwasher that twisted the tender or naive minds of millions of youths as well as adults during the culture-destructive Cultural Revolution, turning many of them into fanatic warriors of internecine strife and ruthless persecutors of innocent individuals such as me. The devastating impact of those plays on people's personal and public ethics is still ubiquitously felt in Chinese society today.

Daan Pan
Diamond Bar, California

Give 'em a break

Re Sarah Ferguson's "Watching the Watchers" [April 12–18]: Police officers break the traffic and parking laws with such frequency and bravado that surely public officials and police brass are aware of it. When such laws are broken for unofficial business it sends the wrong message to the public and only serves to further separate the NYPD from the citizens it serves. Still, I understand the view of the first set of officers in Ferguson's article. It makes sense that they would not want their private cars and license plates photographed— it's for the officers' protection. While I don't doubt that there was at least some malice toward protesters or (supposedly dangerous) bike riders behind the officers' actions, I also believe the officers were concerned for their own safety and therefore have a legitimate argument. As far as police parking their private cars on the sidewalks near precincts, where else are they supposed to park? Many of them make less than $35,000 a year and they perform an important and dangerous job that most of us would never want. Don't make them pay to park when they go to work, but also, don't let them abuse that privilege.

Brian Tramontano

I loved the nightlife

Thanks for Tricia Romano's great article on the recent club closings ["Chelsea Mourning," Fly Life, April 4-11]. It was nice to hear it from an insider, someone who actually knows the correct names of our clubs (Speed has been called Shelter now for years). Romano is the only one to address the fact that this roundup really was targeted at the gay community. All of the venues hit were either hosting gay events or are gay owned/operated/managed/promoted. I'm a New York City DJ and unfortunately found out about the Roxy meeting too late to make it. It does seem like it was a good step toward NY nightlife coming together to stand up for itself. Maybe it's time to move to London . . . but I still feel determined to not give up on New York, yet.

Kevin Graves

Y'all smoking over there?

Did you really give Peter Braunstein an assignment? Are you people at the Voice all smoking crack now? Or are you so desperate for attention that you'll hire a megalomaniac alleged sexual offender to sob about celebrity torture? I guess a torturer-turned-fugitive would know firsthand how much of a pain in the ass it is when you're hounded by the media. Somewhere, right now, an honest kid with a degree in journalism and a hunger for his first byline is giving up, leaving so-called journalism to the blowhards, marketing weasels, and now convicted stalkers who have overrun the profession.

Tyler Gray

Editor's note: The story you're referring to was written six years ago. We did not give him a fresh assignment. However, one of our staffers made the boneheaded move of slapping a fresh hyperlink to Braunstein's January 2000 story on our homepage. We apologize.

Not much left

I can't believe what's happening at the Voice. I have been reading the paper for about 20 years as a source for news that is not accessible in the mainstream media. First, no more Bush Beat, and now the ultimate, the firing of James Ridgeway. He's the reason we read the Voice. Hurry up and get rid of Tom Tomorrow, he might offend someone. It's an absolute shame. You may as well just close up shop; it doesn't seem there's much left to distinguish the Voice.

Frank Hughes
Kingston, Pennsylvania

Marry, quite contrary

Re Dan Savage's Savage Love [April 11–18]: Within all the debate about marriage—which combinations of men and women are socially acceptable and/or legally valid and which are not—I think a central fact has slipped down the memory hole: "Marriage" is a religious institution. Since there is a constitutional separation of church and state, marriage should not be the domain of the government to begin with. The only real debate that should be taking place is about civil unions. Civil unions are secular unions and thus are up for grabs for tax legislation and all that fun bureaucratic, Byzantine, governmental bullshit. The government shouldn't recognize marriage at all. It doesn't matter if it's Jim and Laura, or Jim and Jimmy; marriages happen in churches and civil unions happen at your tax-funded justice of the peace.

John David Bowline
Nacogdoches, Texas


"Save the 'Burbs" by Jarrett Murphy [April 12–18 ] described a pink house. That renovated structure is at 159th Street and 32nd Avenue, not 33rd Avenue as reported. And while the Douglaston Historic District does include a private development patrolled by its own security force and does restrict parking and pedestrian access in some areas, parking is allowed on many of its streets.

Bring it on

The Voice has an immediate opening for a staff writer. We're looking for journalists who understand the difference between magazine-style reporting and the hurried factoid- finding of daily papers. The ideal candidate must have the ability to create in-depth and compelling stories that explore issues, events, and people.

We offer competitive salaries and benefits. Send cover letter, résumé, and clips to:

Ward Harkavy
Interim Editor in Chief
The Village Voice
36 Cooper Square
New York, NY 10003

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