Waugh, waugh, waugh!
What an extraordinary hack! This review is like a car wreck: I'm revolted, but it's so bad I can't look away. I've reread it several times, and I'll have to forward it on to others. It's an awful demonstration of the perils of amateur psychotherapy, coupled with the prejudices of our age.
Re Tom Robbins's 'Chuck's Club' [August 6–12]: While I disagree with much of Tom Robbins's article, there is one factual misrepresentation on which I must correct the record. My father, Howard, had great success in this city—rising from poverty to be a true civic leader—and died when I was much too young; it is true that when he died, he left something to all of his five children. But let me be clear: Since graduating college, I have worked for a living and have always lived off my earned income. Any suggestion of anything else for political gain is an exploitation of a personal tragedy—something my opponent in this race has been doing since day one.
Re Sean Gardiner's 'The Accidental Soldier' [July 30–August 5]: I hope he wins that lawsuit. The Army is dumb—unless you really have no purpose. Then it's perfect.
The rap on rappers
Re Tom Robbins's 'Cops Rip Up Rappers' [July 9–15]: I thought that the most ironic aspect of the situation between the Venegas brothers and police officers was Voicer Michael Salazar's decision to refer to them as "heroes" and "role models" [Letters, July 16–22].
Terms like "heroes" and "role models" should really be reserved for people who endanger their lives every day, like detectives Steven McDonald and Ivan Davison, and to those who sacrificed their lives, such as officers Robert Machate and Daniel Faulkner and detectives Dillon Stewart and Daniel Enchautegui.
For all I know, the Venegas brothers may be as innocent as they claim. (Since we never got to hear the police officers' side of the story in Robbins's original article, it's hard to be certain.)
John Francis Fox
Robbins replies: This Fox needs glasses. The story had a full-paragraph response from the NYPD.
Dead men sometimes wear plaid
In his piece 'Bomb, Bomb, Hanoi' [July 30–August 5], Tom Robbins writes that "McCain's clan descended from Robert the Bruce, Scotland's fierce soldier-king (think Mel Gibson in savage war-paint in Braveheart and you're close)."
Er, no, you're not. Gibson played William Wallace in Braveheart, an entirely different warrior (we have plenty in Scotland), and history shows that Bruce was a skilled politician and diplomat rather than a great fighter—the Obama, you might say, of his day.
The warrior Wallace ended up being beheaded by his enemies; the diplomat Bruce ended up as king of all the Scots. There's a moral here, and not just that McCain—and Robbins—could do with brushing up on Scottish Military History 101.
Robbins replies: Scots who don't understand American should stick to their own tabloids. "Close" was meant to suggest the Bruce era, not the same guy.
Wanted: Arts Intern
The Voice is accepting applications for its fall arts internship. Candidates should have a broad familiarity with New York City's cultural scene—especially theater, film, and books—and be eager and talented writers. Applicants should mail a cover letter, résumé, and writing samples to:
Brian Parks, Arts and Culture Editor
The Village Voice
36 Cooper Square, NY, NY 10003
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