DEPARTURES FROM THE TRUTH
Chris Thompson’s article on Juval Aviv [“Secret Agent Schmuck” October 24–30] reads like a thriller and is certainly a scorching indictment of a publicity-seeking con artist. That aside, I think it dangerous to paint all of Mr. Aviv’s declarations with the same brushstroke.
I would call your attention to an October 13 article in the London paper The Independent, in which Robert Fisk writes: “I’m not at all certain that the CIA did not have a scam drugs heist on board, and I am not at all sure that the diminutive Libyan agent Megrahi—ultimately convicted on the evidence of the memory of a Maltese tailor—really arranged to plant the bomb on board Pan Am Flight 103 in December 1988,” adding, “I believe there are many dark and sinister corners to this atrocity.”
I myself lost a loved one on the TWA 800 flight on July 17, 1996. If someone of the stature of Fisk can claim to have doubts, I think it reasonable to assume that the matter is not closed on the particular case of the Pan Am 103 bombing.
‘SCHMECKEL’ WAS TOO LONG
The use of the term “schmuck” in the title of an article is inconsistent with your journalistic standards.
Re “La Dolce Musto” [October 24–30]: Michael Musto’s column has a very, very offensive reference to Elizabeth Smart—the kidnapped child. Sick and distasteful, and the context was awful. I do not wish to read anything further from Mr. Musto. When has child molestation become acceptable to refer- ence in this manner?
Re Rob Harvilla’s “Same as the Old Boss” [October 24–30]: Which Bruce show did you attend at MSG last week? Why were you there at all, if your intentions were to be as cynical and sarcastic as possible?
For you to dare write that Bruce “pimped” The Rising as a “blatantly heartwarming post-9/11 Attempt to Heal America” is about the most insulting thing I have ever read about his personal artistic response to that day.
Your first Springsteen show is a magical experience, akin to other life-affirming experiences. We have grown up with these songs and met our spouses and raised families with his music a constant presence in our lives.
It’s based on mutual passion. Next time, stay home.
Oakdale, New York
With all due respect, your criticism of Bruce demonstrates that you think you know it all, and people who think they know everything annoy those of us who do. PS: You are right about Max. He could use a little swing.
What is most disappointing and surprising about the reporting of the story on The Brothers Size [Alexis Soloski’s “Gods and Brothers,”
October 24–30] is the short shrift that the Foundry Theatre is receiving for the role it has played in bringing this wonderful artist [Tarell McCraney] to the attention of the New York theater scene. Mark Russell may have booked the show in the Under the Radar Festival (he did not mount it), but it was the Foundry that produced and guided the show to the stage through the very impressive Producers Chair Program, in which three young (African-American) theater-management students from the Yale MFA program were guided through the challenges of New York producing—and to such success. I do not think the production would have happened this quickly without this very savvy tutelage. It is also the Foundry that continues to serve as co-producer on the project, guaranteeing that the young Yale company would remain intact, and it is the Foundry’s touring program that will take the project to the Studio Theatre and the Abbey.
THE BEST AND THE WORST
Kudos to Robert Sietsema for turning your “Best of New York—Eats & Treats” section [October 17–23] into a list of “last meals.” It was lots of fun to read through. It’s great to see that your food critic has a sense of humor. One minor correction, though: The Chinese city of Lanzhou (“Superman’s Last Meal”) isn’t in Inner Mongolia. It’s in the neighboring province of Gansu.
Re Sietsema’s “Captain Cook’s Last Meal”: Sietsema wrote that James Cook “became the first European to set foot on the coast of Australia.” Not true. All Cook did was map a small section of the east coast of Australia. The rest of the country had already been mapped. Get your facts straight.
Re “Best place to fall out of love with a band: Galapagos Art Space“: Criticism is welcomed by the staff at Galapagos Art Space because it points out flaws we might not otherwise see, from a point of view we value. But accusing us of helping to ruin New York City’s small-venue musical ecosystem via bad sound is a step too far. We don’t mind getting slapped and turning the other cheek, but imagine our confusion when we found ourselves getting kissed on the other cheek with a Voice Choice for a band show in the very same issue.
National acts like Annie; Peter, Bjorn, and John; Scissor Sisters; Psychic TV; and even big-label favorites like Joss Stone wouldn’t choose to play intimate industry gigs at our venue if we had bad sound.
There was a sound issue on the night of the 15th, caused by a great act who whispered a three-part harmony in front of an un-mic’d guitar amp turned to 11. This was the artist’s choice despite the best advice of our technical staff. But no one remembers the evening the way you wrote about it—not the producers, not the program director, not the technical crew, and not the bands who are scheduled to play here again. Deli Magazine, who produced the night, has since booked other shows with us.
As the white-hot real-estate market evaporates small cultural venues across the city, and as ground-floor opportunity for emerging artists dries up, wouldn’t a small moment of journalistic prudence have been well-spent before you tag a small venue as “Best place to fall out of love with a band”? You printed a one-sided story under a reckless banner headline. That isn’t what we would have expected from a media outlet as esteemed and culturally important as The Village Voice.
Director, Galapagos Art Space