just finished reading Shawn Stone’s article about you and
The Abortion Diaries film in this week’s edition of
the Metroland [“Speak Out,” Jan. 19] and was not at
all surprised by the slant on the story. After all it is the
And, as far as the “nasty” e-mails from men who are calling
women “whores” if you did get such e-mails, I am appalled.
These are not men, they are slime or are very lonely, more
than likely, both.
I am also appalled that you stereotype all male pro-lifers
in that same category. First you talk about how wrong it is
that all these women are stereotyped into the one category
as whores and then you stereotype all pro-life men in the
same category as these jerks and their alleged e-mails.
Also, in today’s society, very few people (men included) look
down their noses at single moms or women courageous enough
to take responsibility for a life they have started by not
taking the proper precautions prior to having sex. People
in Hollywood do it all the time. If there was such a mass
dislike for unmarried women having babies or premarital sex
for that matter, Hollywood would be out of business.
I find it amazing how you can applaud the 94 percent of abortions
that are elective. It is a very sad commentary that someone
would kill a life inside them because it would be “inconvenient”
to bear a child to full term and then think that they did
a wonderful thing by doing so. Abortion under these conditions
is a very selfish act. And don’t tell me you are doing for
the sake of the baby. Would you have preferred your mother
No, the women who have these unexpected babies and either
put them up for adoption to give them a chance at a better
life, or try to raise them on their own are not whores, and
neither are the women that conveniently kill the life within
their womb with no [conscience] and pat themselves on the
back for a job well done. However, when the time comes for
both to stand in front of God and explain to him why they
did what they did, which one do you think his biggest mercy
will fall upon, the one who killed his creation for convenience
sake, or the one who preserved his creation for God’s sake?
to Paul Rapp for his excellent column [Rapp on This, Jan.
19]. I have only one correction to make to his mention of
the ongoing Orwellian nightmare of Steve Kurtz, the artist
and suspected “terrorist” who is being unjustly prosecuted
by the Department of Justice at great public expense.
Rapp is absolutely correct that these are “absurdly trumped-up
and transparently political charges.” However, the federal
government is actually not saying, as Rapp wrote, that, “Kurtz
had acquired some of his materials using his academic credentials,
but used the materials for artistic, rather than academic,
Actually, the argument is even more absurd. The interpretation
of wire and mail fraud being used by the federal government
in this case is so broad that it would make incorrectly filling
in a manufacturer’s warranty for your TV set a federal crime.
The government is alleging that Robert Ferrell, Steve’s codefendent,
and Steve intentionally “defrauded” the University and American
Type Culture Collection (the suppliers of the harmless bacterial
cultures used in Critical Art Ensemble’s internationally acclaimed
art projects). They’re alleging that Bob used his contract
through the University of Pittsburgh with ATCC to get the
bacteria which he then gave to Steve, in violation of a Material
In other words, if what the government is alleging is true,
then we’d be talking about a petty contract dispute—but only
if anyone had bothered to lodge a complaint.
In this case none of the involved parties—ATCC, the University
of Pittsburgh, or the NY or PA state authorities—have lodged
any complaint whatsoever concerning the $256 worth of harmless
Worse, in prosecuting this as wire and mail fraud, the DoJ
is going far outside its own Prosecution Policy Relating to
Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud, which clearly states:
of fraud ordinarily should not be undertaken if the scheme
employed consists of some isolated transactions between individuals,
involving minor loss to the victims, in which case the parties
should be left to settle their differences by civil or criminal
litigation in the state courts. Serious consideration, however,
should be given to the prosecution of any scheme which in
its nature is directed to defrauding a class of persons, or
the general public, with a substantial pattern of conduct.”
Nothing Steve or Bob did could possibly be stretched to fit
that description. Yet this absurd case continues, at a cost
to taxpayers in the millions of dollars.
CAE Defense Fund
enjoyed reading about the problems surrounding the Hudson
Duster and violence in the modern hardcore scene [“Hardcore
Issues,” Jan. 12]. The hardcore and punk scenes of the late
’80s and early ’90s tell a much different story than what
is being told today.
Before the genres were completely fucking out-of-control mainstream,
the scenes were only accessible to those who very diligently
sought them out. Those who sought them out did so because
they felt alienated from their social surroundings, and hardcore
and punk provided solace. Memories of a particular Bad Brains
show in New Jersey in 1989 bring to my mind the skinheads,
longhairs, punks, and straight-edgers all getting along like
old friends because all were outcasts under the same roof.
Violence was sometimes a result of these subcultures interacting,
but the tired cliché of unity did, in fact, reign.
Somewhere in the mid-’90s, people who were violent by nature
or bred with jock-like mentalities took quite strongly to
the chugga-chugga metallic riffage that began to dominate
hardcore at the time. Now, instead of people joining the scene
as an—dare I say—alternative, and sometimes experiencing violence
as a result, the scene became infiltrated by people who were
looking for violence as a motive, to dance harder, or throw
punches for no other reason than to show off.
It is a shame that what the Duster stands for is lost to people,
both in and outside the scene, who associate hardcore with
gang violence. Because of its popularity, gone are the days
of joining hardcore to escape the football team; now being
hardcore can sometimes means nothing more than joining the
Gleeksman Saratoga Springs
a perfect world, Erik Hage wouldn’t have to worry about “stealth”
Christian-rock acts trying to infect our youth with their
faith-based messages. He could worry about poverty or the
war in Iraq or bird flu instead. In my perfect world, Mr.
Hage’s article [“Oozing My Religion,” Listen Here, Jan. 12]
would be satire. He’s scaring the bejeesus out of me though.
In the same issue in which the cover story defends the sometime
violent Troycore scene at the Hudson Duster, Erik Hage is
concerned about Christian rock acts. (Such juxtaposition is
one of the main reasons I love Metroland. It has a
sense of humor.) Is he afraid that young listeners of this
genre will be seduced into performing random acts of kindness
like helping little old ladies cross the street? Will enrollment
in the Girl Scouts reach unprecedented levels?
Maybe not everyone likes the misogyny of rap or the hate of
hardcore. Personally, I prefer misogynistic rap to Christian
rock any day, but hey, I want to get rid of Christmas as a
national holiday too. Still, in a country where Nazis have
a constitutional right to march, shouldn’t groups like Switchfoot
be able to sell their music to unsuspecting minors? Shouldn’t
high school kids in the Bible Belt have choice?
Mr. Hage’s position sounds eerily similar to the arguments
used against rock and roll when it first burst on the scene—how
the devil’s music would induce our young people into smoking
pot and fornicating. OK, bad example, but still, we didn’t
censor or ban rock because of that. I didn’t become an acidhead
because I listened to “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” or a
Buddhist because George Harrison sang “My Sweet Lord.” And
I didn’t start liking big butts just because Sir Mix-A-Lot
thought I should. Alright, maybe he did convince me, but give
our kids some credit, Mr. Hage. I realize that Mr. Hage is
concerned that the whole country will shift to the right and
he won’t be able find recordings of 2 Live Crew, but we have
been listening to all kinds of music over the years without
it corrupting who we are politically or socially. Is every
suburban kid a gangsta rapper now? How many kids really listen
to song lyrics anyway? Matisyahu, who wants Moshiach now (Hebrew
for messiah), is hugely popular, but how many college kids
are growing long beards, wearing black hats and not eating
If Mr. Hage is so concerned about this Christian rock phenomenon,
I have a few suggestions for him. If he doesn’t want to listen
to P.O.D., he should get an iPod and listen to his own music.
Or, he can do what I do when I accidentally tune in to Polka
Hour on Sunday morning after a long night out—change the station!
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