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What Do You Read?

To the Editor:

Why is that intelligent people who write about being “readers” feel compelled to mention they read The New Yorker? Why do they want us to know, or more accurately, why do they want to be known as New Yorker readers? This magazine seems to function as a badge of membership in some exclusive club—one which anyone can join but which only some would choose to.

If I have to, as Jo Page suggests [“Are You There, Dear Reader?” Reckonings, March 2], read the cartoons in The New Yorker to find some recognizable depiction of myself, I’d rather skip the rest of the pages of “Annals” and literate attitude and buy a comic book. It’s a lot cheaper and a much better “read.”

Perhaps in this lies a solution to the current sociopolitical condition Page laments. Our “two separate worlds” are not only those of in-depth reporting and sound byte news. They are also those of “the choir” and the rest of the congregation who shop, watch TV, play outside, listen to music, read The New Yorker, don’t read, exercise, meditate, make art, and read other periodicals (like The Sun—and find it inspiring rather than “really depressing” because it is “relentlessly real”).

I’m concerned when a self-identified member of the minority declares her desire to transform the “citizenry” into a majority that mirrors her values and strategies. Instead of a “call-to-arms” perhaps what is needed is a little more elbow-rubbing, the first step toward which is to put down what you’re reading, turn to your neighbor, and say hello.

You might even ask, “Read any good books lately?”

Jeanine Wisniewski

Sand Lake

Soap Opera

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to David King’s article headlined “Tubcasting” [Feb. 9]. The article was on my podcast, Soccergirl, Incorporated, and was part of Metroland’s “Sex Issue.”

Somehow the word “tub” has never really grabbed me as a good word. It’s short, sounds squat, and reminds me of the word “vat.” The word “vat” reminds me of large containers filled with tuna surprise, other large containers filled with slop for pigs, and a third kind of large container filled with toxic waste à la the first Batman movie. It was because of the general ambiance I was going for —hot naked girl in a lovely porcelain bathtub, warm and clean and otherwise appealing—that I avoided words that might evoke thoughts of farm animals and ghoulish mouths stretched into ghoulish grins on ghoulish clown faces. As you can see, it was a thoughtful decision I made so many months ago; when I first carried my boyfriend’s Powerbook G4 from his nice dry room into the nice wet bathroom, risking both electrocution and getting dumped (i.e. my future happiness), disrobed, slid into the soapy water, pressed record, and announced my new invention to the Internet. I called it Bathcasting. You get to hear me naked.

Now, I’m an independent artist trying to make it in a hard world. As such, I don’t make a habit out of criticizing the fine few who find my exploits printworthy. I laud those few. I spend all of my pocket money erecting very tall pedestals upon which those few, those forward-thinking gods of print, may take their ever-loving leisure. I create elaborate fantasy worlds filled to bursting with fine silks and harem girls, where I get to pleasure those few sexually for one million hours until they find divine inspiration and rush to print glowing reviews of my podcast in Metroland. While I don’t really know David King, I had high hopes for us. The highest of hopes.

Rather than addressing each particular error here, I’ve decided justice would be better served in a medium I find more conducive to such things: mp3. So, for an audio experience you’re not likely to find elsewhere, hear me set the Metroland record straight at: http://soccergirl.pod show.com.

Anni Rudegeair

Germantown

Metroland welcomes typed, double-spaced letters addressed to the editor. Metroland reserves the right to edit letters for length or clarity; 300 words is the preferred maximum. You must include your name, address and day and evening telephone numbers. We will not publish letters that cannot be verified, nor those that are anonymous, illegible, irresponsible or factually inaccurate.

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Letters, Metroland

419 Madison Ave., Albany, NY 12210

e-mail: metroland@metroland.net

fax: 463-3726


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