have to say that in theory this “myth” idea sounds nice [“Do
You Know What It Means to Myth New Orleans?,” Aug. 24]. I
was at the Superdome before, during and after the hurricane,
and I can say for a fact that the rumors about the Superdome
were in fact not rumors at all. I also know other people
who helped after the fact, including a marine working with
the 82nd Airborne for two weeks after the hurricane. He was
with search and rescue with his dog Theodore. He formerly
had a SAR dog named Bear that helped him at the World Trade
Center. He now has a foundation for Bear due to the fact that
Bear died as a result of his post-9/11 efforts. I was at a
national EMS convention immediately prior to the hurricane,
and having no way to leave, I went over to help out. Every
time I see people underreporting these facts, the pain and
the terror come back to me all over again. I was personally
in danger on at least two occasions, not mentioning the threat
of the hurricane itself. I was threatened to be stuck with
a needle that was “used” by one person, and I was waiting
on the helipad my final day there for a Black Hawk to take
me from there, when one of the officials I was sitting with
was notified by another official that a sniper was nearby.
I could tell many, many more stories, but just suffice it
to say that this article angered me and minimized what I went
through (the hell I experienced) and questioned my very reality
and the reality of some very credible people.
New York State Paramedic
It or Leave It?
I saw the cover of the Aug. 17 Metroland [“Riches
Amid the Ruins”], I eagerly grabbed it up
from the Hill Street Cafe table along with my wings. I am
always excited for the new edition, but still, I knew you
guys were onto something. And you didn’t fail. You (Dan and
Shawn and David, really) fulfilled my voyeuristic fantasies
of exploring and finding out what the hell goes on inside
that abandoned hotel! Being a downtown resident, I have the
privilege of peering at its graffiti-laden glory every day
and night. I always say I want to go in there, but realistically,
never have the impetus (or the balls!) to do so. You are the
manifestation of every amateur graffiti fan’s dreams, and
the living spark of the child explorer within us all which
dies amongst so many adults. Kudos to you, gentlemen, lunch-break
warriors that you are! Most of all, big up PRVRT, UNIT, and
DWELL (how did you get your name top-to-bottom in those
windows on the south end?) for beautifying the scenery!
response to the “Riches Amid the Ruins” by David King, not
only was I repulsed by Dan and Shawn’s actions in their attempt
to dismantle the “nine-story, living, breathing work of art”
that is the Wellington, I was also pretty disgusted by the
fact that Metroland practically glorified their actions,
as if they are some kind of real-life Indiana Joneses.
I have to admit a bias here: I am quite sure Dan and Shawn
have taken a piece of my artwork off a building wall, one
that was on the outside of a building on Grand Street. When
confronted by two of my friends, they replied that they were
going to put it someplace where a lot of people could see
it. I have a hard time understanding how more people will
see it in their cubicles than on a busy city street.
I think the main thing that bothers me about their actions
is the lack of respect Dan and Shawn have for the art and
the artists. First, if they respect the art, if the art is
beautiful, how are they “helping the neighborhood” by taking
it down? How much different is what they’re doing from what
the anti-graffiti van is doing? Second, if they respected
the artists, they’d do what PRVRT and DWELL do: They’d contact
the artists, let them know, offer something in exchange and
ask if they have any special instructions. They may even ask
the consent of the artist! Regardless, PRVRT and DWELL are
not doing mass takedowns of art, they are taking one piece
here or there of artists they have come to admire.
How does David King deal with these contradictions? By setting
up critique of their actions as straw men and knocking them
down. Taking the art is cast aside with a quote from PRVRT,
who says, “All of us have taken a piece of it.” Then there
are the ‘unwritten rules’ of the street-art scene that Dan
and Shawn are breaking, which the author sums up as “Take
nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.” Dan’s
unquestioned response? “The graffiti artists themselves are
breaking the rules of urban exploring by leaving graffiti
in the first place.” Uh, what? In my understanding, and according
to the article, most graffiti artists believe they are beautifying
the space where they are placing their art. So how can taking
it down (removing beautiful art) equate to installing it?
(The art is not “left behind.”) This can only make sense if
one believes the art has no intrinsic value to the space itself.
Finally, as an artist and someone who has a few artist friends
(and I’m not, nor do I know anyone who’s “like, ‘Yeah, yeah,
whatever, man’ “ about friends’ art), I can say pretty surely
that there is a reason artists like PRVRT and DWELL place
stuff in public places. It’s so the public, that is the non-gallery-going
public, can see their work. If they wanted all their art to
be stowed away by state workers, they’d just do art exhibits
(and get paid for it). The only reason doing street art makes
any sense (the artists take a loss; they don’t get paid for
it and have to spend time putting it up, money for materials,
and risk injury and arrest) is if the public gets to see it
and it improves the commons. Street art only makes sense in
the context of the street. Take it out of the street altogether,
and it loses its soul and its purpose. If Dan and Shawn understood
any of this, if they respected the art, the artist, or the
scene, they’d leave it intact, instead of systematically dismantling
it and leaving the artist empty-handed.
Following To the Editor:
am writing to commend Metroland—and especially reporter
Chet Hardin—for the recent article concerning NXIVM/ESP, Keith
Raniere and Nancy Salzman [“Stress in the Family,” Aug. 10].
In this regard, I believe that this article does an excellent
job of documenting why several people have concluded that
NXIVM/ESP is “dangerous” and/or that it’s a “cult.”
As the defendant in a current legal action that was initiated
by NXIVM/ESP et al, I am well aware of the type of “Smear
and Sneer” tactics that these self-proclaimed “Ethical Experts”
often utilize in order to intimidate anyone that they perceive
to be a threat to their various business enterprises. In this
regard, I believe that Metroland and Mr. Hardin have
demonstrated a great deal of courage bringing this matter
to the attention of our local area residents.
At this point, the onus is clearly on the federal government
to make Mr. Raniere and Ms. Salzman account for the millions
of dollars that they have already taken in from their thousands
of followers/students—and to justify their highly unusual
business practices. To do otherwise will make a mockery of
our country’s tax laws—and cause legitimate businesses to
question why they should “play by the rules” when there is
no apparent penalty for breaking them.
“Stress in the Family”: Interesting article; though I don’t
know Keith or his organization except from what has been reported
recently in the Times Union and now Metroland,
I do know about hypnosis and the wonderful power of the mind
for positive change and healing.
Being that hypnosis and other complementary and alternative
modalities are just now finally becoming recognized by hospitals,
doctors, insurance companies and the public for their non-invasive
and healthful benefits, I trust that Metroland readers
are savvy enough to separate sensationalism from true progress.
Any powerful process in unscrupulous hands can be manipulated
badly, and that may be what Chet Hardin is implying with his
article; however, I sense a misunderstanding by the author.
Chet’s research of the organization in many areas of his article
is far superior to the daily paper, but his bracketed attribution
to hypnosis was misplaced. The technique of back of the palm
triggers/anchors is a powerful NLP technique that can be used
within hypnosis with many positive results, but is not hypnosis
and should not be confused with it.
I assure you that the vast majority of credible hypnotists,
especially those working within the National Guild of Hypnotists’
Code of Ethics, are available to serve the public forthrightly
and are eager to share their talents openly by answering any
and all questions with sincerity and passion.
I have just returned from the yearly NGH conference in Marlboro,
Mass., with a certification in pain management, where approximately
1,000 hypnotists met for education, deliberation and a bit
of camaraderie between exciting sessions that the public will
experience the benefit of in the months to come.
readers, known for open minds, please feel welcome to come
and explore the benefits of hypnosis—free—at the Washington
Park Wellness Center, 706 Madison Ave., Tuesdays in September
at 6:30 PM.
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