Volume 19 | Issue 26 | November 10 - 16, 2006

Letters to the Editor

Review from LaBute

[To The Editor] Dear whomever:

Please tell Scott Harrah thank you for his thoughtful review of my play “Wrecks” (Arts article, Oct. 27 – Nov. 2, “A wreck without a woman”). He made some very fine points about it and it’s nice to read a critic who doesn’t just give a lazy plot summary in exchange for a paycheck. I’ll look forward to reading more of his writings — please tell him to keep up the good work!

Neil LaBute

Bored with opinions

To The Editor:
Re “Deserving rewards” (Letter by Rosemarie Ferrara, Oct. 27 – Nov. 2):

It also “boggles the mind” that having not even seen the results of the feasibility study, Ms. Ferrara and others feel they are “entitled” and should be “rewarded.”  It also boggles the mind that the editor and writer of the Downtown Express were able to state “facts” that were not yet released to the shareholders Towers (editorial and news article, Oct. 13 - 19, “Southbridge Towers’ big decision” and “Big bucks at Southbridge – residents will be rich, study says”).  It would make for a much more pleasant life around Southbridge Towers if people would just calm down, stop seeing dollar signs and try to figure out what will be best for everyone.  This certainly can not be done without the pertinent information from those hired to do this study.  I for one am no longer interested in hearing from random shareholders who feel everyone is interested in their own personal opinions.

Karen Pearl

Trust but bid publicly

To The Editor:
This is in response to the Community Board 1 Waterfront Committee meeting and your paper’s article regarding Pier 26 (news article, Oct. 27 - Nov. 2, “Tribeca’s boathouse on Hudson Park’s chopping block”).

It is somewhat puzzling that this discussion about the estuarium is taking place, or at all necessary in light of the Hudson River Park Trust’s own rules and regulations.

Article 752.5 ( clearly states that all projects, leases and licenses in excess of $1 million need to go through a bid process, and that the Trust is required to issue a bid prospectus for such projects. It also states that the specific terms of the agreement with the successful bidder be set forth in a public request, with copies sent to Community Boards 1, 2, and 4.

This regulation outlines a fair and equitable process that was not followed and must now be instituted. It is astounding and disappointing how much time, goodwill, money and trust has been squandered on a noble project we all want to see come to fruition.

Roland Gebhardt

W.T.C. box beams

To The Editor:
In response to Patricia Reilly’s claim that I can only speak for myself regarding the emotional connection to our lost loved ones while standing on bedrock: I do get it; and I have stood there each anniversary (Letters, Nov. 3 – 9, “W.T.C. box beams” and Talking Point, Oct. 27 - Nov. 2, “9/11 families don’t care about W.T.C. box beams”). Patricia’s partner at the Coalition of 9/11 Families, however, Anthony Gardner, does not want her or any other family standing on bedrock. According to his plan she and everyone else will be standing on a “raised walkway” looking down at bedrock.

Making the box beam column remnants the focus of the museum and spending a fortune doing so is a joke and a scandalous misdirection of the foundation’s funds. As I wrote, these remnants have been exposed to the elements for the past five years and have seen countless truck, car and foot traffic.

What Ms. Reilly wants to commemorate for all time is Sept. 11, 2002 and ‘03, and ‘04 and so on. The 9/11 memorial at the World Trade Center site must be dedicated not solely to us; to our loss, our need to mourn or connect. We do not have the right or the option to dedicate this place to anything but what happened there Sept. 11, 2001.

I’m not advocating restoring every piece of rubble. As I’ve written here before, restore a representative segment of the facade and the Sphere at plaza level, where the attacks took place, and add a museum holding the artifacts of 9/11 overlooking the site.

Michael Burke
Brother of F.D.N.Y. Capt. William F. Burke, Jr., Eng. 21, who was killed Sept. 11, 2001.

Borat’s humor

To The Editor:
In reference to Linda Stein’s article (Essay, Oct. 13 – 19, “How I was duped by Ali G.”): Get over it. 

Sacha Cohen doesn’t pretend to be an artist or do anything other than entertain people.  If he didn’t dupe you, it would’ve been someone else.  And obviously Sacha doesn’t want anyone to know that he’s from “Da Ali G Show” when he’s in Borat character.  The whole point of his show is “deceit,” although he doesn’t make anyone say stupid things or embarrass themselves. 

He chose you because you’re serious about equality of the sexes and your art, but in fact you are the one who feeds into the stereotypes.  That he can get under your skin so badly says something about the weakness of your own character. He wasn’t trying to unmask anything about women, he was trying to unmask something about you.  And it sounds like he was successful.

Everyone will eventually get offended by some joke, but that’s all it was.  Unfortunately it happened to be at your expense this time, but don’t think for a second that his movie is going to somehow convince people that women are inferior.  C’mon. You’re an artist, don’t be so uptight.

What’re you upset about? That he tricked you at all or that you’re on camera being tricked? 

Now I truly understand the reason for your art: because in real life you are unable to confront and overcome fear, you just kick it out of your presence.

Paul Dunn

Dressed to harass

To The Editor:
Re “Harassing look” (Letter by Bonnie Lynn, Nov. 3 – 9):

I defined “passive sexual harassment” as wearing clothes you call “fashionable” and I call “pornographic.”  To men, but I guess not to women, there’s a big difference — isn’t that why a burka is your only solution?  Any over-exposed woman in public sexually harasses all men passively, and unlike women, we freely admit we love it. 

You called that over-exposed woman “shameless.”  But if I harassed her by looking, she harassed every man by flaunting.  She’s no victim — talk about tired arguments — if anything she’s the criminal, guilty of indecent exposure.  My only complaint is it’s women who blame men 100 percent. There’s blame on both sides.

Women who harass go through a long and expensive process to join a gym (to work out in spandex inches behind windows facing the street), buy make-up, hair products, skin products and half-clothes, painstakingly match them every morning and wear it all day — that’s intent.  Men don’t plan every morning to harass all day, it happens at a flash (pun intended), a spur-of-the-moment response to the results.  If we’re all pigs, why do you still intend, plan and do all that, even in the cold? 

You can — this is America, and even toplessness is legal in N.Y.C.  But guess what, Bonnie?  Men have rights too.  We both can not only wear what we want, but also look at what we want, and even say what we want, even shout epithets all day — but there are repercussions.  I guess to you only women have rights. 

J. Andrew Smith

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