Mailbox: 04.29.09-05.05.09

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Burst the Bubble

Two readers started to debate this week’s cover story, “Time to Get Rich Quick (Again)” (April 22-28), about the hucksters selling real estate schemes. One wrote:“As soon a real estate stops being a vehicle for amateurs attempting to get rich from it, the bottom will be close at hand…” But that only fired up the responder:“It’s not just amateurs. Seems to me, an awful lot of people who should have known better spent the past few years betting on real estate. Oh, that’s right:They knew what they were doing.They used other people’s money.”

But the negativity for real estate didn’t stop everyone, one reader pointed out: “On eBay there are countless tapes and CDs available for a few dollars (the same ones that people had paid thousands for). Just a note: “The Ripoff Report” is a shill selling another get-rich-quick scheme. My advice (for what it might be worth): Buy some good books and start slowly.

I still own nine properties, and it is never easy and never ‘get rich quick.’

Black-Hearted But True

Adam Wisnieski’s feature on the complicated (and growing) Black Metal scene in NYC, “The Evasive Evil Empire,” elicited some likely controversy. One reader wrote: “Black metal is about individuality, not unity or a ‘scene.’The self-superior,‘I am my own god’ mentality is good for Black Metal. That’s what it’s about, not ‘screaming into the surrounding darkness’ or being part of a group.”

But that only caused another reader to respond: “I’d say it’s more like a contradiction. It may be about individuality, but most bands have multiple people in them, and if the band performs live, that causes people to come together to hear the performance, which creates a sort of group identity/bond.Yes, ultimately, Black Metal likes to downplay this sort of thing and prefers to remain underground, but I think the absence of a scene is a good thing.

Maybe it’s harder for the band’s success, but it preserves the integrity of the genre. For many, the music itself is more important, and I would prefer that not be compromised.”

Norway Rising

A reader had something to say about Josh Bernstein’s,“Hey Nøgne Nøgne,” about Norwegian craft beer: “I live out in Kansas City and discovered these beers at the liquor store.

I was shocked at how great they are. I try to have a couple bottles on hand at all times. Excellent brews! These are as good as anything American craft brewers are doing.”

Play That Violin, Black Man

Armond White blasted The Soloist and a reader wrote: “Wow, you didn’t care for the movie. What a shock. The fact that, in large part, [director Joe] Wright stays true to the source material, which really happened—middle-class guilt and all—clearly escaped you. Of course Hollywood is gonna try to milk this cow. however, it’s hardly the execrable mess you portray it to be. Keep up the lousy work.” And in proper contrarian fashion, another reader responded: “So yes, it’s true, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.This movie is garbage. And probably the funniest movie I have seen in a long time. Jaime Foxx’s performance makes Cuba Gooding Jr.’s in Radio look subtle and layered in comparison.”