Mailbox: 07.15.09-07.21.09

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No Hunks in Harlem

Matt Harvey’s story on the B&T crowds that swarm over the LES, “Bank on It” (July 8-14), stirred up some bitter sentiments: “Excellent article and very funny. I love the references to the not-so-goodlooking beatches. Are these clubs that bad though, you might be asking? As someone who has worked the door in many a bridge-and-tunnel shithole, I can honestly say yes, yes, holy shit yes. If anything, Element’s owners come out here looking like a band of upright citizens, instead of the scuzzy crooks they are.” Another reader agreed: “Normally I would see this kind of piece as plain fauxbohemian snobbery, but living on Orchard Street, I can definitely say, the bridge and tunnel yahoos or worse than the yuppies.

Imagine that?” But then, one reader pointed out, you could always move somewhere else: “Interesting article, but it’s hard for me to sympathize with people who complain that “the crowds out front look pretty unappealing.”

I don’t particularly enjoy B&T nightspots ’cause they tend to be overpriced, but these people just sound like snobs. Midtown and Lower Manhattan are the center of the metro area for just about everything, and if you don’t like outsiders, you probably should just move to Brooklyn, to be honest. Or Harlem, where I live.There’s almost no nightlife up here, and the rents are much lower than they are on the LES. There will always be new neighborhoods being ’discovered’ by different demographics, and neighborhood change is pretty much a given.”

Scientology Secrets?

Re: “Die, Darling, Die” (July 8-14), one anonymous reader went on to attack Amanda Palmer, stating that she is allegedly, “…part of a social climbing Scientology network that use the Internet and other media to promote each other. She is involved with Scientologist Neil Gaiman who is a Patron of Honors and Founding Patron of Scientology, having given over $100,000.00 to the CULT. The book tiein for the self-promoting project Who Killed Amanda Palmer, an in-joke for the Twin Peaks crowd, is even more self-referencing than first thought: apparently neither Amanda Palmer nor collaborator Neil Gaiman could actually find a publisher for the project and have published it themselves, with no imprint, the printing being done in Hong Kong. You’d think they could at least get the Scientologists to pay for it, but they are businessmen and know a waste of money when they see it. Both Gaiman and Palmer are media whores who will literally do anything to get attention even if it is at our expense.

Gaiman was raised a nutty Scientologist, cheated on his wife and had a string of mistresses, one of whom I know personally. Neil Gaiman lies and uses people and Amanda Palmer is next in line. What a disgusting pair of idiots.”

Shaky Ground

An interview we published online with Lynn Shelton, director of Humpday got one reader plenty incensed: “Lynn, darling. To call mumblecore a form of cinematic expression is like calling the Holocaust a big misunderstanding.You are overreaching your bounds with this form of ’aesthetic.’ Cassavettes used it and he used it well. Just because you pick up a hand held camera and shake it around like an epileptic orangutan on a roller coaster does not make it an aesthetic and it does not make you a filmmaker. I find it absolutely hilarious that your interview is featured alongside a brilliant Armond White review where he absolutely despises your film. I guess all press is good press though. Anyway, if you need someone to help you invest in a tripod since a hand held camera is all you can afford, I would love to help set up some sort of fundraiser, because every movie should not look like the Blair Witch Project.”

Bruno Bigotry

Instead of attacking Armond White, readers were after Sacha Baron Cohen for Bruno, with one writing: “I guess, for me, the question is ’Is Baron Cohen revealing the racism and homophobia at the heart of America, or is he just an asshole who goes around duping the non-media savvy into coming off as racists and homophobes?’ In Borat, when Cohen brings a black prostitute to the dinner table of a bunch of wealthy Southerners, do they get up and leave because she’s black, or because she’s a prostitute, or because they realize at that point that they’ve all been duped? When the drunken fratboys spew a load of poorly thought out non-PC jargon, were they amping their antics up to give Cohen and Larry Charles what they thought they wanted (later, it’s pretty clear that, in some scenes, the frat boys have been asked to perform)? And what the hell did Ron Paul do to warrant public humiliation? When the southerns sing along to Cohen’s anti-Semitic song (on the Ali G tv show) is it because they hate Jews, or is it because they’re over-eager to play along with whatever these TV people are doing? I lean towards thinking that Cohen and Charles are just assholes.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Letters may be edited for size and form.