Mailbox: 07.29.09-08.04.09

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Past Pleasures

A reader responded to Jamie Peck’s article “What Sank the Shank?” (July 22-28), about the Brooklyn after-hours club: “Interesting retrospective diving deep into the depths of both commercial and social aspects of the current situation in a thriving Brooklyn community see-sawing between its successful gentrification and old school ties to neighborhood days past…”

Totally Shanked

I got a laugh out of the interviewees and the general subtext of this article [about The Shank]: “No matter how much we bitch about the city’s stale night life, don’t—under any circumstances—give us something genuinely fun to do because we’ll just fuck it all up for everybody.” —Jens Carstensen

Out to Lunch

And our story featuring Lydia Lunch, “Read Alert” (July 22-28): riled up one reader who commented: “Ms. Lunch sounds just a little naive [when she says], ‘I don’t know anyone in Spain who’s an alcoholic, a drug addict, who’s depressed or suicidal and who hates their parents.’

There are plenty of disturbed little postchildren in Spain just like you, sweety.Try learning the local language.You still hating your parents darling? How sad! Poor little baby. Don’t worry, they’ll be dead soon. Then you can write and make art about your sad lil’ tragic feelings after their death…”

Makes Me Loopy

A retort to Armond White’s critique of In the Loop explained what one reader’s views: “Satire is and always has been at least a veneer of smart assery, in Hot Fuzz as well as this film. Peek a little deeper. While you accurately skim the surface of what’s going on in In the Loop, you don’t recognize that exactly one character appreciates the gravity of this going to war. Perhaps the film may not to appear celebrate venality and banality on the first viewing, but it certainly does on the second.

“It helps, of course, to stay for the credits, which provides the film a final anchor in egocentrism, and cements that celebration of venality and banality you seem to want. I’m hard-pressed to find a moment in this film where “this truth” isn’t being pursued, or exactly how the mockdoc style of The Office flatters white-collar venality.

“That it’s TV-style realism, if anything, will help most people accept it as reality, and that everything about it is over-thetop—profanity, for example—defines it as satire. Along with C.S.A. and Stranger Than Fiction, this is one wry-minded modern comedy that will languish on my hard drive for ages.”

A Plea

I am writing this under deep long-term frustration, aimed at one of your film critics: Armond White. I am a big movie lover and do look to reviews beforehand to help filter out the movies that are undesirable (I cannot afford to go out and spend 12 bucks on every movie in the theater).That being said, Mr. White has to be without a doubt the worst movie critic I have ever come across. Almost every movie he gives a good rating is horrible, and he scorns nearly every movie with any effort at creativity and meaning.

He almost always contradicts the majority [of other critics] in everyone one of his reviews. Now, I believe in the freedom of opinion, and don’t expect everyone to go along with mainstream ideas, however, the critics job is to inform the people of what is worth going to see in the movie theatre. From that aspect, Mr. White has failed to do his job. There have also been inclinations that Mr. White is racist. I do not wish to get into that, but rather I plead to you to take the time to evaluate your employee. Otherwise Mr. White’s reviews and the New York Press itself will be looked at as a joke. —Brady Morphy

Sleepy Head

Rachel Birnbaum’s Flavor of the Week column, “Sleeping Together Separately” (July 22-28), received a lot of positive attention, with one reader sharing this secret: “Love this story. I had to stop emailing friends at 3 a.m. because next day they’d call to ask what was wrong with me, awake during the night. 4 a.m. is my ideal time to sort through the frig and medicine cabinet for expired items. (My husband thinks I sleep at night).”

And if you were wondering if this is a female conspiracy, another woman adds: “I can totally relate. If I am still awake at 3 a.m. and hear my husband getting up, sometimes I have to run to the couch and fake that I fell asleep watching TV so that he doesn’t think I’m totally nuts for being up so late.”

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