Mailbox: 12.02.09-12.08.09

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Turkey Shit

We received many positive remarks regarding last week’s Thanksgiving cover— including this shoutout from Time Out’s The Feed blog: “The Feed, for one, is thankful to see a cover-bird that’s less heroic than the glazed, glistening beauts featured in every food mag this time of year. Nonetheless, we’ll be going easy on the stuffing tomorrow.”

But one “loyal” reader was none too pleased and wrote in: “I lost my appetite for Thanksgiving dinner because of your infantile holiday issue.The front page depicted an unflattering and unfluttering dead Tom Turkey with excrement in the form of stuffing emanating from his rear-end while he read a foreign newspaper. I’ll be thankful when your sponsor, the Manhattan Media syndicate, finally pulls the life-support plug on your purposeless rag.”

—Peter Zaccone, Nomad

Pulp Proof

I’d like to clarify a common mistake that your writer Jordan Galloway made (“Espirit De Corpse,” Nov. 25–Dec. 1).The books [she] wrote about were called “paperback originals” (PBOs) by those in the know and never as “pulps.” PBOs and pulps are two different things. Pulps were magazines of the 1930s and ’40s. They were not books from the ’40s and ’50s. Basically, they put pulps out of business.To identify paperback originals with pulps is a mistake. Need proof? Pulps earned their name because they were printed on the cheapest type of paper available: pulp.

A journalist should do research for himself, not fall for the line of marketing baloney fed to him by someone with a vested interest in it. For Galloway to use the term “the original pulp era” in reference to PBOs shows that she did fall for it without research. Unlike Hard Case publisher Charles Ardai, I have no hidden agenda; I like both pulp and paperback originals. It may be a convenient term for Mr. Ardai’s product but it is a misnomer that diminishes the work of actual pulp authors.

Pulp magazine authors like Lester Dent, Norvell Page and Walter Gibson typically had to write a 50,000 word novel a month (Gibson did it twice a month!). Unlike book authors, they couldn’t turn in a manuscript when they felt like it.

Furthermore, Mickey Spillane’s work wasn’t the genesis of anything except third-rate, watered-down hardboiled mystery. Carroll John Daly was writing a better version of that in the late ’20s.You don’t have to take my word for any of my letter. It is rather easy to look up.

—Patrick Lozito, Brooklyn

My Buddy

Our Flavor of the Week story, “How Much Is That Dignity In The Window?” (Nov. 11–17) about video booth hookups received more mixed reactions from readers.

One seemed to think he could relate: “Wow! What a story. I really have to commend this writer for being so genuine and honest.This was an interesting piece because he takes you into his private world— a journey in the very real life of a gay guy. As a fellow gay man, I have done the same things. Porn theaters and buddy booths are breeding booths for the strangest interactions. I have been there and know what the rush feels like when you see a stranger´s cock, being able to play with it and lose yourself.This story is extremely relatable and frank. I am glad that the writer distanced himself from the situation and got some clarity. Good read.”

Another was less thrilled by what he read: “This may be honest, but it’s gross. I don´t like to read about someone’s loose bowels, why should I read about this guy and where he parks his peter? I think sex is good, but puhlease! Keep it to yourself.We really want to stick with hetero sex here.That means the Lesbos stories also bore the piss out of me. Sorry, but that´s just me.”