Mailbox 12.09.09-12.15.09

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Making Hay

Ethan Epstein’s story about Suze Orman’s involvement with Hay House,“What the Hay?” (Dec. 2-8) brought out both sides of the selfhelp debate. Someone calling him/herself NYLove wrote:“I find this article to be so repulsive.Why all the judgment and negativity?

What’s wrong with people looking for a positive message during such difficult times? Is your life that perfect, Mr. Epstein? If it is, I congratulate you. Suze Orman often discusses the parallel between the way we think about money and the way we earn it—and I think that makes perfect sense. Also, people that seek to improve their lives don’t go to a single class and call it a day. Being a better person and living your best life requires constant growth and refresher courses—often when life hands you something difficult. Alcoholics don’t go to AA just once and expect to be “cured”; doctors don’t just go to medical school and then never return to the classroom to update their skills.Yes, almost everything in this world is a business, including this poorly written article.You hope that by slapping up cynical, one-sided pieces of “journalism,” your site gets a hefty amount of attention—that’s what advertisers like, isn’t it?”

Huckster Suckers

Suze Orman’s “sop-and-swill” seminars feed the addiction some people have to needing a constant hype-up.They hope to capture the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or purchase the winning Lotto ticket. Keep piling it high and deep, Deepak, Suze and the others in the Hay stable. Guaranteed:We suckers won’t meet you at the bank.

—Joan Mary Macey, Binghamton, NY

Show Me More

Gila Lyons’ Flavor of the Week story, “She’s Got The Look,” (Dec. 2-8) about voyeurism in the city only received nameless blather, such as: “Dames like this should stop thinking men really give a dump about looking at her. They don’t. Men don’t need to ogle some country bumpkin who somehow thinks men really care about her body.They don’t.They are bored maybe but not enough to want to do anything more than kill their boredom. In person, this broad is probably a real bore.The fact that she has female parts is really of no interest to people.”

But then there was someone who seemed to understand nudity in an entirely different way:“Haha: no more Liz Lemon fears about choking while alone in your apartment? Also, when I lived in Finland, where nudity is way more accepted as being normal and natural, I had a tracker too. I got back at him by walking around in my underwear a lot right before my two gay landlords moved back in. I told them to have a lot of sex when they got back, so that when he peered into my window to see a half-naked girl, he saw two men screwing instead. He might have been into that, too, though…”

Black, White and Red All Over

Armond White’s reviews of Up in the Air and Everybody’s Fine, “Labor Days,” (Dec. 2-8) incited this comment from a “meamwayne”: “Time after time we see Armond slam a perfectly well-made film based on highly subjective philosophical or political objections.

That’s not necessarily an invalid approach, but he also worships Jean-Luc Godard, which I agree with on purely esthetic grounds, but this was a guy who used his art to fetishize Chairman Mao long, long after it should have been impossible for any informed person to not see that the Cultural Revolution had gone hideously wrong. So I’m wondering: Is there some threshold of stylistic brilliance above which an artist can be excused for being a complete dickhead who lives in a bubble, isolated from the harsh reality of how the stupid ideas he espouses damage the lives of millions of people? Or, is Armond, or has he ever been, simply a quaintly naïve old-school Communist who finds it perfectly rational for an otherwise intelligent person to dismiss any suggestion that Mao’s China was not actually a workers’ paradise as mere imperialist disinformation?”

Taking it Raw

Eric Semel’s story about eating only raw food, “Raw Odyssey,” (Dec. 2-8) prompted a reader to chime in with: “While I enjoy a well-balanced diet, I have reduced my meat intake to fish and chicken. I feel great when I eat right. I was entertained by your experiences but also had quite a feeling of sympathy for all that you have had to go through to get to a ‘balance.’Your motivation is impressive.Thanks for your courage in writing this; you have a very good sense of humor (perhaps that’s been your survival technique).”

Another reader commiserated: “Social pressure is a very powerful thing when we allow it to be.You’re lucky to live in Manhattan (or within commuting distance of it) where there are many raw restaurants and take-out stores, as well as loads of places to buy a wide variety of organic produce and other raw food ingredients to make your own recipes. Since moving away from NYC, I’m having to make all my own raw recipes—which I don’t mind as it’s very creative and my food is awesome! I like to turn people on to world-class raw food. The more of us there are who love this food, the more restaurants and other social gatherings there will be that celebrate it.”