The Dung & The Donald

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And by the way, what the
fuck does it mean?

Well, sir, it means nothing.
It’s like bad Andy Warhol, squared. Welcome to the bottom of the indie
film barrel: a filmmaker willing to let us suffer for his misrepresentation
of art. Do you actually think you’re the first film movement to try to
discount "interpretation"? That’s inherently impossible–you
influence the outcome (the meaning) by the very setup of the situation, and
by the perception you impose upon it by the use of your camera, your rhythm
and by what you choose to leave in or out, the same as every filmmaker. If you
were to take Dogma to its logical extreme, you’d shoot 160 hours of film
and then you’d release 160 hours of film. It’s bullshit.

You pretend to be a revolutionary,
but you’re just another self-serving egomaniac. You can’t even kiss
Allen Funt’s dead rotting ass, much less John Cassavetes’, though
I’m sure you’d love to film yourself doing it.

Harold Courtney,

We All Puffy
wish to thank you for the Robin Quivers interview (9/29). It was a respite from
the usual liberal puff pieces and MUGGER’s diary of tax deductions. I hope
to see more out-of-the-ordinary pieces like this in the future.

Otto Avila,

Hey Production: Do Not Cut
You’re brilliant. If I were an editorial columnist I’d have to kill
you, because you take the words right out of my mouth. How do I subscribe to
your non-virtual publication, by the way?

Frank Turk,
Baden, PA

Pope Nope
seems awfully nostalgic these days. First it was his memories of British soldiers
cheerfully giving their lives to protect his father’s fleet of Rolls Royces
from the Greek communist rebels ("Top Drawer," 7/21). And now it’s
Nazis bouncing baby Taki on their knee (9/29).

And to what end are we treated
to these remembrances? Why, Taki’s justifying his support for Pope Pius
XII and Pat Buchanan! Hasn’t it occurred to him that those with fond memories
of Nazi occupation might already be well-disposed toward Pat? But Buchanan aside,
it’s most depressing to see Taki, normally a moderately independent thinker,
embrace the Catholic right’s fiction that the Pope was held in high regard
until the appearance of Hochhuth’s play in 1963. What nonsense. Controversy
about Pius XII goes back at least to 1942, when even some of his staff became
concerned by his indifference, and when the Bishop of Munich’s pleas were
being ignored.

Pius XII was not a Nazi,
nor did he actively aid Hitler’s cause. What he did do was decide that
it was best to be on the good side of the victor, and he anticipated a German
victory. He was not a monster, but neither was he a hero, and Taki should know
better than to join with those who are now seeking to beatify him.

Seth Armus,

DC Walk
Re: your 9/29 column. You know as well as I that the Secret Service makes the
call on what kind of transport the President and Vice President use. You also
know as well as I that when they are together, as they were in the case you
cite, the security is going to be extraordinary. I am certain you also would
make the claim that "we" pay for the President’s political trips,
when you know as well as I that the Democratic Party pays most, if not all,
of the expense.

Same thing went for every
Republican president. Did you ever complain about security precautions taken
for Republican presidents? Sort of shreds your credibility, doesn’t it?
Why believe anything else you say, no matter how attractive it might be? Do
you have any editors checking facts at your paper?

Steve Parker,
Los Angeles

Someone Say Balls?
to hear that Ted Rall, apparently not content with making a petty fool of himself
by trying to litigate Danny Hellman to death, has threatened further legal action
after being described on a website as "a jealous, self-aggrandizing careerist."
Given that this is more or less the same way Rall described Art Spiegelman in
the Village Voice article that started this whole brouhaha, Rall’s
clearly scaling new heights in chutzpah here.

Paul Lukas,

Soup Bones
as I sympathize with Robert Waters and Dan Quayle in their search to find publishers,
R.S. McCain was way off base last week ("In Rotation," 9/29). "Quite
frankly, they don’t like Quayle’s ideas, they don’t want those
ideas to reach readers and, as this executive’s comment suggests, they
certainly don’t want to do anything themselves to help Quayle’s ideas
reach readers." Yes, and? You talk as if there’s something wrong with

Of course a publisher can
publish anything he likes. That’s because he pays the bills. If Russ Smith
chose not to run your article, he wouldn’t. That’s not censorship,
dummy. Censorship is when you’re prevented from publishing what
you want. There is no coercion going on here.

Your complaint about your
local Borders bookstore being "hostile to traditional religious belief"
is even sillier. Maybe the books they’re giving better placement are there
because they’re new and therefore unfamiliar and the store wants to draw
attention to them. Maybe the others don’t need that push because
they represent a point of view that’s been beaten to death for 2000 years,
that is available everywhere and that isn’t particularly hot here anyway.
This is New York, you know. Most customers in a bookstore are there looking
for new ideas, not to replace their grandmother’s worn-out copy of Emily

Same with Rudy Giuliani
withholding public funds from the Brooklyn Museum over that stupid exhibit.
The museum has no right to the money; it’s at the discretion of
the Mayor. So what’s the problem? If they really want to go to the wall
on this they can surely find some liberals who are impressed by this totally
derivative crap to foot the bill–if they have anything left over after
taking care of Bill and Hillary, of course. As it is, thanks to Rudy every moron
in Manhattan is fighting to see it. They should give him a kickback. They have
no grounds for complaint.

Joe Rodrigue,
New Haven

Comparing Sizes
response to Alan Cabal’s review (9/29) of the book Hitler’s Niece,
by Ron Hansen: Yes, your review of this book was interesting, insightful and
intelligent in itself. I’m glad I made it up to there… Because your opening
was… Well, let’s see:

Where do you come off seeing
Hitler as a bully and hero combo? Well, lucky us, you give us an explanation:
"He pulled himself up out…of the most desperate poverty, grabbed the
world by its ears and shook it until it bled." Is this a hero? If so, then
how come you see people of his caliber (Mussolini and the Italian fascists)
as "almost too whimsical to be taken seriously"? Do you know what
they did to Italy?

If I thought this was the
frog to swallow, I just wasn’t noticing the whale coming down upon me.
For you continue: "Trustfund circuit Hindu mystic Savitri Devi identified
him as Kalki, the final avatar of Vishnu, come to cleanse the world and prepare
it for the dance of Shiva…" I wonder if Ayn Rand wasn’t right after
all in claiming that many mystics are seeking death, and not "eternal life."
Cleanse the world of whom? Babies? Children? Or maybe intellectuals like yourself
and me, Mister Cabal?

But here comes the Big One:
"He transformed himself from a wretched, starving, louse-ridden tramp into
a wrathful, vengeful God, not very different from that Old Testament deity he

Aha. Mr. Cabal, please put
down your "blackberry tea," finish swallowing your "figs and
cheese" and let’s open this up: By definition, the "Old Testament
Deity" (called God by those who believe in Him/Her) is the center and source
of one-ness, of all-ness, of all Being. By definition, God creates and sustains
all that is. Deity? In sane Hinduism, deities are explained as aspects, as manifestations,
of this one wondrous creator.

Yes, God exercises justice/wrath.
Yet let’s remember, all of us who have a beef with God: By definition,
if it weren’t for Him/Her, then no existence at all, and no life for us
either. Did I miss Adolf Hitler accomplishing anything comparable to all this?
Is this really an intelligent comparison? And should I add that one cannot passionately
deny God, put down God or be pissed at God unless one believes that God exists?

Do you really think that
by taking Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini and other monsters unseriously, by ridiculing
them, by analyzing and "deconstructing" them, they will disappear?
Do you fear, and hence avoid considering, the possibility of real evil. Do you
hide behind the claim that all values are subjective? Is your paycheck subjective,
my friend? And why do you think heroes are a bore? People doubt God’s existence
because he lets evil happen in the world, not realizing that maybe dealing with
our own personal evil is our part in creation. Maybe that means being a hero.
Yes, I agree with you that Hitler and his like have humane sides. They can love
their families, make jokes. They are an exaggerated cartoon of evil that nabbed
power. But they are also a mirror for us. You don’t have to kill a person
to murder him. Don’t we do it every day?

If you wonder why Hitler
is on a different level of evil from Stalin, who supposedly killed more millions,
then this is my thought for you: Stalin, Mao, Mussolini–all based their
regimes on their own personalities. Therefore, once they died, their regimes
started dying with them. It is quite possible that there will not be any more
deaths caused by them.

I wish we could say the
same about Hitler. He based his rule on a system, a scientific blueprint for
rising on the waves of frustration, fear, hurt, injured pride and the yearning
to hide from oneself. His system is studied today by all candidate-monsters
around the world. Studied and implemented. He left a theory and an example.
So all cowards can become bullies and gang up to murder the hero inside themselves.

You say: "Reading this
book, I was transported, I was there."

No, Mr. Cabal. You may have
felt or sensed some of it, but you and I were not there. Lucky us.

Let’s hope we can take
the past seriously, so that people will not write these books again, and about

Hillel Elkayam,
East Rutherford, NJ

How About Longhorn Dung,

Got a giggle from your 9/29

column, but had to comment on a couple of things.

Why do you have such a boner
for Rudy Giuliani? Because you find him obnoxious? It’s been a few years
since I’ve been to New York City, but by all accounts he’s improved
the quality of life there by orders of magnitude compared to any of his predecessors
in the past 30 years or so. And remember, one man’s demagogue is another
man’s great orator. Hell, your job is to be obnoxious, too.

Speaking of boners, you
still have one for John Podhoretz, I see. Hate to burst your bubble, but your
Pod was dead-on with his comments regarding that "disgusting pile of crap,"
assuming you quoted him accurately. You are both quite right in that government,
whether local, state or federal, has no business subsidizing "art,"
whatever kind it may be. However, in the case of the picture of the Virgin Mary
with elephant shit on it that has caused such a furor, he is exactly right (although
I agree his verbiage was a bit extreme), and you have your head up your ass.
Objects like this, or the jar of urine with a cross in it (if I recall correctly,
the maker’s name was Andres Serrano), are not art. I mean, how much "talent"
does it take to dream up something like this?

While the term "pornography"
may be a bit much, what this sort of artifact represents is nothing more than
a very public method for pissing off Christians and/or Catholics. The Pod’s
point was quite clear to me, although you seem to have missed it. However, I
don’t think you have to worry about New York going up in flames over this,
like you would if the picture getting the treatment was of, say, Martin Luther
King or Muhammad (assuming anyone knew what he looked like). And I’ll bet
the Beatles, Nirvana, Warhol and Mamet would be offended that they or their
work should even mentioned in the same article as something so incredibly lowbrow
as the artifact in question. Bottom line: You dropped the ball on this one.
If you’re going to skewer the guy, do it for a valid reason, not because
you just don’t like the guy, which is how it appears.

Pat Myers,

Cross Him Off
I was just about to write and ask you why you wasted so much of your 9/22 column
on Pat Buchanan, but I decided to read the mail before I wrote, because you’ll
find some of the best and worst writing that NYPress has to offer in
the mail section. (I’m sure I fall into the latter category.) I was amused
to read Duane Cooley (also a Midwesterner) assert there ("The Mail,"
9/29) that Buchanan has many more people agreeing with him than we think. I
simply do not believe this is true.

Pat embodies the angry white
male image that the Republican Party should shed in almost any way it can. For
all his years on tv and his 3000-plus Crossfire shows, have you ever
heard any of your friends say, "Hey, did you hear what Pat B. said last
night?" I doubt it. I know that I have never, in 50-plus years, heard anybody
I know personally quote Buchanan. He even has to make some rather ridiculous
claims about Hitler’s intentions in his book in order to get press. If
Pat really wants to do something good for the Republican Party, he should follow
in Dan Quayle’s "I’m out of the race" footsteps. John McCain
drives me nuts with his condescending manner of speaking, but I agree with him
completely on this: The Republican Party does not need Pat Buchanan.

Steve Hume,
Canton, MI

I believe George W. Bush has utter contempt for the Constitution, as do McCain,
Gore, Bradley and the rest of the self-serving, ego-driven avatars of the political
establishment. All I desire is a lawful government, and I believe Buchanan is
the only candidate who has a clue what that means.

But I have to admit: The
latest establishment propaganda against Buchanan is a masterful example of "the
dehumanization of dissent," as Buchanan called such deception in his Feb.
8, 1999 column. I am far more suspicious of those who have the power to deceive
the whole world than those, like Buchanan, who threaten that power.

Regarding protectionism:
I seem to recall that at the turn of the century the liberals were the so-called
"free-traders" and the conservatives were the "protectionists"
(e.g., the conservatives supported tariffs similar to those Jefferson supported,
and were protective of U.S. industry). Therefore, neoconservatives come from
the same mold as the liberals. Correct me if I am wrong. Anyway, Buchanan’s
position is this:

"Use the trade laws
of this country and the power of my office to protect the jobs of our workers,
the standard of living of America’s families, the independence of our country
and the sovereignty of the United States. Impose tariffs on cheap foreign imports–the
same taxes imposed on goods made in the U.S.A.–and use the revenue to slash
income taxes for all Americans. Prioritize the American economy before the global
economy by withdrawing from international organizations that imperil our financial
stability and economic independence. Open foreign markets to American products
by requiring reciprocal trade policies. Protect vital American industries by
passing tough anti-dumping legislation."

I haven’t a clue why
any honest, patriotic citizen would oppose that position. Fill me in.

Regarding affirmative action:
I believe your understanding of Pat’s statements regarding quotas in the
Ivy League is weak. I read the article, and it sounded very much like a satire
to me. Buchanan’s stance is this, in his own words:

"You do not alter the
evil character of racial quotas by changing the color of the beneficiary. No
government in the Land of the Free has the moral or constitutional authority
to discriminate against people because of the color of their skin, and government-sponsored
prejudice–no matter how benign its original purpose–belongs in the
same graveyard as the late Jim Crow. A true respect for civil rights requires
that we put an end to all racial, ethnic and gender entitlements. No quotas,
no set asides, no forced busing, no mandatory hiring, no affirmative action.
As President, I will eliminate all forms of discrimination in federal agencies,
including reverse discrimination. And I will push for passage of a colorblind
civil rights bill that ensures equal justice for all and special privilege for

Sounds pretty fair to me.
Please explain why you oppose his stance.

Now, regarding immigration:
Buchanan states:

"This year, 1.3 million
more immigrants will pour into the U.S.-400,000 of them illegal aliens. If America
is to survive as ‘one nation,’ we must take an immigration ‘time
out’ to mend the melting pot."

His solution:

"Halt illegal immigration
by securing our porous borders and strengthening internal enforcement. Stand
with the three-in-four Americans who agree that mass legal immigration must
be reduced by restoring the 20th century average of 250,000 to 300,000 immigrants
per year. Support a national campaign of assimilation to teach newly adopted
Americans our culture, history, traditions and English language. To do otherwise
cripples American cohesion and keeps the newest members of the American family
from full participation."

Sounds pretty logical to
me. Again, I would most certainly be interested in why you oppose him on that

Dan Ellenburg,
Collegeville, PA

Duck Pool
Re: "The Donald" (9/29) The only Donald I know of who needs no further
identification is Mr. Duck.

Israel Keller,

Polls in the Vault
You shouldn’t spend too much time "evaluating" the inherent political
bias in the media. We know it and of its evil propaganda. You’ll just give
yourself an ulcer.

Take solace in the fact
that Clinton’s polls are dropping faster than his pants.

Michael Burkhart,
San Dimas, CA

Whitey Brode Sings the Blues
Your giving me the "Best Cellblock Girlfriend" award, 9/22.

1) Have I mentioned already
what a bunch of shitheads you are?

2) I resent the term "grunge
whitey" as applied to me. "Grunge" connotes flannel-wearing slackers
or a certain slovenliness, and even when I was homeless, living in a bush by
NYU, I was quite stylish. And I was the only bike messenger in the early 1990s
who wore a jacket and tie every day. My attire is indeed cheap, yet it is still
quite sharp–I call it Casual Formal: an intelligent balance, fitting for
a Libra like myself. And while I may go two days without showering, it is due
to my timeless and cultured French heritage–and nothing else.

The term "whitey"
is equally inappropriate when used to describe me. I have been a genuine minority
starting at birth and marginalized ever since. Besides this, I have very little
in common with privileged and uptight quiche-loving whitefolk like you pricks
at NYPress.

3) "Bohemian hijinks"?
Do you guys have a chart on the office wall with baggage-laden descriptions
you choose by throwing a dart? FYI: most card-carrying bohemians dislike me
as much as you anuses do, and as far as what most Manhattanites care about,
let me remind you that the jurors from my most recent trial all loved my
Rudy cartoons and posters, so there goes your whole argument again. (And when
I was on the Jay Diamond and Alan Colmes radio shows, 90 percent of the callers
said they support what I’m doing and appreciate my "hijinks.")

Furthermore, Gandhi and
Martin Luther King Jr. were both troublemakers pissing off the government. But
you don’t call their hunger strikes or civil disobedience "bohemian
hijinks." Would you use that tag to label Rosa Parks’ refusal to sit
in the back of the bus? Of course not. In other words, fuck you.

4) Robert Lederman is not
even a bit more articulate than I , but he may be more effective, if only for
the fact that he can go after the Mayor full time and I cannot. And Robert is
able to be arrested more frequently than I because he is always released after
only a few hours in jail, whereas I always spend a couple days to a couple weeks
in jail each time I’m locked up. Of course, if Robert is truly more effective
than I, then why does he have to commit civil disobedience to be thrown in jail?
I don’t! He goes to the cops, but the cops come to me! Rudy has spent a
lot more money to railroad me than he’s spent on Lederman. I got my own
special prosecutor for chrissakes! Four 90K detectives don’t keep coming
to Robert’s house, or getting a bogus search warrant to trash his home.

You also got it wrong when
you wrote that Robert stole my "thunder." He and I are both fighting
the Mayor, but on very different fronts. He hits Rudy in the streets and on
topics like artists’ rights and such, while I hit the Mayor on his sacred
radio show and on more meat-and-potatoes issues. I aim for the conservative
housewife in Queens who doesn’t give a fuck about food vendors, sex clubs
or the First Amendment. But she sure is going to be pissed when she realizes
that the 380 million bucks City Hall paid last year to settle lawsuits because
of police brutality, et al., could’ve bought a lot of computers for school
kids or reduced class sizes.

This is why Rudy hates me
more than he hates Lederman. I turn right-wingers and middle-of-the-road people
against our lazy and self-serving fraud of a mayor. From potholes to overflowing
garbage cans to scratchiti to bike theft, and a thousand other problems this
Mayor has been incompetent on, I expose Rudy as the biggest charlatan in American
history. (Heck, I’m living proof that even his tough-on-crime pose is totally
fake. Remember, the original reason he sicced New York’s Dumbest on me
was because I begged him to help me after I’d been the victim of so much
crime! He sent cops after ME instead of investigating the crimes I complained

Additionally, Robert makes
his living from this stuff, but I don’t. I can’t even capitalize on
my notoriety to get laid! (Integrity SUCKS!)

In other words, fuck you.

5) You guys don’t listen
to my voicemails anymore? That’s funny. At last year’s "Best
of" party John Strausbaugh referred to me as "Mr. Delete Button."
When did you ever listen to anything I‘ve ever said?

6) I didn’t flip off
any judge, you fucking idiots! Get it straight!

7) You think it’s easy
getting laid in jail? I bet if any of you went to Rikers for 17 days you still
wouldn’t be able to get a date on Saturday night.

8) My iffy court-appointed
attorney did in fact file an Article 78 and a state judge let me out 13 days
early. Get it straight, assholes!

9) I phoned you assholes
up MORE when I was in Rikers! Get it straight!

10) You’ve "sympathetically
publicized" my "struggle against Giuliani’s goons for years"?
What bullshit! Where were you when they did the first search warrant in history
to "find copies of an order of protection"? TOO BUSY WRITING ABOUT
QUICHE. Where were you when they arrested me for declaring my candidacy for
mayor and locked me up for 28 hours? TOO BUSY WRITING ABOUT QUICHE. Where were
you when they had four detectives hunting me for two weeks because they wanted
to arrest me for the "crime" of two lousy phone calls? TOO BUSY WRITING
ABOUT QUICHE! (May I suggest a name change to Quiche Weekly?) And when
you did write about my struggles, you printed horrible pictures of me, mocked
me and usually sided with the government!

I’m not an ingrate–I’m
an honest person who doesn’t like bullshit.

Even when you dolts praise
me you can’t get it right. When you gave me $300 for my second-place essay
in 1993 it was the worst piece of writing I ever sent you! When you awarded
me "Best Posters" in ’92 you got that wrong too: There were a
number of far superior poster campaigns that year, like the Absolutely Bald
series. And in 1995, you had the gall to award me "Best Letters" while
you were censoring almost every one of them! Do you really think you clods deserve
my respect or thanks?

Geeesh! What a bunch of

Now, what was that MUGGER
piece (9/29) about Rudy being right regarding the Brooklyn Museum brouhaha?

a) If you think Rudy’s
anger at the museum is because of public money being spent, then you’ve
certainly been living under a rock. The tax money is just a convenient leverage
for our censorship-loving cretin in City Hall.

Robert Lederman holds up
privately funded art–Robert’s posters–that ridicule Rudy, and
Rudy responds by spending tax dollars to lock him up! (And Rudy lost
in court!) The Mayor was upset by Spencer Tunick’s privately funded art
(nudes on empty city streets) and spent tax dollars to lock him up! (And
Rudy lost in court!) New York created privately funded bus ads
that mocked Rudy, and Rudy spent tax dollars to stop them! (And lost
in court!) I declare my candidacy for mayor and have a Rudy piñata–privately
funded–which the cops stop us from beating and Rudy spends tax dollars
to throw me in jail! (And he lost in court!) Do you see a pattern yet?

How can you trust this Mayor
when he says this is about saving the taxpayers money? MUGGy, you’re the
second dumbest person in this city. (Behind only the Mayor.) Do you think Rudy’s
crackdown on dancing in bars has anything to do with dancing in bars? It was
just a device used to harass businesses the Mayor and his goons dislike. Try
reading between the lines, genius.

b) This proves that I was
right all along and MUGGy was full of shit all along when he would halfheartedly
denounce Giuliani. MUGGy loves Rudy. Period.

c) Why does MUGGy still
avoid answering this question: If Rudy has anything to do with improvements
in New York City (and 95 percent of the evidence says he does not) then shouldn’t
MUGGy give Clinton the credit for America’s "prosperity"? And
why is MUGGy afraid to debate this topic? FYI: Politicians almost never deserve
credit for social or economic changes. Check their itineraries. Most of what
they do is symbolic crap like marching in parades, cutting ribbons and appearing
in photo ops. An example: Graffiti tagging is not as huge as it was in the 1980s.
And neither is breakdancing! Is this because of Rudy? Or because of social changes?
Police stations and court buildings are still covered in graffiti. So how can
you pretend that the Long Arm of the Law hinders crime? Every time I go to court
I photograph traffic gridlock in front of the building, and people littering
in front of the building! If people will commit violations in front of the courthouse,
then that’s proof that law enforcement is a joke. Wake up! We live in a
country where half the prison inmates are in for drugs. And yet they can get
all the drugs they want while in prison!

All cops are Keystones,
and our courts are a retarded mess. (O.J. goes free, yet 75 people on death
row later proved to be innocent?) Stop with your ignorant reverence for the


d) I have already laid to
rest the comparisons between Herr Giuliani and Mussolini. RUDY NEVER GOT THE
TRAINS TO RUN ON TIME AND NEVER WILL! Remember how the FDR Dr. was closed due
to flooding after a short rain? So why was it closed a month later when it flooded
again? Is that your definition of draconian success?

e) You failed to make the
analogy that Rudy denouncing this "sick" art smells remarkably like
Hitler denouncing modern art like Picasso as "degenerate."

f) Why are you afraid to
debate the topic of government funding for art? Half the great symphonies you’ll
ever hear were funded with tax dollars and would not exist otherwise, assholes.
Don’t chicken out of a debate!

g) Rudy has never cared
about the taxpayers and never will. From his record-breaking corporate welfare
(he cuts the arts but gives the New York Stock Exchange a $600 million tax break?)
to the massive pay raises for himself and his staff, it’s undeniable that
Rudy is a living caricature of a sleazy, out-of-touch politician. But apparently
his bad acting has gullible people like you fooled.

You’re probably upset
that Keanu Reeves hasn’t won an Oscar yet.

Why not debate me, hmm?

Brodeur, Manhattan