Denny Drew, Manhattan
No Dearth of Film What's with this gasbag Godfrey Cheshire? Does he get paid by the word? About 1000 words on a Julia Roberts movie ("Film," 3/15)! It's hardly Citizen Kane. If you cut him back to 200-300 words, I might read the whole thing.
Bob Vehlow, Manhattan
Down for The Count Bravo, with a slight caveat, to James Taranto ("Opinion," 3/15) for his deconstruction of the 2000 census and the issue of race. I, too, find the way our government chooses to categorize people absurd and even damaging for a free society. The whole concept of "race" is an artificial construct with no basis in science.
Indeed, if looked at scientifically, we find that we are all of the same "race" or species?human. The genetic variations responsible for individual characteristics are exceedingly small when compared to the whole human genome and express themselves in many ways. We would never think of someone of a different blood type as being of a different "race," so why should the shape of one's eyes or the color of one's skin qualify him for entry into a specific "race"?
More problems arise when "race" is confused with ethnicity or nationality, both of which are strictly cultural phenomena. Unfortunately, Taranto falls into this trap. I suppose he can be forgiven when our own government, as so clearly outlined on the census form, fails to comprehend this difference. I applaud his call for a write-in campaign. Like Taranto, I am a proud American, but it is not my race. I urge him and all others to do what I did?check the other box and write in "human." It is the only thing that we all are.
William Maddux, Manhattan
A Twinkie's Integrity In your 3/8 editorial, "Whatever Bebe Wants," I suspect your modus operandi was not to question Bebe Neuwirth's political alliances, but a backhanded attempt to knock the opponent of your favored senatorial candidate. What I found most appalling, not to say tacky, is your suggestion that Hillary Clinton "made it on her back"?an insult to any professional woman who has ever chosen to marry. Historically, women have always been thought of as incomplete without a husband, and have been encouraged to "marry well." But because Mrs. Clinton, a former partner in a law firm, put her ambition on hold for her husband, she is, according to you, nothing more than a common poopsie, using her sexuality for (excuse the pun) position. Shame on you! (And far be it from me to discuss "that woman" Cristyne Lategano).
As for Ms. Neuwirth's choice not to perform for the Inner Circle with His Honor the Mayor?I say, hooray! It may be that Ms. Neuwirth did not want to associate herself with a vindictive senatorial candidate who has whittled away at the right to free speech and has ignored the high poverty rate among the city's children.
And while New York City has, without question, become a cleaner and safer place under the Giuliani administration (although many factors have played a role in this renaissance), does anyone honestly believe that the man can claim any kind of personal responsibility for the revival of Broadway? Can anyone name the last production Rudy wrote or appeared in? One need not be an expert to know that Broadway pulled itself out of the doldrums with high-caliber performers such as Neuwirth and with popular long-running shows such as Chicago, Rent and The Lion King.
In an era when many people seem to compromise their integrity on a daily basis, I applaud Ms. Neuwirth and her decision to stand firm on principle.
Connie A. Ress, Astoria
That Famous NYC Tolerance I was struck by the fact that all three of the letters you printed in your 3/15 issue objecting to your coverage of the HIV dissident movement ("The AIDS Heretics," 3/8) described it with the same word: "dangerous."
What's dangerous about a debate? Celia Farber, et al., have said that the AIDS establishment shows signs of brainwashing in its rabid allegiance to propaganda, but that view struck me as a little twee?until now. Dangerous? That's not a scientific word. That's a word a censor uses.
It confirms that New York Press is on the right track covering this issue.
P.J. Cochran, Manhattan
Sucker Simmons Suppresses Sooth