West Palm Beach
Out for good, we hope: I recently read Jeff Stratton's article, "Gay in Jamaica," in the June 24 New Times.
I am also a Jamaican living in Fort Lauderdale. The article was very funny, pursuant to the terminologies Jeff used: "Batty man fi dead!" The information presented is very true. Homosexuality is simply not accepted by probably 90 percent of Jamaicans or more. At the same time, many individuals have been killed. It was surprising to know that those gay men showed their faces in the paper (aren't they scared that someone might go after them?).
Two thumbs up for that article, Mr. Stratton.
Ready to battle: I am sorry for those ignorant individuals who will not allow others to live according to their choice. Condolences to Brian Williamson's family; we have lost a hero. Lesbians and gays are human. They support society by paying taxes. Now is the time for my friends in Jamaica to stand up and fight for their beliefs.
The Real Emergency
Is in the hospital: Bill Howard's letter in the June 17 issue and the letter by T. Martin in the June 24 issue show complete lack of awareness and sensitivity towards the plight of the mentally disabled. First, alcoholism and drug addiction are diseases, and their victims are not to be held completely responsible for their insane actions (i.e., pulling catheters out of their mouths in hospital beds and fleeing from financial obligations and poor marriages). Second, based upon my own visit to a south Florida emergency room when an elderly family member was gravely ill, I believe all too many of the staff are belligerent and submit innocent bystanders to abuse. While this may very well not be their fault, it is inexcusable to use innocent family members as punching bags. No one forced these medical personnel to pursue a career oriented toward drug addicts, drunks, nervous family members, and uptight little old ladies.
Mind you, there are many, many exceptional employees in emergency rooms. It is quite unfortunate indeed when one must focus on the bad apples.
Pete A. De Matteo
Palm Beach Gardens
The Three Card
Monte is through: Congratulations on the June 17 Tailpipe article. The Monte Guthrie piece was well-written and is to be lauded. Here is a person I have never heard anything about in a positive light in my 25 years here in South Florida. I have never met (nor do I want to) this person, but felt I should take issue with his very biased, pompous, publisher's letter, which appeared in the May 2004 issue of Q NATION which followed his ill-fated publication, Quintessential.
Here was a man who would put a new face on publications. He claimed to single- handedly showcase all and not fill his pages with hateful gossip, lowbrow escort ads and other inappropriate and embarrassing material. Well, guess what. The place has closed its doors! Monte has closed down other publications he has owned. Adults should learn from their mistakes!
And now, how long before he starts another world-saving rag, another two-issue wonder that will give him the opportunity to take more money from the public? But dear Monte did change the face of something -- yeah, the sucker employees' faces when they learned there was no pay coming! Competition is great, but misplaced self-confidence is not.
So long Monte, God, we hardly knew ya....
Jay Lynch, a.k.a. Mrs. Beasley
Gallo gets it: Thanks for Bill Gallo's June 3 review of Babenco's Carandiru, The Unlikely Lambs. His commentary is balanced and objective throughout. At the end, it becomes brilliant.
It's true that Babenco does not provide context, and that he did that with his film Pixote. But it's difficult for a North American audience to meld it all. I want to thank you for putting it all together.
I happen to be writing about those very guys who end up in places like Carandiru. They never stood a chance. Life in the favela is like life in a cage, in Hell. And prison is not too different. After their parents beat them, the kids run to the streets where the narcos, junkies, pedophiles and prostitutes get them, and that's it. By ages 10 to 12 those kids are dead or killing themselves.
It's hard for people in the favelas to consider ethics, morals or even the law, when they grow up in a state of lawlessness and anarchy. I know, I lived in the chaos of a Brazilian favela for a year and a half, then had to get out to regain my sanity. My screenplay will expose the context you speak of. I don't know when it'll be in cinemas, but I do hope that some day you'll be reviewing me.
Less Sleaze: In response to Bob Norman's work on the Hollywood sewage situation, ("Ooh, That Smell," April 15; "Justice Revised," May 20). This is a subject Mr. Norman should stay on. He seems to be a good investigative reporter. I think this one will get more dicey, albeit a lot of C-Y-A is now going on, so we'll see. An awful lot of money will do an awful lot of things to an awful lot of people out there. And since Mr. Norman has discovered Hollywood, tell him to keep an eye on the big bond issue coming up: a lot of stinkers in there, too.
Love your rag. Keep up the good work. W.F. Cunningham III