That artists Komar & Melamid and their writing partner Amy Douthett should portray President Bill Clinton as an artist is the most ludicrous thing I've ever seen. The only kind of artist President Clinton is is a bullshit artist. He bullshitted his way into office, his wife into marriage and his way into Monica's pants. He tried to bullshit his way out of the ensuing mess. I hope someone someday performs the same art on him, or maybe even on his daughter Chelsea.
Daniel Holland, Staten Island
Godless Russkies So, Komar & Melamid and one Amy Douthett think that "few things...last 2000 years, and Jesus wasn't one of them." I suppose that's why hundreds of millions or more people still call themselves Christians and make at least some attempt to follow the teachings of Christ. I suppose that's why politicians (albeit insincerely) try to satisfy the political demands of organized Christians on a regular basis.
And I suppose that's why even "artists" who feel compelled to desecrate paintings of the Virgin Mary also identify themselves as Christians. The three (yes, three) authors of the article in question hold a worldview (seriously? Or is it just modern "irony" rearing its ugly head again?) that deifies "art," free love, blah, blah, blah. Let them keep living that lifestyle, and see where it gets them spiritually and how well "art" serves them when the emptiness and meaninglessness starts to set in. Then maybe they'll reconsider the one true Way of Christ.
To those who, a few "Mail" sections back (1/19), felt compelled to write letters accusing the Virgin Mary of lying about Jesus' parentage: Nowhere in the Gospels or anywhere is there any evidence that Mary herself publicly declared Jesus to be the Son of God during His life. It was through His amazing ministry that His declaration that He was the Messiah was given credence. But even if Mary had made such a claim, the fact that her son went on to be the most significant figure in human history would support it rather well.
And to those other recent "Mail" contributors who couldn't help but engage in a little religion-bashing: I suppose you prefer Godless science, secular intellectualism and materialist philosophy; all of which on their best day can't even begin to tell us where the universe or existence itself came from, and fail to provide any clear and compelling ethical guidelines for humanity to follow. These replaced religion as the determiners of much of the world's public discourse (during the Enlightenment) only to lead us right into the bloodiest century in human history by far (this past one). And they have singlehandedly supplied us with the nuclear, biological, industrial and other means to destroy ourselves and the planet. The past sins of overorganized religion?all of which were carried out by flawed human beings in direct contradiction to the teachings of Christ Himself?look mild by comparison.
Why don't we keep our criticism of organized religion constructive, with a view toward improving it, because the alternatives to religion have brought us to the brink of our own annihilation.
Jack Seney, Queens
Does Not Follow MUGGER: Gee, you sure seem polite. So why are your politics so dumb?
Claire Francis, Brooklyn
Bud Ice Taki: In your 2/9 "Bud the Tyrant" piece in "Top Drawer," you asked: "what happened to free speech?" Well, I have the answer. I have searched through the archives of many publications and through the minds of many people. As a result, I discovered that free speech is alive, well and living in New York Press.
Freedom of speech is why you are able to publish your support for a self-proclaimed racist, John Rocker. It is why you are able to publish your bashing of black and Puerto Rican athletes. It is why you are able to publish your weak attempts at camouflaging your prejudices. It is also the reason you are able to publish my discontent with all racist views. Taki, freedom of speech is a right that we all have, but along with that right comes a degree of responsibility.
Take note?everyone is accountable for their actions. I will be looking for you at the next sensitivity seminar. The question you should be asking is, what happened to responsibility? I will keep reading your articles to find the answer.
Scott Pleasants, Teaneck, NJ
Soup Bones The past week, seems all I've been hearing about is Hillary Clinton stiffing a waitress in upstate New York ("MUGGER," 2/16). To be sure, it's always pleasant to see the media beating up Hillary, but I can't help wondering, why this?
This is peanuts. There are already much, much better reasons to completely reject her candidacy. How could voters possibly take this snake seriously after all the scandals she is neck-deep in, let alone her role in directing smear campaigns against the enemies of her lying husband? This is what I can't understand. All that baggage, the fact that she's so transparently a carpetbagger and wouldn't be caught dead in New York, except to raise money, if not for the vacant Senate seat?and people get hot and bothered about this, that the queen didn't say thank you after her free meal? This is nothing. And anyway, you're surprised? People are really weird.
Why do these people get comped, anyway? They're not paying with their own money, and they can certainly afford it. I could almost see it if someone really admirable walked in, especially if they're not rich, but Hillary?
She's just a grasping pol. Not even that, she just rode the coattails of her crook of a husband. She's never held office?just uses her position as the president's wife to get their enemies audited, etc. (for the children, of course). Americans are so floored by celebrity, it's ridiculous. Even Monica Lewinsky gets red-carpet treatment. Are people so insecure, so unsatisfied in their tiny little lives, that they'll suck up to anybody whose name has appeared in the papers? And things are getting worse, not better. Did Christine Keeler get lucrative endorsement offers 40 years ago? She went to jail and then, as far as I know, basically disappeared?and she certainly had more going for her than Monica ever did.
A few years from now, after the notoriety has worn off and Monica's life returns to normal, just as William Ginsburg claimed she wanted?which of course is the last thing she wants?the gravy train will stop. After she's dumped by Jenny Craig and the media get tired of her, she'll go back to the only thing she knows (besides lying, that is)?sucking cock.
As for Donna Duren, I agree that it sounds like a setup. First of all, push-pollers aren't interested in 14-year-olds who can't vote. Second, if this kid was really reduced to tears by someone telling him that John McCain is a cheat and a fraud, I hope he doesn't find out the truth about Santa Claus. Why do adults so often think that anyone under 25 is an infant? Not just this kid, but Monica?
Joe Rodrigue, New Haven
Grim Teleology "The future is wide, wide open, not a closed shop," Douglas Davis perspicaciously proclaims in his 2/16 "Anti-Futurist Manifesto." Is that a facile blanket statement, the kind that annoys Mr. Davis so?
"Let's cultivate, not resist, the butterfly?that is, C&R," Mr. Davis writes, apparently oblivious to the fact that cultivating chaos and reversal contradicts the idea of chaos and reversal, for surely in promoting chaos there is a kind of order. Mr. Davis is on the right track, I think, when he writes that chaos is favorable to growth and development?the truth, or whatever anyone thinks is good and significant, is not simply revealed to us, but emerges through dialectical give-and-take. Ultimately he misses a crucial point. Even in the context of his own argument, sweeping ideological predictions are just as much part of the chaos of future-predicting and future-making as anything else. Anyway, any prediction is valid so long as it is based in sound logic and reasoning (as are Mr. Davis' "anti-predictions"), and whatever happens will happen. Attempting to predict what will happen is more or less harmless. It is highly unlikely that any predictions have the power to exert undue widespread influence.
I predict that in 2001 I will continue to read, and be disappointed by, Douglas Davis' articles.
Milosz Meller, Queens