This slight but nevetheless important detail of Songlian's powerlessness to control her destiny shapes the remainder of the girl's tragic life and leads to her sense of hopelessness and eventual insanity.

Diane Starke
Coconut Grove

As the author of the letter about Basic Instinct that Rafael Navarro quotes in "Crimes of Fashion" (April 1), I must answer some of the misconceptions and misreading of that letter and of the issue of queers in Hollywood movies.

Mr. Navarro did not cite my discussion of how GUARD (Gays United to Attack Repression and Discrimination) finds any attempts at censorship to be the worst cure possible for the problems of negative portrayals of gays in cinema. Instead, he spends much of the article writing about how gays should not attempt to censor movies nor impose their views on what he calls the creative process. In that we agree, but he doesn't believe so.

The problem lies in the fact that positive portrayals of gays and lesbians do not occur on the big screen. They are simply censored out. Lesbian women can be man-hating murderers, gay men can be limp-wristed hairdressers. When they do exist in original screenplays, they are inevitably edited or written out of the story, as in The Color Purple and Fried Green Tomatoes. Neither of those movies could have been made in its original state. Current projects of The Frontrunner, which has been on the shelf for more than a decade now, and The Life and Times of Harvey Milk (a former Oliver Stone project), are currently in trouble because of their gay-positive content. I do not see that it is gay and lesbian activists who are attempting censorship of movies, but instead Hollywood censoring my life from any movies which are made.

Mr. Navarro's statement that gay and lesbian activists are "ignorant of the fact that a large portion of the film community is gay" can only draw laughter due to its ignorance. If that's true, I challenge him to name all the openly gay producers, directors, actors, and actresses in Hollywood that he can think of. It's quite a short list, if a list at all.

Until a non-Hollywood movie which accurately shows my life is made, and makes a lot of money, we can never expect Hollywood to start making such movies. What recent protests have done is to increase awareness of these issues among nongay leaders in Hollywood, so that they are more likely to create movies with real lesbian and gay characters, when closeted gays can't do so.

Sim David Aberson

Please alert Rafael Navarro that, in the course of bashing directors Paul Verhoeven and Woody Allen for pseudo-intellectualism ("Crimes of Fashion," April 1), he remarks that "it's useful to remember that film and television may be powerful, but they're commercial mediums."

It's also useful to remember that the plural of `medium' is `media'.
Ellen Feehan
Coral Gables

This is in response to Greg Baker's "Program Notes" of April 29. I am a fan of the Jody Grind and have been for several years. I was very shocked to hear of the two members' unfortunate deaths a few weeks ago. Although I appreciate New Times's efforts to report the news as it occurred, the paper's and Baker's insensitivity is not appreciated. The two members of the band were not cartoon characters, and the "R.I.P." cover tease should be relegated to comics and "B" westerns.

Even though New Times handled it horribly, I was pleased to see some tribute, any tribute, to one of the Southeast's great bands. That is, until I reached the sentence: "I think I'm just gonna sit here with this old Jody Grind `sneak preview' promo tape, the one that says `Happy New Year!' and `Welcome to the 90's' on it, and listen to singer Kelly Hogan jerk tears out of `Mood Indigo.'"

I'm not sure what Baker's deal is, but these witty quips just aren't appropriate at the end of a piece which for some of your readers is quite serious. I think Rob, Robert, and the Jody Grind deserve better. If the article was intended as sincere, I apologize. But since it started out on page 1 as a comic strip and began on page 68 as "stupid-ass," how could anyone take Baker seriously from that point on?

Chris Peeler
Deerfield Beach

In his April 22 article, "Please Mr. Postman," Todd Anthony beautifully demonstrates the willful disregard for the facts and reality that makes me eagerly await each new issue of New Times (though, I must confess, my pleasure has lessened with Ben Greenman's departure).

Anthony speaks of "the original Star Trek vs. the Second Generation." The title of the show I believe he is referring to is Star Trek: The Next Generation. If I am not mistaken, Second Generation is a novel by Howard Fast. Fan resentment of ST:TNG is largely a dead issue and has been for years; and I am unaware that there was ever a conflict between Trekkers and Fast readers.

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