Over His Dead Body
I am writing in reference to Jim DeFede's column on the Versace aftermath ("The Versace Experience," July 24). I was outraged reading his depiction of the ridiculous behavior certain people have shown. It has turned into a profoundly disgusting spectacle.

Among those childish people making their foolish behavior obvious, I would bring to light those so-called models who claim they had been personally acquainted with Mr. Versace. Clearly they would do anything to gain attention. I am greatly ashamed by these clowns who want their fifteen seconds of (unnecessary) fame.

Vanessa Agudelo

The Beatles' Book of Daniel
I would like to offer a few corrections to Steven Almond's interpretation of the Beatles' discography ("Live and Let Creativity Die," July 24). For a start, Introducing the Beatles and Meet the Beatles are not considered by Beatles fans in the know to be official Beatles albums. These were watered-down recompilations of the U.K. albums Please Please Me and With the Beatles, which are part of the EMI/Parlophone catalogue in the U.K. It is this catalogue that both Beatles fans and the Beatles themselves consider to be the true collection.

It has been a practice of record companies to issue different versions of albums worldwide to accommodate what are believed to be different tastes in music in different markets. This happened to the Beatles' catalogue up until Sgt. Pepper, which the group insisted be released exactly the same in all markets worldwide, and to all Beatles records thereafter.

The famous "butcher cover" was not posed as the original cover for Meet the Beatles, as Mr. Almond suggests. Instead it was dreamed up by John Lennon when EMI requested a group picture for the cover of the Yesterday and Today album, yet another American rehash of songs from the U.K. versions of Help!, Rubber Soul, and Revolver.

It was Lennon's contention that the Beatles' albums were works of art unto themselves and should be issued exactly the same all over the world. He disapproved of the "butchering" of their work by EMI subsidiaries such as Capitol Records. The butcher cover was intended as a message to the record companies. The album in question and the photo were produced in 1966, two years after Meet the Beatles was issued. Therefore Mr. Almond's suggestion that the butcher cover was a play on the "Meet/Meat" wording is incorrect, although it would have been consistent with Lennon's sense of humor.

Daniel Jimenez

Don't Let Her Get Anywhere Near A Christmas Carol
I read with interest the recent review by Savannah Whaley of South Beach -- The Play ("A Beach Too Far," July 24). If ever I have the opportunity to create something for public viewing, please remind me not to have it reviewed by a critic during a holiday weekend!

From the onset, it seemed Ms. Whaley was more put out by the fact that it was the "Fourth of July weekend -- when the rest of the nation was transfixed by possibilities from Roswell, photos from Mars, and repair updates from the Mir space station." With that attitude, it's no wonder she had nothing good to say about Jim Tommaney's tale.

I am in no way saying that this work was the best I have seen at EDGE/Theatre, but I believe there were some very redeeming moments in South Beach. In fact, there were some true-to-life commentaries made while the characters were "spewing out intimate details of their personal lives."

Maybe Ms. Whaley would be better off reviewing special events held on holiday weekends; that way she would have the fervor and spirit to attend and not feel that she was being put off. Did she miss the fireworks displays that night?

Joseph Herde
Fort Lauderdale

When God Demands Intolerance, We Listen
I hope that as a responsible journalist Jim DeFede will either retract his statement or apologize to those citizens he labeled "Bible-toting hooligans and sectarian crazies" in his July 3 column "Sitting Petty."

To have made such an irresponsible statement, Mr. DeFede, I assume, could not have been present at the Dade County Commission meeting of June 17. On that day the commission was conducting public business that we the people have a right to attend.

In response to the various positions Mr. DeFede presented:
(1) Homosexuality is a sin against God and humanity.
(2) There already exists a document and law that protects us all. It is called the United States Constitution.

(3) As citizens we have a right to dissent against laws, ordinances, and resolutions proposed by any governmental body.

(4) As Christians we have an obligation to fight for our beliefs.
Taking into account that this was supposed to be a "civil rights issue" to prevent discrimination, I offer a copy of an advertisement in the July 3 issue of New Times, page 119: "Great Music. Beautiful Women. DJ Javier Urquiza. Every Friday. Lesbians Only. No Swingers nor straights."

In my opinion, that is a discriminatory advertisement for a place of business only a special class of people are allowed to patronize. What do you think?

Ricardo Ferreira

Put Angel Back in the Judge's Seat
We were very impressed by Robert Andrew Powell's story about the paso fino breed ("Horse Attitudes," June 26). The article clarified a lot of misinformation and rumors that have been going on. We have known Angel and Esther Usategui for many years. They have dedicated their lives to paso finos, and their contributions to the advancement and promotion of this breed are immeasurable.

What has happened to Mr. Usategui is unprecedented. We hope justice will be served and he will be reinstated as a senior certified judge by the Paso Fino Horse Association. We consider him to be among the most impartial, knowledgeable, and capable judges of this breed. We believe your publication will make the association realize the injustice and harm it has done to the breed.

Bernie and Clara M. Santana

Ignore the Horse Manure About Angel
I am a member of the Paso Fino Horse Association and as such received a letter from John Macdonald soliciting support in this campaign against Angel Usategui. I felt this was wrong at the time, and my convictions are even stronger now. No one should be put in the position Mr. Usategui has been put in. No career should end on this note. Is this a just reward for many years of furthering this wonderful breed, watching and helping it grow and giving it your time, talent, and knowledge? I think not. Doesn't this bring to mind the teaching of old: "What does it profit a man to win the world if he loses his soul"?

June Mauk
Trussville, Alabama

The Sweet Micky Defense
This is in response to Elise Ackerman's story on Michel "Sweet Micky" Martelly ("His Music Rules in Haiti," May 29). When I first started reading the article, I knew that only a white American could write such a thing.

Let me just say that Sweet Micky would not be so popular (with all different types of Haitians) if he was not singing about what people wanted to hear. He is right that there is so much stress in Haitian communities that people look to his music as a fun way to escape and be greatly entertained. It is all in good fun.

Sweet Micky shares the opinion of many Haitians, myself included, that the Jean-Bertrand Aristide and Rene Preval governments, although they were democratically elected, have not been best suited to govern Haiti. He has the right to support whichever political group he wishes, but he will always be remembered as a great entertainer who, through his music, united all Haitians. And who knows -- maybe a president who plays compas is exactly what the country needs at this point!

Winy Bernard
Petionville, Haiti


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