Letters from the Issue of July 31, 2008
Nude Can Be Profitable
Thanks to Tootsies: Regarding "Naked Lunch" by Janine Zeitlin (July 24): I am an African-American woman with a joyous smile and athletic body type. I have been dancing at strip clubs on and off since August 2005. I work in retail and I dance when I'm not too tired or lazy. I have a hefty balance left to pay on my Florida A&M student account.
People say college is always something to fall back on. But it's not the only thing. I have used and still use dancing as a method for cash on the spot.
The hiring process of a dancer is simple. All you need is one form of identification and good to moderate looks. I don't hate dancing. I get frustrated sometimes, but it has paid my rent and tuition, as well as for Bud Light and good times with friends.
Although it's not a career that provides a retirement plan, it can help when you have bills to pay.
I enjoy watching the dancers who do amazing pole tricks. The men being dragged onstage and humiliated at Tootsies are always fun to see. What I am trying to illustrate is that not every dancer is unhappy. I do not think dancers should respect drunk idiot customers. I just believe you should be thankful for the venue that gives you the opportunity to earn money.
Via web commentary
SoFla got it: I was offended by this comment in Arielle Castillo's July 17 cover story, "Kid Rock": "At first [Pedro Mena] thought it was a funny joke, little kids playing heavy metal in Florida."
Florida and South Florida have been a hotbed for heavy-metal talent for decades. Black Tide is not the first metal band to get signed to a major label in these parts; there's Saigon Kick (alternative metal) and Young Turk (sleaze metal). South Florida has spawned many other great bands over the years: for example, Tuff Luck, Vandal, Cryer (signed to Atlantic and briefly dropped), Death Metal Gods, and Male Volent Creation (which is known worldwide). Then there are up-and-coming greats such as Thrash or Die and Aghora, which also are making a name for themselves all over the world with phenomenal CDs.
Before you speak, learn a little about the SFL scene. I will be glad to give a 101 course, or should I say "305"?
Ruben De La Rosa
You lazy butthead: Elyse Wanshel's story "Gaytastic!" (July 10) was lazy, irresponsible, and laced with homophobia. It really pissed me off. Just because three undereducated suburban wives think MMA is gay doesn't mean Elyse Wanshel and the editors of New Times should follow suit. Since when do you look to aging chongas for intellectual/social insight?
Eroticism is obviously in the eye of the beholder (duh). Is MMA erotic? If you're gay, it is. If you're straight, it's not. Gay viewership doesn't make the sport gay. Those who have participated in combat sports know there's adrenaline, fear, anger, and a drive to win. There is absolutely no room for a hard-on. At the end of the match, you might think, Hey, why am I holding this half-naked man?, but in the middle of it, it's combat. There's nothing amorous about it. The story is also insulting to gay athletes in combat sports. It assumes you can't be a serious competitor because you're thinking about sucking dick, not winning.
The final idiotic point of the story is that straight men who hug each other are actually closeted gays. That's an excellent lesson for our kids. New Times is doing wonders for homophobia.
So, editors, when you received the pitch for this story, didn't the word passé come to mind? The theme is tired. Of course there are butch athletes who are closeted. There always will be, and yes, that hypocrisy is annoying and worth writing about. But to insinuate buff athletes and their enthusiastic fans are inherently gay makes y'all look like Beavis and Butt-Head. I suppose you might have been desperate for copy. You're overworked and underpaid and have a gay readership that will cheer on your validation of its straight-boy fantasies, but it's pretty irresponsible. The least you could have done was put a question mark in the cover call-out instead of making it a declaration.
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