The cover photograph for Ted B. Kissell's article "Size Matters" (August 13) says it all: no face, no personality, just body. What a sad and pathetic statement for the gay community. The fact that there is so much emphasis placed on physical appearance -- and with great health risks -- does not paint a very attractive picture. A buff body on the outside might lead to status and entrance into a club, but what about love, self-esteem, and long-lasting friendships?
I have many gay friends, but I still find it difficult to understand the superficiality that seems inherent in their culture. Surely this emphasis on appearance and the use of steroids will only hurt them in their endeavor to be accepted by a society that already questions their intentions.
I only hope that, like anorexia, this distorted perception of body image as it relates to social acceptance can eventually be altered so that a beautiful body is not all that is seen.
Steroids: Jason, Sweetie, Put a Lid on It
If Jason DiBiaso wants to defend the use of steroids for aesthetic purposes, that's his business. When he defends the exclusionary practices of the group Miami Hardbodies (which limits entrance to its parties to those possessing solid pecs and six-pack abs -- not to mention acne, hairy backs, shrunken testicles, and "bitch tits") that's his right. But when he accuses author Michelangelo Signorile of "nonparticipation" in a group that won't allow him entrance, that's a bit like scolding minorities for not joining the Aryan Nation.
If steroid junkies choose to limit their circle to members of a master race and then accuse others like Signorile of being divisive and factionalizing the community, that's way beyond rational thought. But then, maybe she was just suffering a mood swing.
Steroids: Get Ripped Nature's Way
There are so many safe and effective over-the-counter bodybuilding supplements available that I feel no desire or need to use steroids. One can still look great with natural muscle and not much more effort. I experimented with anabolic steroids years ago, and the results I got were marginal compared to those I achieved using products I bought in a health-food store.
Jason and John are friends of mine and I don't care what they use, but I'm proud to weigh more than 200 pounds at five feet ten and still have a 32-inch waist -- naturally.
Michael Stephen McFarland
Steroids: Startling Revelations!
So gay men in South Beach are superficial, catty, vain, body-conscious, promiscuous drug-users. Who knew?
Is the Rewarding of Criminals Carrot or Stick?
After reading Tristram Korten's article "Behind the Badge" (August 6), I was curious about the way the FBI reportedly handled this case, involving former Miami police officer Danny Felton.
The FBI uses many methods to track down drug dealers and other criminals. Mr. Korten may wish to check with the FBI before making statements about their misuse of legal methods. Criminals have much information to relate, and if they are rewarded, they can often lead the FBI to more serious offenders. In that regard, this story was rather one-sided.
I appreciate having found your Website and now read New Times weekly.
David A. Nass
Welcome to Idiotlandia
I loved Alan Diaz's article on the enterprising German artist who had a rude awakening here in Miami ("Not a Pretty Picture," August 6). Now Erwin Hollecker realizes what locals already know: Miami is a hostile place. Other states, such as California, gave him permits to sell his artwork without a problem. That's because those states are part of America.
Miami is not.
This place is run by idiots with no education or culture. If Hollecker had greased the palm of some slimeball at city hall, maybe he'd have a chance -- that's a language they all understand.
What I don't understand is how cops just breeze by every bum in downtown Miami who has his hand out with nothing to offer in return. Yet they haul in this poor soul who is selling original artwork for only five dollars.
Well, just another example of our tax dollars hard at work -- locking up artists who also happen to be tourists. Only in Miami!
Another Letter Like This Will Force Us to Reconsider the Value of Involuntary Lobotomies
As far as Jim DeFede's article "Baba's Big Bucks" (July 30), so what if Baba Sissoko is a crook! He is a black African man; he is not at all a white American crook. He is black. So Jim DeFede must be either a tremendous racist or a very lucky guy who is loved by the people who manage your newspaper.