Letters to the Editor

Salon's happy hooker is hurting women; David Horowitz overlooks GOP blame for China leaks.


Letters to the Editor
June 11, 1999 8:00PM (UTC)

Loving the Johns

BY ANDREA RODRIGUEZ

(06/05/99)

I found Andrea Rodriguez's "Loving the Johns" extremely offensive, self-serving and short-sighted.

What she was doing is cheap for the men: allowing them to use her while at the same time letting them think what they've done to people is OK; telling them their relationship problems are not grounded in their belief they can buy a person to use as they wish for an hour. They didn't have to do the emotional work of looking into their attitudes toward others, giving of themselves rather than lying back and being massaged. It's feel-good therapy, happy hooker crap.

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She has now, admittedly, scampered out of the life, bolstered by her education and background. In a revisionist way, she is trying to justify her behavior by claiming to have loved the souls of these "tortured" men. Her true reason is shown by her statement, "wealthier than I ever dreamed." She did it for the money. Most prostitutes do it for the money, since it is rare for a woman to have the opportunity to earn that kind of money any other way.

How was and is she hurting women? Back then she created the belief in these men the idea that prostitutes like their work. She's still doing that now. She hurts all women in this way: The men she "serviced" sound like corporate types, men who have the power to hire and promote (or not hire and not promote) women. She assists them in the attitude that they are superior beings, that the role of women is to serve them and make them feel better.

And who knows how many of them, lulled a little further over the edge by her services, now approach one of the needier hookers -- one of the women who, traumatized by abuse, were forced onto the streets at an early age -- and vent their darker needs?

-- Judith Beck

A hooker with a heart of gold? Isn't that just the hoariest
of clichis? Oh, wait; I'm mistaken. Our girl
Andrea isn't some $2 back-street ho -- she's a nice-girl "sex worker," on a, um, spiritual odyssey for the New Age. Some clichis never die; they're just endlessly re-invented.

-- Ciaran Palmer

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"Salesman" wins revival prize; "Sideman" is best play
ASSOCIATED PRESS
(06/07/99)

Salon chose to run only a brief AP summary of the June 6 Tony awards,
reflecting the lack of cultural significance given to New York theater these
days by the cyberhip.

Granted, the CBS broadcast was appalling -- the American Theater Wing apparently believed that using movie and TV celebs to decorate the show could bestow legitimacy on live theater. The ATW proceeded to "showcase" what has been universally bemoaned as the
worst musical season in decades and indulge a misguided Kevin Spacey in
concocting a sophomoric reading of "serious" play fragments; it failed to
give a moment to Uta Hagen (recipient at 80 of a Lifetime Achievement
Award), who is a brilliant authentic presence, and simply
pandered. Like an opera singer doing rap, the entire affair was doomed
to confirm the worst stereotypes about the death of theater and its
creaky foolish posturing.

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But this is a pity, since great theater is riveting audiences on and off
Broadway these days. If the American Theater Wing can't trust the
fundamentals of its craft, who will? At least Arthur Miller showed he
was lucid and astute, begging the money guys to give new writers a
chance. Salon should find a theater scout to bring word of this world to
its readers.

-- Sara Hartley

Oakland, Calif.


Disloyalty of Democrats

BY DAVID HOROWITZ
(06/07/99)

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David Horowitz connects the nonexistent dots of Carlottia Scott's new DNC sinecure to the recent espionage fiasco. You could make an equally persuasive case that the
deep budget cuts that started with Bush and continued with Gingrich's
much-touted Contract With America have done more to degrade information
security than radical feminism ever did. When there's no funding to
implement security, what choice do you have but to let it languish?

-- Roger Turnau

New York


Why emulators make video-game makers quake

BY HOWARD WEN
(06/04/99)

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Howard Wen has trotted out the same old, tired computer vs. game console
argument, and simply added the new "emu" trend to spin it. The death of
the console has been predicted more than once, since the days of the Atari
400/800 and the Commodore 64, which played great games, but were also
computers, and not much more expensive. The prediction has been repeated
over and over again.

Unlike computers, which can play video games, video game consoles are
designed for playing video games. You get to sit on the couch in front
of the television, which is most likely a lot bigger than the monitor most
folks have, and you can plug in two to four joysticks and play games with
your friends, comfortably. The graphics are great, and you don't
worry about installing the game, the drivers and so forth. And boot time isn't excessive -- with cart games, it's almost no time at all -- you don't "run" games, you just pop in the CD or the cart,
and turn it on. That experience is quite removed from the PC game experience..

-- Pete Dussin

Emulators have always been one of the paradoxes of the video game industry, and they will remain so despite (or because of) their recent growth in popularity. The original Atari 2600 emulators for the Intellivision and Colecovision only served to increase the popularity of the older system, prolonging its life as a money-making console a good number of years beyond what it would have lived otherwise.

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There is something fundamental about emulation that is often missed by video game manufacturers (and articles such as yours): Emulation exists to celebrate the system being emulated, not for the purpose of simply playing a few more games on our computers. Emulators are the last people in the world who would want console convergence -- we use emulators because we love the systems as much as the games.

The console video game industry would not be in its current state of robust health without the emulation phenomenon. Just as the original Atari 2600 emulators showed many people the worth of that system, the current PC emulators are showing millions of PC die-hards how great console gaming is now and always has been. Sony itself recognizes this -- it is building what is for all intents and purposes a hardware PlayStation emulator into their next-generation (yet unnamed) game machine. Emulation is therefore the opposite of what you suggest; it is a boon to the proprietary console hardware industry, not its downfall.

-- Jeff Williams

I'd still buy a video game console over just running the software on my PC, because software can screw up my PC (and has done so) when it installs. I used my PCs for "real work." A new game's got the potential to overwrite .dlls, upgrade drivers, etc. without telling me, and render the software I need to run inoperable. A console on the other hand, boots up quickly, plays the game and lets me maintain a firewall between the "real work" and the fun.

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-- Ranjan Bagchi


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