Letters to The Editor, Week of November 9, 2017

Needed more than ever

To The Editor:

I saw today that DNAinfo and Gothamist are no more.

Indeed, as my friend John Leland wrote in the Times, “In the the financially daunting era of digital journalism, there has been no tougher nut to crack than making local news profitable.”

Local news is always profitable for the readers — knowledge is power — but the folks writing the checks rarely agree. And that the two online outlets closed as a result of union busting is, well, disgusting. (Of course, my lefty tendencies forbid me from even touching the right wing on a chicken.)

Long live The Villager, since 1933 the best local news provider in the best neighborhood on earth.

Keep up the outstanding work. You are needed now more than ever.

Timothy McDarrah


‘Just let piers go’

To The Editor:

Re “Westway foe still fighting Battle of the Hudson” (news article, Oct. 26):

I truly admire Marcy Benstock, her clear thinking and her values. It never occurred to me that we could just let the piers go. But, come to think of it, they were for ships and never for our entertainment venues. Why should we sell our souls and the river for that?

Crista Grauer


Keep it up, Musto!

To The Editor:

Re “La Dulcet Musto: Nightlife maven’s ‘Duets’ benefits Gays Against Guns” (arts article, Nov. 2):

On top of everything else he does and has done, Musto is one terrific wordsmith. If you were a young reader in New York City, you didn’t have to be part of any scene to love a great turn of phrase, a delicately handled diss, a respectful dressing down.

I hope and trust that, in the future, he will be understood as a core journalist in a core era.

He has enriched my New York experience as a reader, and a fan.

Keep it up, Musto. You’re a New Yorker’s New Yorker.

I’ve always wanted to tell you that, but you’re always flying past on your bike.

Patrick Shields


Acker Awards’ real value

To The Editor:

Re “Ackers flap” (Scoopy’s Notebook, Nov. 2):

I am relieved that people are beginning to appreciate that the Acker Awards boxes are valuable. Yes, they are.

To give an extremely short example: Zito has done R.I.P. coffee cup paintings of Flo Kennedy, Carmen Pabon, Allen Ginsberg. As for contributions to the boxes by the living, there was a piece of original film from Sara Driver; Edgar Oliver included a silkscreened chapbook; Eden Brower included an LP by her band, with a Robert Crumb cover.

As for original photos, ones have been contributed by Marilyn Roberts and Stanley Stellar, and Ruth Martin included a copy of the famous Ethyl Eichelberger back tattoo.

Nick Bubash included an original drawing. So did Anthony Haden-Guest, Thom deVita and so on.

Then there is the bio booklet, which The Villager designs and prints, no small task. And the boxes themselves take effort to create, too. Ethan Minsker made 40 papier-mâché switchblades worked onto the front of the box.

This year, Steve Ellis is making the box. I want to make this year’s poster a collection of Zito coffee cups. We have the fabulous Phoebe Legere as our emcee.

Yes, the boxes are valuable. They are a treasure chest, time capsules, precious and a tremendous amount of free labor. I want these awards to last into the future. I want to get them into special collections.

And you are damn right I want them to be global. Why? Because our community art is now global. Where is the local talent? Banksy is in London. Ai Weiwei is in China. Shepard Fairey is in L.A. P.S. 122 has moved to national and international performers. Remember Taylor Swift as our “cultural ambassador”? What a joke.

I now have an Acker Awards in Toronto. Working on Montreal, and looks like Germany is in. Looking at Austria and San Francisco.

We must preserve our own history, yes. But in this new global world we live in, it is necessary to connect with like-minded people around the globe.

I have much work to do. Elsa needs 24-hour care, which basically means me. All this stupidity made me realize how little support there is left in this community. I was tired, I was ready to leave. But then I changed my mind. People told me I had invested too much work to just walk away.

O.K., they got me. But it is still work. I am back. Someone wants to destroy all this work and respect for our community? Shame on you.

As for profit? Please. O.K., there is a Basquiat in every box. Yeah, right.

So many of our great creative talents have not made it into the financial boom of the mainstream. They have high-quality contributions, but just do not have the marketing skills.

I would be sad if the Ackers were destroyed. I am now going into my fifth year of these awards. I want this project to live beyond me. I want this to become a recognized, permanent award.

Our community has produced many great artists, but the tendency is to talk about Madonna, Jimi Hendrix, Jackson Pollock and so on. My goal is the people.

Right now I do not have financial or institutional support. I have haters.

Clayton Patterson


E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to [email protected] or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 1 MetroTech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published.

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