Shirvell doesn’t deserve NYPD

To the Daily:

No pizza for Andrew Shirvell!

I was rather stunned by Monday’s story (Gay pride sticker sparks controversy at pizzeria, 07/08/05) largely because of the intolerance of one of the article’s protagonists, Andrew Shirvell. Even a quick read of the article made Shirvell’s duplicitous intentions clear.

Let’s review: Shirvell decides that an abstract visual symbol — the rainbow flag — has a specific meaning, an endorsement of homosexuality, rather than an signal that the business is gay-friendly or gay-tolerant. Based on that, he decides to encourage people to boycott New York Pizza Depot — one of the ultimate consumer intimidation tactics — in the name of protecting small businesses from intimidation! Then, he misrepresents the views of the business owner, Maurice Grillo, whom Shirvell claims was pressured to post the sticker when Grillo himself denies that assertion.

At least Shirvell could have had the courage to clearly acknowledge that anything “gay-tolerant” is offensive to him and make plain that he’s willing to use strong-arm tactics to inflict harm and controversy on a business that attempts to be gay-friendly. Thus, Shirvell is not just small-minded but dishonest in his approach. Such an individual simply doesn’t deserve to have the best pizza in town. NYPD should feel great about not having his patronage, or that of those who agree with him (I had a slice there today and enjoyed it thoroughly).

Marc Lavine



Bring on the summer babefest

To the Daily:

Jesse Singal’s allegation (The new news, 06/20/05) that television news is uninformative is a bit off the mark. One can glean all the information one pleases from such outlets as CNN and Fox News, provided one has learned to calibrate the day’s reporting.

One rule of thumb I find useful: The hotter the white girl, the more vile the Bush Administration activity going unreported. Take the “Runaway Bride” — good bone structure, obviously keeps in shape. Particularly for those partial to brunettes, hourly updates of her saga were more than enough to keep the viewers from having to hear about documents leaked from the highest levels of British government that appear to implicate the Bush administration in a conspiracy to deceive the American people and Congress into supporting an illegal invasion of Iraq.

But now that the Downing Street Memo has finally surfaced in U.S. media (a good month after its first publication in U.K. papers), we are reassured by Republican political analysts and “liberal” news editors that the now-demonstrable fraud for which over 1,700 of our soldiers have died is “old news.” Perhaps that is why they saved the blonde girl for June, when concern about the Guantanamo Bay facility and its accordance with international law is becoming bipartisan.

As long as we have to watch live news feeds coming from the Caribbean, cute damsels in distress are certainly more palatable than bearded men chained to the floor in fetal positions and covered in their own vomit, not to mention the company we keep by allowing such measures.

None of this should be reason to change the channel, however. Under court order, the government will be forced to make public previously unseen pictures and video footage from the Abu Ghraib prison. I am looking forward to a veritable summer babefest!

Matthew G. Walker



Freedom Tower design is a ‘funny little proposal’

To the Daily:

Surely, they must be joking.

The new “re-design” for the Freedom Tower is a funny little proposal, one that has little to do with being a memorial or a “beacon of freedom,” as they may call it. This must be a ruse — a sharp little jab into the ribs of architects, designers, urbanists and human beings all over the globe.

But I’ve got the sneaking suspicion that it’s not.

What Childs and Co. have proposed as the “new and improved” replacement for the World Trade Center is a total and utter catastrophe — a complete disgrace that they should be ashamed to even present with such bold reverence. They’ve stripped the innovation, elegance and respect that Libeskind’s design took to heart and inverted it, making an utter mockery of the site and those who lost their lives on that fateful day.

I would expect more for such a prominent and important site, but, unfortunately, they’ve delivered the ultimate let-down. The American public will never respect the creativity and the fervor that goes behind the design process if Childs and Co. subvert it and allow such garbage to be built in its place. They had the opportunity to do something spectacular but, instead, turned it into the unfortunately mundane.

It’s an embarrassing state of affairs; they should be absolutely mortified. The American people and the world deserve better.

Jason E. Roberts


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