Crapped Out
I was disappointed to see the fawning handjob you guys did on the gaming craze
[“All in With
the Bad Boy of Poker
,” December 9–15]. I work in a local casino, I have
witnessed the recent poker boom, and I feel you could’ve gone deeper into this
phenomenon than “Ace-King is hard to play.” Like a good Vegas ad supplement,
you only focused on the romance and the winning fantasies. The reality is most
gamblers are sociopaths. The reality is that Phil Hellmuth’s brand is a watered-down
version of the infantile deliria that most gambling addicts display on the table.
The reality is that most of these poker kids turning pro today will be broke
and hitting me up for money within a few years. I would’ve loved to see an article
about the professional sycophants whose entire life is hanging around the casino,
posturing, begging for handouts, shoeshining the winners.

D. Mah
North Hollywood

Editor replies:
Marc Cooper wrote a cover story last year about the dangers of gambling
[“Aces and Addicts:
Modern gambling in America and the rise of the machines,
” March 19–25, 2004].

Suicide Seduction

I am one of the 880-plus Suicide Girls you talk about [“An
Immodest Proposal
,” November 4–10]. It bums me out that you think we are
not capable of being intelligent women that can (and do) readily separate themselves
from the Web site. Granted, I would not tell my 12-year-old cousins what I am
doing, but it’s not because I am ashamed of it, it’s because the content is
for adults, not children.
Being on Suicide Girls is a small part of who I am, but it’s definitely not
something I regret doing. I did it because I needed extra money and I love the
concept of modern-day pinup girls. Since when are pinup girls role models? We
are hardly celebrities. Just because a few ex-models are bitter doesn’t mean
we’re all the same way. The staff has always been kind and professional to me,
and they never promised to make me rich or make me love myself more than I already
do, but I resent you implying that we aren’t strong women just because we chose
to be pinups.

Anabel Suicide
Brooklyn

Closing the Book
I agree with the issue you raise [“Union
of Scofflaws
,” December 9–15] and I am a strong believer in transparency
in our labor unions. It makes for stronger, democratic institutions and it helps
limit the amount of wrongdoing by some of our elected union leaders.
I do feel you left out a final option for Mr. Senger of the Engineers and Architects
Association. Expose the undemocratic and dictatorial actions of the current
leadership and elect someone who will be more responsive. He can also get support
from other like-minded members and run for leadership of his union himself.
Amazingly, it has been done before by members of other unions. I don’t approve
of inaction by our elected officials in enforcing city laws or regulations,
but I also don’t believe in a passive, take-it-or-leave-it mentality for decisions
made by rank-and-file members in their union.

Alberto Rivadeneyra
Los Angeles

Eviction Notices
Thank you for the coverage of AIMCO vs. Lincoln Place and the people of Los
Angeles [“Heartless
in Venice,
” December 9–15].
The mayor says he stands for affordable housing time and time again, yet he
said publicly, I am just the mayor, what can I do? Instead of standing firm
and leading the way to finding a solution and getting the parties together,
he would rather let out-of-state developers roll over this city and its people,
and let them take over and decide what L.A. of the future will look like.
Please don’t let this story die; there is quite a bit more here that is rotten
just under the slick surface our governmental officials present, and the issues
it touches upon have much bigger implications for our city and its people.

Mark Stepanek
Venice

As an 11-year resident of Lincoln Place, I wanted to both thank
you and applaud your coverage of how the city of L.A. makes protection of its
citizens its absolutely last priority.
The article captures this horrific event in the history of Los Angeles better
than any other article or TV coverage to date.
As this story continues to unfold, I know you will be there to report it.

Victor Davich
Venice


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