Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Village Voice's annual queer issue: Is that all there is?

Time was when I used to look forward to The Village Voice's annual Queer issue with anticipation. Either I'm becoming jaded or things just don't register in the same way as before?

Now, it's no secret that the Voice has been going through some editorial pains since it was acquired by The New Times. But that doesn't necessarily explain the skimpy coverage of LGBT issues in this year's 'Queer' issue. An article on marriage rights for same-sex couples? Check! An article on a polysexual gender-bending crew who organize swanky get togethers in Brooklyn? How East Villegey! A look at the drama of competing gay games this summer in Chicago and Canada? Haven't we read about it elsewhere?

The only possibly interesting piece is an essay by Edmund White on new gay fiction. And that is it folks! Just an additional bar crawl guide for gals and a separate one for guys!

Now, wrap it up in 16 pages full of ads and push it away from the front of the Voice as in year's past to make it a pull-out section. And there you have it!

As for that cover? It's as radical as it gets but hey forgot to tie it up to an actual article. I thought I'd never say this but bring back Richard Goldstein! Ugh!

7 comments:

Bernie said...

Your entry reads like a perfect letter to the editor.

Lito Sandoval said...

Pretty UNexceptional. And very typical of the New Times. =o(

Anonymous said...

Village Voice has sucked eggs for a while. The New Times is only going to make it worse. They just lost their new editor days before he was going to start, after he accepted the job and met the staff.

Richard Goldstein wasn't great but at least his annual gay issue was probably the best gay press of any given year. I realize that's not saying much, considering the main competition has come from Out and the Advocate. Yikes! Someone help the gays!!!

Chris Krakora said...

Yeah from a glance it looks like this year's edition a bit of a letdown. But still it seems that you city guys can be so jaded--the coverage may look passe and/or done to death in the big city, but out here in my backwater small town it looks pretty radical. Just because you're over it doesn't mean that everyone else is.

The Queer Issue is one of the two times of the year that I'll buy a copy of the Village Voice; the other is when their Pazz & Jop poll comes out.

Anonymous said...

I think Chris catches a really important function of the Village Voice -- the ability it has to reach people in other parts of the country with news and information they might not get otherwise. There was a time when the VV was the leading alternative newspaper in the country. That was certainly the role it played when I was growing up away from NYC. I think that makes this issue and the current Voice in general even more of a let down. While that kind of information is easier to get in these days of the internet, etc., the Voice seems intent on speeding towards irrelevance.

cbb said...

What is wrong with Richard Goldstein? I thought it was super-dumb of the Voice to fire him. He's one of the most thoughtful queer advocates around.

I'm most curious to hear what your problem with him is.

Andrés Duque said...

CBB - Looong story which basically narrows down to this: I don't necessarily have a problem with Goldstein but do have a specific criticism based on personal experiece.

In 2001 Goldstein wrote a piece on organizing in the Latino LGBT community in which he called it a recent development. This is how he presented it to me when he interviewed me for the piece and I took efforts to tell him about Latino LGBT organizations born in the city going back to the 70's. His response? "Why haven't I heard about it, then?"

I told him that perhaps it was time for him to go beyond the circle of friends and contacts on which he relied for information on these communities and that he do some research on people of color LGBT organizing in the city. He still went ahead and continued to insist that it was a new phenomenon in the final piece.

It's not necessarily an individual pet peeve, the Voice received letters to the editor pointing these facts out as well after the article ran.