Marina Birkelbach asks:
How many readers are interested in the different areas, schools, etc, of New York? Maybe Tom Dyckhoff would like to move there?
With regards to Marina’s first question, it’s hard to be sure! But a surprising number of UK residents do move to New York – so many that NYC estimates its UK-born population at 30,236. Compare this to other destinations covered by “Let’s Move To” in recent months: Ilkley, West Yorkshire, say, with fewer than 14,000 residents; or Clun, with 624.
In fact, if you rank the latest ten “Let’s Move To” destinations by number of British residents, New York is beaten only by Poole and Ealing! That doesn’t quite tell us how often British residents (and newspaper-readers) move there, but it does suggest that a fair few will be interested in the character and amenities of its different areas.
With regard to Marina’s second question, perhaps he would. New York is considered by many to be an excellent place to live, and Dyckhoff certainly seems to appreciate the amusing names of its neighbourhoods.
Why get worked up about straight men playing gay men in films? The reverse has been happening for donkey’s years.
The letter Alex refers to here is itself a response to an Antony Hegarty interview. In this interview, Hegarty says that he is “sick of how the movie industry has interesting gay or transgendered people played by heterosexuals”, and how it “feels like another kind of minstrel show” to him.
The idea that it’s probematic for straight men to play gay male parts is based, in many cases, on this feeling: that straight actors often don the stereotypical trappings of gayness for a performance which tends towards caricature.
Critics of such casting sometimes feel, additionally, that casting straight actors in gay roles will limit the number of interesting roles available to gay actors.
Pam Lunn asks:
It’s not just any “man she has only just met”. Rather, it’s a man with whom she’s just been on a date, which makes a big difference! In heterosexual dating situations, there is frequently an assumption that the man will pay for the first date – and in some circles this extends to a cab-ride home. It’s an unorthodox position, perhaps especially among Guardian readers, but it’s not unique.
Jimbo Coyle asks:
Who is Chris Bourke speaking for with his, “We thought we were buying the Guardian, not Heat”? Not me. I thoroughly enjoyed the Cheryl Cole and Take That articles both.
In past letters to the Weekend, the word “we” has most often referred to UK society at large, or even human inhabitants of the world. A little less often, it has referred to Guardian readers; very occasionally, to other specific groups (such as nudists, dentists, or children of the 1990s).
In this case, Bourke’s letter explicitly limits “we” to people who bought the Guardian and did so knowingly; it therefore excludes all non-readers, along with anyone who found their copy of the paper on the bus, say, or mistook it for the Telegraph at the newsagent.