God help me for falling into the trap of writing to the Reader about Liz Armstrong, but this week’s column on M.I.A. [Chicago Antisocial, May 27] got me thinking. I can sympathize with the contortions Liz must go through before she can express genuine enthusiasm for something (heard the music at the cool parties but was turned off by the hype, then enjoyed the music live and regretted being “too cool” earlier, became aware of earlier encounter with artist that cheapens the entire experience), but I think the “when I was a stripper in college” anecdote might offer a clue to the real problem. If you were comfortable taking your clothes off for strangers, Liz, why couldn’t you show some skin for your hero Justine? How can this failure of yours lessen your respect for M.I.A.? “I still cringe at the memory of what she did to me”? Come on. You used to be a stripper! You get drunk and naked every other column! If you were cool, Liz, you would have shown your tits to Justine Frischmann. People who are really “cool” don’t tie themselves into knots trying to do the right thing, they don’t care what other people think. And writing a column that reflexively tries to defeat this criticism and somehow be cooler by pointing out how uncool your overthought coolness attainment strategies are works no better than my “God help me for writing this letter” strategy prevents me from giving you the attention you so desperately crave.

Jacob Kart

Ukrainian Village