This Week in the Voice

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Graham Rayman has been following the "Fight Club" cooked up by Rikers Island guards for a couple of years, and the Bronx D.A. has started dishing out charges. Inmates used and rewarded as enforcers, beatings arranged so as not to leave marks, victims intimidated into silence (and a few killed) -- the whole amazing story is here.

"Some of the choicest municipal-patronage plums used to be with the city's old Marine and Aviation agency," says Tom Robbins. But patronage and influence-peddling still have a place in the friendly skies over Manhattan, as helicopter operator FirstFlight's suspicious contract shows.

Who is Hipster Runoff, and what makes him/it a specially respected and feared scourge of bands, altbros, and critics like Rob Harvilla, who bearded the dragon in his lair via IM?

Michael Musto goes to Montreal, where "I was told, 'There's no French term for "family values." But there are plenty of French words for 'taking it off.'" Then he comes back to New York, where the lingua franca is music, theatre, and public relations. Dan Savage's dance card includes male orgasm denial, CBT, e-stim, RealTouch, and the legal disposition of S&M gear in a Last Will and Testament. And Ask a Mexican about drugs and immigration, prejudice, and the proper music for a quinceanera.

The band is called The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and they are a "Brooklyn indie-pop quartet." Don't leave! Stephen Slayburgh proves they're interesting. Don't be afraid of experimental jazz, either -- as Aidan Levy shows, the Search and Restore series makes it easy to get with.

MCs Sentence and Swell (aka The Metermaids), authors of "John Wayne Gacy, Jr. Is Never Far From John Wayne in a Clown Suit" et alia, are explicated by Matt Thomas.

J. Hoberman explains "Why Hard Times Won't Mean Good Times at the Movies Again" -- but they once did, and Hoberman prepares you for the Film Forum's demonstration. Via Scott Foundas, reviews of Jonas Mekas' Lithuania and the Collapse of the U.S.S.R. and the 3-D Coraline; Tim Grierson checks the Oscar-nominated short subjects, and Robert Wilonsky takes in the "Star Wars porn" of Fanboys.

Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto takes Robert Sietsema from cold cuts to charcuterie to cuisine. And while she often finds vegetarian joints "joyless," Sarah DiGregorio reports that Dirt Candy is "the only vegetarian restaurant I know that might demand a Lipitor prescription."

Michael Feingold views Mary-Louise Parker and Michael Stormare in the "easy to grasp but extremely hard to realize" Hedda Gabler, and Virginia Woolf's Freshwater; Alexis Soloski sizes up directors Ken Rus Schmoll (Telephone) and Anne Kauffman (Sixty Miles to Silver Lake), lesbian serial Room for Cream Season One: The Box Set!, and Cornbury: The Queen's Governor Goes Colonial Drag; Robert Shuster surveys Italian Conceptualist Piero Manzoni at the Gagosian, and Ben Davis finds in Erik van Lieshout's show at Maccarone "the raw feeling of listening in on someone's therapy" and "a total put-on"; Carol Cooper eats up a collection of essays on feminist sci-fi icon Joanna Russ.

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