'I totally agree with Ms Betty Page for giving momus' 'Hippopotamomus' album 0 out of 10. Potentially offensive lyrics should be governed by the same censorship laws existing in Nazi Germany or contemporary US society. I eagerly anticipate the day when Mr Currie is artistically castrated, thus saving people like myself from that fate worse than death - freedom of choice.

A confused Japanese girl, St Albans'

'Dear Confused and fellow Confusees, I am no fascist bitch or ball-breaking Big Sister trying to clean up music, just a woman who doesn't happen to think misogyny or sex with minors is amusing. Read the bloody review, not just the rating.

Betty Page, NME'

'Ms Page, you're perfectly entitled to award Momus' 'Hippopotamomus' LP zero on the grounds that you simply don't like it; but because it's "a wholly gratuitous catalogue of titillation" ? This begs two questions: a) Is it? b) Even if it is, when did the NME start setting itself up as our moral guardian? "Is it pornography?" you ask. Well no more so than any previous Momus album, all of which the NME has been quite happy to praise to high heaven. Fact - I have never had a hard on while listening to a Momus record.

By equating Nick Currie's work with the level of a top shelf wank mag, by judging a record solely on how it conforms to your own particular moral code, you do both 'Hippopotamomus' and yourself a grave disservice. I knew there were some hypocrites at the NME. I didn't know there were some nascent fascists as well. Burn away, Ms Page, I won't be joining you at the bonfire.

Andy, Brighton'

'After weeks of being considerably irritated by your relentless endorsement of talentless wankers like The Wonder Stuff, Inspiral Carpets and above all Carter USM, you have now provoked me enough to write. Not content with force-feeding this meaningless crap on sheeplike undergraduates who hang on your every word, you now decide to slag off Momus, the greatest talent for years, whose only crime seems to be he is too perceptive for your thick bimbo reviewer to understand. Since when has writing songs about sex been a crime, for f-k's sake? Sack Betty Page now.

Colin, Walthamstow'

'How can Ms Page award a rating of nought to a record she has praised in some areas: "The best track here is 'Ventriloquists and Dolls'... like the Pet Shop Boys at their grandest" ? Save your zero ratings for utter worthlessness, Betty. Nicholas Currie really is a superb songwriter. If you disagree with his personal views, fine, but keep irrelevant rantings out of a supposedly informative review.

Rob J, Bristol'

'Betty Page is currently on leave setting up her 'Marquee de Sade' early retirement home for rock'n'roll Serge Gainsbourg wannabees. However, speaking through a blow-up Mary Whitehouse ventriloquist's doll before she left, Betty confessed that although she had tried to achieve a meaninglessly equivocal style, she had regrettably formed an 'opinion' at around the point when Currie starts singing about shagging babysitters in front of small children. It's always good to see defenders of free speech, like Andy, rushing round telling everyone else to shut up. And no doubt Currie, as a connoisseur of perversity, will get a good deal of perverse pleasure out of his zero mark.

Roger Morton, NME'


Index