By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
Having been privileged to travel extensively abroad, I can assure the good reverend that tyranny, oppression and mindless hatred are by no means the sole property of America. As another panelist, Marla Stone, said so succinctly, "It's about a political regime in Belgrade that uses hypernationalism, xenophobia and war to hold power." At least one person in the discussion "gets it." While U.S. history is certainly replete with moral failures, to blame the series of catastrophes in the Balkans on maintaining "white privilege" is laughably illogical. Yes, the loss of civilian life is tragic. War is a terrible thing. I would, however, remind some members of your panel that if there had not been pain and suffering of women and children some 135 years ago, some of us would still be chopping cotton in Georgia.
Is the word "conundrum" an adequate headline for a cover photograph [May 713] of such heartbreaking, intimate suffering? In Enric Marti's AP/Wide World picture, a father with a broken nose is apparently about to break out in tears, while the face of that little girl, his daughter, is so contorted with pain, it's hard to look at her without crying myself. I do not know their names, or the direct cause of their tears. I want to know. I feel for this father and this girl every time I look at the cover. I feel pain -- and some guilt at having their tears laid bare to barely interested, Frappuccino-sipping passersby.
I'm not certain you do the right thing by presenting a very intimate picture of private pain for the sake of announcing a political roundtable. Ask the unnamed girl in your photo what she thinks of the "Collective Conundrum of American Progressives" about her homeland. Or else show the same respect for her personal torment that you show for your political discussion -- by referencing her plight.
An interesting roundtable on the ethical gymnastics performed by "progressives" about U.S. intervention in Kosovo. Too many contentions with which to take issue, but one stands out -- the Rev. James Lawson's (unchallenged) statement that "the number-one federal budget item is military spending." This is simply not the case: The Office of Management and Budget reports that fully half of 1999 federal outlays are transfer payments (Social Security, Medicare and such). National defense accounts are the smallest amount in relation to the GDP since World War II.
BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE
As the KXLU DJ who is right before Steve Castaldi and Chris Checkman, and as KXLU music director, I feel that it's necessary to respond to Adam Bregman's article about their show ["Big Boss Man," May 713], which made generalizations about KXLU and Chris that are simply untrue. First of all, there is no "typical KXLU DJ." With more than 25 DJs, it's hard to imagine that we all have the same tastes and talk the same. Second, it is obvious that the factor of obscurity is being lost in college radio. The bands that are now today's flavor of the month were once "nondescript." Chris says that "alternative" is sold to the May Co., yet, by playing bands that are heard on other L.A. stations, he does nothing to fix this problem. Those of us who are looked at as "indie snobs" are just trying to break the mold and keep things fresh. Last, by talking about how he stuck his neck out during our annual fund-raiser, Chris also puts his foot in his mouth, because not once have I seen either Chris or Steve answer phones, take pledges or help anyone during the fund-raiser.
I am disappointed that our station's troubles have to be discussed in public before they are discussed here, because it divides a force that should work together. That kind of positive thinking is not part of Chris' show, since cynicism and negativity are all that it revolves around. How "alternative."
--Elvin "DJ Nobody" Estela
A quick bit of clarification regarding Adam Bregman's piece on me and our shows on KXLU 88.9 FM (Blues Hotel, The Morris Beef Show). First, Ian MacKinnon's contribution to Blues Hotel cannot be overstated. Michael Simmons put it best in the 1997 "Best of L.A." issue when he referred to Ian being our "Zen-like sage." While Morris and I myself, I guess, have a great deal to do with our continued success, it is fair to say that without Ian the show would not even exist today.
Second, while the accounts of my having picked up the occasional listener/groupie off the request lines are true, it should be noted that those days ended years ago, when all the good drugs ran out. The last listener I hooked up with tore my insides out to the point where I am even today continuing to pick bits of entrails off the walls and sidewalks. Proof enough that, if there is a god, he/she/whatever practices vengeance on a grand scale.
Anyway, many thanks again to Adam for the article, and to the Weekly for its continued support of Blues Hotel, The Morris Beef Show and our radio station.