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
Re: your recent spate of articles and reviews around the Dalai Lama's visit to L.A. When will the World-of-Trends finally have done with him? God, if I see that guy's mug on another giant billboard or his name mentioned by one more rock or movie star, I'm converting to Catholicism! Sure, I saw the Martin Scorsese movie about him. What took away from this infomercial on his behalf was that he was raised in the lap of luxury and privilege, surrounded by caretakers and courtiers, and when the Chinese invaded Tibet, he heeded the advice of his numerous counselors (after initially objecting, in his wan manner) and fled in total comfort and safety, abandoning his less fortunate people to their fate at the hands of the Chinese. At least the pope had to aspire to and earn in some way his position as leader of the Catholic Church; it wasn't just handed to him on a serving tray. Furthermore, the pope does not seem to be exempt from criticism, even within the Catholic Church. It would strike a healthy balance, for example, to see some pop star tear up a picture of the Dalai Lama on Saturday Night Live!
CALLING DOCTOR GOODALL
Is Johnny Angel some kind of relation to Leonard Stern? I can think of no other explanation why the Weekly would run his lunatic ramblings week after week. I've even seen Mr. Angel's byline in New Times. What's up? His style is phony and his attitude is grating. Please dump the hooting baboon before his case of drooling idiocy spreads to others.
Don't you think that Lalo Lopez's whole demonizing thing has gone a bit too far when it draws comparisons between Republicans and Nazis [L.A. Cucaracha, October 1521]? He effectively labels ex-Governor Wilson a Nazi for favoring the concept of borders and not supporting illegal immigrants with services when they didn't pay taxes. But the particular issue is beside the point. The demonizing propaganda is the point. It is false. It is hypocritical. If anything is reminiscent of Nazi propaganda, it's to demonize an entire political party because its members have different views from yourself. That's intolerant and hateful. When you point a finger and make accusations and demonize people, don't forget you have four more fingers pointing back at yourself.
For the love of cinema, tell your film critics to stop giving away major plot points in their reviews (e.g., Ella Taylor on Bringing Out the Dead and Boys Don't Cryin the October 2228 issue). Even Roger Ebert has the decency to acknowledge at the start of his reviews if the movie's ending will be ruined for the reader.
YOU'D HAVE PREFERRED "WACKO"?
Re: "Branded Man: The Life and Times of Merle Haggard" [cover story, October 1521]. Don't think Gene Scott appreciates being referred to as a televangelist. If there is a God, Scott is the closest thing we have to God's spokesman for this age . . . and is in a class so far apart from the category in which Jonny Whiteside places him that he has sued Time magazine for just such an oversight.
I demand a retraction for the flippant remark made by Adam Bregman in your "Best of L.A." edition [October 17]. Your "free-thinking" writer described my company as selling "some homeless guy's suit at department-store prices." Ignoring the pejorative remarks this ignoramus made about the homeless, but addressing what he said about American Rag, Bregman most obviously has not been into the many better stores throughout the world that sell vintage clothing. He obviously has no taste nor aesthetics, nor awareness of modern fashion trends; no basic understanding of fabric, fabric content, garment construction, etc.; nor is this person aware that there is a world market price (Japan, Europe and the U.S. compete for these goods) for certain vintage fashion, which determines the selling price; nor can he read, for if he could, he would see that many of our pricey vintage items come from Europe, and the selling price includes duty paid to U.S. Customs, and, indeed, American Rag is 20 percent to 30 percent cheaper than the New York stores selling the same merchandise.
Furthermore, in July 1999, Elle magazine U.K. listed American Rag as one of the top shopping destinations in the world. Equally, we have been fortunate to have had hundreds of pages of editorial featuring our products, and our very existence in the highly competitive L.A. market for the last 15 years is testimony to our "fairness" and competitively priced marketing strategy. Intelligent shoppers realize that original designer shoes, imported from Italy, cost more than imitations from a low-wage developing country, and a silk-lined 1950s Chanel vintage jacket in mint condition costs more than just any used jacket in a thrift store. American Rag is not in the low-end thrift-store business, nor the cheaper-priced used-clothing business.
Lastly, American Rag does not sell any "old men's shoes" whatsoever. I believe that the L.A. Weekly is accountable and responsible for the accuracy of what it prints. Most kindly retract this ill-thought-out, flippant remark made about my company.
Owner, American Rag Compagnie