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ONE FOR THE AGES

The “punk” culture which your magazine promotes has not only damaged American society, it has tarnished America’s reputation. I believe it was partly in response to such celebration of ugliness that the attacks of September 11 were conducted. Therefore, you and your colleagues at the L.A. Weekly are war criminals as great as Saddam Hussein.

Look at the filth my daughter was tested on in school (attached). She was tested on a lecture the professor gave entitled “The Aesthetic Uses of the Sordid.” The professor wears rings pierced through her eyebrows and dyes her hair purple and black. This stuff is as bad as anything John Waters did.

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Congratulations, you’ve helped filth go mainstream. In total disgust,

—Nathalie Smith
Los Angeles

 

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Mrs. T________
English 350
February 7, 2002

Question No. 5
Review the following three passages.

He [Leopold Bloom] looked into a mirror. He saw a small blemish on his lower right chin. He placed it between his forefingers and squeezed. A long, thin stream of fetid sebum came rushing out into the crisp, oxidizing air.

Ulysses, by James Joyce

Foul and fulsome fell farts from Fafnir.
Loud and long they lay among the lowly.
Obstreperous and obnoxious, obscene yet obvious,
They nosed, noisome and noisy, among the Nibelungs.

The Nibelungenlied

 

Four kinds of sebum can be differentiated by gross, palpable characteristics. They are:
1. White, greasy, opaque and mephitic.
2. Yellow, waxy, opaque,
anaerobic.
3. Gray, waxy, translucent,
putrescent.
4. Bright white with a bluish tinge, soft, opaque, aerobic,
suppurating.

Clinical Dermatology, by A.R. Small

 

Describe how the aesthetically repugnant material in each passage has been used to affect the reader.
[handwritten and accompanied by check mark indicating student has answered correctly]

The first passage is dispassionate, descriptive & objective.
The second is intended to disgust the reader.
The third is intended to educate the reader.

 

PROHIBITION PROPAGANDA

Re: Judith Lewis’ “Why Do You Think They Call It Propaganda” [February 8–14]. The two Super Bowl ads run by the president’s Office of National Drug Control Policy were an insult to logic, a lie and a gross waste of money. The fact is that the only connection between drugs and terrorism is prohibition, for which the government is responsible.

The time has come to hold politicians responsible as accessories to terrorism. Ask your congressman or senator this question: “Do you support drug prohibition because it finances criminals at home, or because it finances terrorists abroad?”

—Chuck Beyer
Victoria, B.C.

 

I think there’s more to the story than Judith Lewis relates. It comes as no surprise that the Office of National Drug Control Policy would attempt to make a connection between their failed war on drugs and the newest game in town, the war on terrorism. In reality, far more funding for terrorism flows from legal oil interests than from anything related to illegal drugs or the black markets surrounding them. Most of the al Qaeda members in captivity are from Saudi Arabia, not a country with a history of drug trafficking in any respect, and bin Laden’s money came from oil.

The story here was not the ONDCP commercials and the millions of taxpayer dollars wasted during the Super Bowl, but how a government bureaucrat named John Walters funneled over $3 million directly to one of the far right’s most ardent supporters, K. Rupert Murdoch, who, by all reports, was having trouble selling advertising time on Fox TV during the Super Bowl. Walters to the rescue with his bizarre, nonsensical drug ads. Another political payoff financed by the American taxpayer, pure and simple.

—Mike Plylar
Kremmling, Colorado

BALANCE OR BUST

Re: Ben Ehrenreich’s “Busting Unions” [February 8–14]. I’m concerned about the implications of this article for the environmental groups (PIRG, Sierra Club, Greenpeace) who rely on the Fund for Public Interest Research to do citizen outreach. I wonder, though, what the fund’s side of the story is, as no one from there is quoted in the article. I prefer more balanced reporting — even if I am sympathetic to the plight of the workers.

—Roger Smith
Madison, Wisconsin â

WITH FRIENDS LIKE JACK . . .

Re: “At Canter’s: Mary and Me” [A Considerable Town, February 8–14]. Yellow. That’s the color that comes to mind when I read Jack Spiegelman’s article reviewing his lunchtime banter with a (former, I’m sure) friend. Yellow also seems an apt descriptor for the L.A. Weekly for printing it. Is this the future of “reality” journalism? Must we sink to Jerry Springer-izing — or should I say Spiegelman-izing — everything to make it entertaining?

Please don’t buy me lunch, Jack. The price is too dear.

—Terri Breed
Los Angeles

 

MORE IS MORE

Thanks to Paul Cullum for the article suggesting a deluxe DVD release of Apocalypse Now Redux [“Redux Deluxe,” February 8–14]. Everything he mentioned should be included, in addition to a director’s commentary from Francis Coppola. (His commentary for the Godfather DVDs has me convinced that awards should be given out for such extras; perhaps a statuette of Michelangelo’s “DaViD”). Throw in Eleanor Coppola’s documentary, Hearts of Darkness, to round out a three-disc package. I’d gladly pay 75 bucks for all that.

—Mark Marcus
Canoga Park

 

RICH MEETS PO’

Thank you for featuring two of my favorite food writers, Jonathan Gold and Michelle Huneven, in your “Winter Restaurants 2002” supplement [February 8–14]. Their witty responses will be my guide to future restaurant selections.

—Susan Carrier
Altadena

 

The restaurant guide with Jonathan Gold and Michelle Huneven confirmed why I am so disturbed by that woman, and have been since she started at the Weekly. Where Mr. Gold will scour L.A.’s diverse communities for a good meal, Huneven wouldn’t know her way off Santa Monica Boulevard (not east of La Brea, of course) if you gave her a compass, a map and directions. What’s she afraid of? Maybe you all have told her not to go off the “beaten path,” as Gold does. Whatever the case, when I lived in the Crenshaw area, I found your paper alienating to say the least. Hey, absent Erin Aubry Kaplan, leaving the Westside is not something you folks like to do.

—N. Lindsey
Philadelphia

 

Your otherwise excellent “Winter Restaurants 2002” guide was severely blemished by Michelle Huneven’s unfortunate cop-out on the significant subject of po’ boy sandwiches. The Gumbo Pot? Ye gods, Michelle, isn’t that kind of like saying Domino’s is a pretty good place for pizza? If the amazing po’ boys at Uncle Darrow’s and Stevie’s on the Strip were too obscure for you, you might at least have given a shout-out to the reliably excellent sandwiches at Harold & Bell’s.

—Dan Epstein
Los Angeles

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