FRANKIE COME LATELY
Re: Marc Coopers White Mans Burden [Dissonance, June 1420]. A little history lesson is in order for Mr. Cooper and his readers. For more than 30 years, David Dotson was part of a regime in the LAPD that routinely violated peoples civil rights, committed violent acts of brutality and spied on people simply because their views were different. He was part of the system that did this; he said and did nothing for 30 years. When it was convenient for his future (he aspired to take over the helm of LAPD after Daryl Gates), he suddenly turned Frank Serpico and spoke out against these abuses. Had he done so as a young sergeant, that would have been admirable, but instead he went along with the good old boys for years. Then, when it was politically advantageous for him, he spoke out. Mark Cooper calls that cojones? Integrity? What has the man been smoking? David Dotson comes from the same bolt of cloth that Gates, Vernon and the rest of the Parker Center clones came from. I have more integrity in my left pinky than he ever will. All of us are stakeholders in who is selected for that job, so lets not waste valuable time discussing obviously ridiculous candidates. We need David Dotson for chief of police like we need Daryl Gates back.
Marc Coopers message was clear. I liked what I heard about Dotson. Helping to create a groundswell is admirable, particularly since he does sound like the best man for the job. Too damn bad its against his own wishes. Could drafting him entice him, one wonders?
Ms. Dale McElroy
IDENTITY CRISES OF THE SMALL AND SHAPELESS
Although I groove with both high Modernism and Tin Pan Alley, the synthesis that Harold Meyerson refers to in City Without a Story [May 31June 6] hasnt defined New York for more than half a century. In fact, the New York I remember from my stay there as far back as 1960 was more Robert Franks Pull My Daisy than Edmund Wilsons I Thought of Daisy. You guys and gals miss the point when you claim (1) that L.A. has no history, and (2) that a cliché mythos will cure a citys ills. Every spot on this planet is going through an identity crisis, and has since the amoeba.
I was born in L.A. My parents moved to L.A. in the early part of the last century, and if L.A. doesnt have a history, then neither do I. I disagree that spatial separation necessarily creates dysfunction. I disagree that we should live like ants (as Mike Davis suggests) to free up the space around us. We live on a rotating sphere; therefore Any point is the center. The whole is everything. This said, breaking up the city is not the solution. The shallow motives of the Valley secessionists suck.
Re: The Big Rewrite [June 713]. Stephen Wolframs gambit is interesting, but not far from the work of Richard Feynman that became Feynmans legacy to physics: the investigation of quantum mechanics through diagrammatic analysis. The difference between the two thinkers is that Feynman remained in the complexity of science, never trying to reduce it to a systematic approach, whereas Wolfram mistakes the tool he invents for the world he is trying to describe.
I am afraid that Wolfram is far from the radical he imagines himself to be. He remains on the beaten path. He should take a trip into real complexity look what it did for his mentor!
FOR SOCCER RIOTS
I enjoyed Brendan Bernhards Games Without Frontiers [June 713]. I am not a big soccer fan, but like Bernhard, I am surprised when those around me know nothing and care less about the contest. I compare this to my 1998 World Cup experience. I was a student in Mexico City the day the national team upset Germany. Like everyone else at the Jesuit University, I cut class to watch the match. (Picture chanting nuns and dancing law students.) Afterward, my friends and I waited for hours at a bus stop while downtown fans jubilantly tipped vehicles. I â can only imagine the bedlam in London this week when Argentina fell.
The World Cup is supposed to give us a temporary break from our usual reality. The workday stops, and wars are limited to a 45-minute time span. Strangers get together and celebrate. And Brendan, somewhere on your block there is a party going on some Latinos are festejando the English win or, I should say, Argentinas loss to England. In the spirit of the World Cup, you should knock on a door and join them.
Just a brief correction on your publications lively, enthusiastic piece about the World Cup. South Africa fired their Portuguese coach Carlos Queroz after a dismal performance in the African Cup of Nations early this year, where South Africa scored two goals in four games and were eliminated on penalties by hosts Mali. South Africa is currently coached by the enigmatic Jomo Sono, a South African soccer legend and former club manager cut from the same cloth as megalomaniac Zulu chieftain Mangusuthu Buthelezi.
Thanks for the article.
Glad to see the L.A. Weekly support a small indie film on its cover (Three Faces of Ivan, June 713] rather than the latest Hollywood blockbuster. But the subhead, The movie thats making the industry crazy, is absurd. Sorry to be cynical, but ivans xtc. opened in exactly one theater and was greeted by a largely mixed reaction from critics (including, ironically, Ella Taylors accompanying review). Hard as it is for me to admit, the biz was driven infinitely more crazy by that weekends Spider-Man grosses and J.Los apparent divorce than by this little-seen film.
Re: Ella Taylors review of the film ivans xtc. Please know that Jay Moloney did not commit suicide in a hotel room after being fired for cocaine addiction. In fact, Jay lost his job several months prior yes, due to substance abuse problems, but substance abuse that was overshadowing his intense bipolar disorder. He hanged himself in the shower at home; he was getting ready for a business meeting, one of many he optimistically had scheduled. Jay was severely manic-depressive, and it was the diseases in-the-depths-of-hell low swing that ultimately tore his life away from those of us who adored him. A really fucked morning that ripped out a lot of hearts, his own and his friends.
A JOB WELL DUNNE
Re: Steven Mikulans Murder at the Vanities [May 31June 6]. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have been waiting so long for someone to put that simpering, affected, celebrity-sucking twit in his place. Righteously done!