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Letters 

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Martyrs and Morons

Regarding Stephen Lemons’ article “The Devils’ Advocates” [September 5–11]: Has it ever occurred to any of you stupid morons — and I am referring to the author of this totally one-sided article, and all the so-called “artists” supporting this cause — that these three blameless, long-suffering martyrs might actually be guilty of this horrendous crime? I saw both HBO documentaries, and came away with the sneaking suspicion that not only were the filmmakers doing their darnedest to implicate good old-fashioned, down-home folk (read: stupid oafs), but that they had decided — as has Lemons — from the get-go that it is much more commercially feasible (and interesting!) to paint the probable perpetrators of this atrocity as a species of gentle, misunderstood Wiccans, or whatever the fuck. Misskelley’s confession — as anybody with half a brain who has seen these films would note — was thoroughly damning. The fact that a person is mentally handicapped does not necessarily prevent him from telling the truth. As a matter of fact, it probably helps somewhat — as the clever and conniving Echols might agree.

Let me share a little story with your gullible readers: A friend of mine was incarcerated for cocaine possession for two years in the hell-slot next to lovable Tex Watson — surely a standup guy! Good old Tex converted to Christianity and is always spouting the word of the Lord. (Surely had he been convicted of performing unlawful C-sections in the current milieu he would have chosen Buddhism — much more hip, eh?) My friend told me Tex came across as a perfect gentleman — the only thing is that his breath smelled like shit. I’ll leave it to your enlightened audience to ponder the implications of such a dilemma.

—Steve Lindeman Toluca Lake

The Happiest Time Warp on Earth

Considering how well-written the L.A. Weekly usually is, I was very surprised to see how ancient the details were in the “Keepers of the Magic Kingdom” story [September 5–11]. Couldn’t the paper have asked the writer to spend 20 to 22 minutes (the average length of a Disney show) to update the details?

Why talk about looking at the construction site of a ride that has been open for several months (Winnie-the-Pooh)? You missed some great opportunities to talk about the low quality of Winnie-the-Pooh versus [the rides in] Florida and Japan (any obsessive would tell you about it). Why didn’t the reporter visit the construction site of Tower of Terror (opening 2004), the revamp of Space Mountain (not open until 2005) and the Aladdin show (nicely done) that replaced Blast (great show)?

I understand that you hold stories until there is space. Next time, update them a little before they hit the street.

—Ryan Balas West Los Angeles

 

With respect to the story about the folks who visit Disneyland several times a week: It sounds like most of them have Asperger’s syndrome, a form of high-functioning autism, characterized by one or more obsessive interests. Many fit the “absent-minded professor” stereotype. If the public had a greater awareness of Asperger’s syndrome, it would be easier to understand people who visit Disneyland daily to ride Indiana Jones, as well as Trekkies and folks with other obsessions.

—Beth Tiggelaar Grapevine, Texas

Oh Say, You Can’t See

Yeah! Love the way I now need a MAGNIFYING GLASS to read Rockie Horoscope! Why not print the whole paper in a microscopic and very delicate font so I can just INTUIT what might be on the page? The column has the same amount of space, so why the delicate, unreadable font? And trying to copy and paste the column from your site is very labor-intensive, since it downloads in colors that need to be worked over and over to get a plain black-and-white version.

Always a great idea to take a good thing and make it worse! May your eyeglass prescription increase tenfold!

—Lorrie Marlow West Hollywood

Ethnic Mix-up

Regarding Jonny Whiteside’s piece on Johnny Legend [“The Ghastly World of Johnny Legend,” August 29– September 4]: Ronnie Weiser is Italian, not German.

—Jon Johnson Boston, Massachusetts

Great Leap Backward

In reference to Alex Markels’ article about the Earth Liberation Front [“The Monkey Wrench Guerrillas,” August 29–September 4], I was a little disturbed by the lighthearted reference to Mao’s Little Red Book in an organization that takes no responsibility for the actions of its members.

Did the author realize that Mao may have been an anarchist as a writer, but he was an authoritarian in government? His anarchic tactics led to a totalitarian state where his word was gospel, neighbors informed on one another, society was veiled in suspicion, and the news was strictly censored — in order to make future rebellions impossible.

To flush out possible enemies, Mao would periodically relax censorship (e.g., the Hundred Flowers and Democracy Wall) and then impose it again. This would allow Mao to silence dissent before his catastrophic campaigns (e.g., the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution). Scapegoats would be created later to ensure that Mao escaped blame.

Perhaps someone in the press should point this out to our neo-anarchists — if they don’t know about it, that is.

—Joe Donohue Groton, Connecticut

Coffee Breakdown

Regarding Christopher Jolly’s article in A Considerable Town about seeing Al Gore in a Starbucks [“Coffee Achievers,” August 29–September 4]: Oh, Christopher! What a moment of weakness. Well, here’s mine. I would have got down on my hands and knees, and begged Al Gore to save us from this madness! Not that he necessarily could. But being a girl (and that’s not saying anything either way), it just woulda happened. It just woulda made better copy. I wish I was there. Oh yeah, I would’ve flipped the bird to Marlon Brando in his H2 on the way over as well . . .

—Molly McCarron Los Angeles

Sleuthless

Is Sam Feirstein suffering from visions of omniscience [“Six Degrees of Sofia,” September 5–11]? Okay, so he runs into a number of high-octane Hollywood types at Virgin Records and is appalled that they don’t greet one another . . . in his presence. For all we know, they may have already made their hellos and howdy-dos long before our sleuth arrived on the job. They may even have shared a ride or a mocha frappuccino before Columbo happened upon them. Let’s get it straight, man — all we want to know is what DVDs they were checking out, and that, boys and girls, was the only bit of information that we didn’t get. Better to have played the obvious goof and got the story than to have acted cool and come up empty.

—J.C. Jaress Altadena

Kick Starter

Thank you so very much for your courage to publish an article [“Turn On, Meet God, Get Straight,” August 22–28] about a Schedule 1 (no medical value) plant called iboga that is the only non-opioid that can take away opioid physical addiction.

I personally stopped cold turkey (with iboga) using a dose of 263 ml a day of methadone (the clinic starts 20-year heroin junkies off at 30 ml). This is a miracle cure, and it is simply being suppressed in the media. It should be on the front page of every paper, but it’s not.

The NIH and FDA cannot suppress this miracle cure for much longer. The word has been getting out for 30 years now, and other countries have been using it successfully for years.

—Jason Bursey Arlington, Texas

Redoubts of Uptight Political Correctness

Michael Simmons may be too old and myopic to notice, but universities have come a long way since 1978, when Animal House was first released [A Considerable Town, “Old School,” August 29–September 4]. They’re no longer uptight conservative institutions, but left-wing redoubts of political correctness.

Dean Wormer has been replaced by former Clinton economic adviser Lawrence Summers, the new president of Harvard. “Double-secret probation” has been supplanted by “the tunnel of oppression,” a mandatory exercise on many campuses intended to “sensitize” students to the problems of minorities. Tunnel-goers are cast as Jews in a Nazi gas chamber, for instance, or else chained to a wall in order to simulate the experience of slavery.

The contemporary champions of free speech are no longer the campus liberals, who instead support “speech codes” that bar any dissent from the leftist orthodoxy. That’s right, the oppressors on campus are no longer uptight conservatives, but the even more uptight, self-righteous liberals. And the true campus radicals aren’t the leftists, who dominate every aspect of academia, but conservatives.

Simmons appears to have forgotten that infamous scene where Bluto smashes the guitar of the one hippie at the party. I sure haven’t. All conservatives who’ve entered college since the release of Animal House love that film. Anyone who tried acting like Bluto for one day on a modern campus would be instantly banished as a misogynistic, violence-prone, alcoholic hate-crime perpetrator in dire need of counseling.

—Alistair Latour Los Angeles

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