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Dean and Dissonance

Marc Cooper may have “known” Gene McCarthy, but he does not know “maverick” politician Howard B. Dean [Dissonance, September 12–18].

Governor Dean is no “maverick” (Merriam-Webster: “An independent individual who does not go along with a group or party”). Dean is a Democrat who believes in balanced budgets, health insurance for everyone under 25, protecting the environment and human rights, and fighting terrorism in places such as Saudi Arabia, not Iraq.

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Governor Dean knows that keeping Gray Davis in office is the best chance Californians have to salvage an unfortunate situation that was beyond his devising. It may be that Marc Cooper would prefer to have Arnold Schwarzenegger win so he will have better material to work with in his column. Those of us living in the real world join Governor Dean in the trenches where real change happens. And, rather than retiring to a life as a gadfly poet like Senator McCarthy when it is all said and done, Dr. Dean will be writing his presidential memoirs. Count on it!

Ed Young
Granada Hills

 

To all progressives who keep insisting that Howard Dean isn’t progressive enough: Dennis Kucinich is not going to be elected president. Probably not ever, definitely not in 2004. The “mainstream” Democratic candidates, while sure to capture more votes than Kucinich, are nonetheless unlikely to defeat Bush. Dean has a real chance of winning precisely because he is getting more left-leaning people interested in voting again. There is no one else out there who is doing this.

Are you truly interested in saving this nation from disaster or is it more attractive to you to live in a bubble, imagining that you can just go on that way forever? Do you honestly believe that a Dean administration wouldn’t be at least an order of magnitude better for the environment than more Republican oilocracy? This is a guy who will listen to you once he’s elected — IF he’s given the chance. On the scale of recent presidents, he’ll be pretty darn good at least — conceivably great.

All mature people know there are times when it is necessary to compromise in order to move forward. I think we can very safely say that this is one of those times. Have you noticed, people? We have a monumental problem here! If you really want what’s best for all 6 billion of us, you’ll support a plan that can work. If we can’t get it together, we may not have the luxury of this debate in a few years. What part of “Nazi Germany” don’t you understand?

Ted Scarlett
Los Angeles

 

C’mon, Marc . . . hold your nose and vote against the recall. You absolutely must vote against this recall not because you admire or even support Gray Davis, but because it’s the right thing to do. Nobody’s asking you to crawl into bed with Mr. Davis. We all know he has done a lot of things to earn our distrust; all the more reason for you to keep a close eye on him, to report it loud and clear when you find things you don’t like, and to find someone else to vote for next time. But that’s next time. Not just a year after the election.

As a matter of fact, the reason Davis even won the last election was that the Republicans offered voters absolutely no choice [read Simon!]. But the fact is, Davis did win, and the idea that a million-point-something bucks can buy back the votes of 8 million people just goes totally counter to any understanding of our democratic/representative form of government. Hell, I can see them rubbing their hands together with glee, saying, Yup, that’s a lot cheaper than the cost of running a regular gubernatorial campaign!

Can you see the start of some very disturbing trends here?

No matter how distasteful I find Gray Davis, I’m just gonna “hold my nose” and do the right thing, vote against the recall.

Jane Gordon
Sherman Oaks

 

Either Marc Cooper needs to stop spouting naive silliness that makes him sound increasingly like a right-wing provocateur bent on splitting the left, or you guys need to stop printing him. Either way.

Jon Zerolnick
Los Angeles

Making Radio Waves

I read “Big Media’s Bamboozle” by Nikki Finke in the September 12–18 issue with much amusement. While she attempts to hide it with facts about political advertising, all she does is continue the leftist caterwauling about the proliferation of conservative talk radio and the absence of a liberal voice in that medium. Concise, clear thought is necessary to be successful on radio. And since most leftist arguments are so often not thought out but felt, there is little wonder conservative talk has boomed.

It’s about time the conservative viewpoint was able to be stated without being shouted down by those who claim free speech is their primary concern. This is what most drives those on the left nuts. The conservative light has been turned on and the leftist roaches are now running.

Marvin Harris
Studio City

 

Just wanted to commend Nikki Finke for her excellent articles examining the way the media has not only swept the plethora of potentially damaging information about Arnold Schwarzenegger under the carpet, but has actively campaigned to take down Gray Davis.

I find it totally appalling that a man who is inarticulate (and I’m not referring to his Austrian accent . . . I’ve just never heard him utter a single intelligent, cogent position), grabs women’s breasts, has expressed racist views and associates with known Nazis (Kurt Waldheim) could have a serious chance at winning the governorship of the nation’s most important state. There’s no way Schwarzenegger would be polling as high as he is, I believe, without the complicity of right-wing pundits at media outlets owned by Republican contributors and sympathizers like Clear Channel’s KFI. Clear Channel, by the way, is owned by a good friend of George Bush. Now there’s the real story that’s being ignored: Bush and Karl Rove’s behind-the-scenes puppet mastering in this whole debacle.

Sandra Wade-Grusky
Pacific Palisades

A Break from Politics

Political coverage is necessary and few do it as well as the L.A. Weekly, but how refreshing to read about a debunker of the myths and outright lies that surround our society — specifically, the profile of local author Boze Hadleigh [“Romance vs. Reality,” September 12–18]. One of his two new books, Holy Matrimony!, is fun and informative, with the valuable message of looking beyond media babble, stereotypes and now-acceptable hyperbole — be it about celebrities, love, lifestyle, politics or pop culture — and learning to question and to think for oneself. I just picked up the book, after reading Dawn Dumpert’s thoughtful article, and don’t even plan on watching television tonight — wow. (Now, let’s have more authors and writers, fewer politician-opportunists.)

Randy Tveidt
Santa Monica

 

Mourning Story

In her otherwise laudatory article about Sofia Coppola [“Pale Fire,” September 12–18], Ella Taylor couldn’t resist taking a swipe at what she describes as one of the funniest death scenes in the history of melodrama: the death of Mary Corleone at the end of Godfather III.

I saw Godfather III three times the week it opened and neither I nor anyone else in those theaters thought that scene was funny. I realize that people who write for the Weekly think of themselves as being with it and on the edge, but if Ella Taylor thinks that a father mourning the death of his child is amusing, like Francis Coppola reliving onscreen the death of his son, which is what that scene was about, I feel sorry for her.

Steve Barr
Los Angeles

 

A Visionary Overlooked

Who gives a fuck about Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray? They are still here and not one-eighteenth as interesting or talented as Warren Zevon. One tiny mention in a paper with many pages [Live in L.A., September 12–18] of probably the most visionary, brutally honest, dry, sarcastic and humorous artist of our time? Coppola and Murray don’t even equal an ounce of the creativity and brilliance that Zevon brought to this world. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Warren should have been on the cover and in all of the pages as far as I am concerned. If your paper wasn’t free, I’d cancel my subscription.

Polli Foerster
Los Angeles

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