By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
THROWING MONEY AWAY
The “American Family” series [“Living on the Verge,” February 13–19; “Jail Time,” April 2–8; “Hanging On — Barely,” June 4–10; “Close to Breaking,” July 16–22], by Celeste Fremon, is breaking my heart. And the Aguilars are just one family out of so many. My Lord, it is overwhelming to think how much support for change could be provided to our communities instead of funneling billions to Iraq and Halliburton.
In response to my recently published article concerning a flag-burning episode in East Los Angeles [“Burning Desire,” A Considerable Town, July 9–15], Mr. David Friedman from Van Nuys wrote a letter [“Up in Flames,” Letters to the Editor, July 23–29] explaining that he is confused with what I mean by stating that these protesters “were doing something that could never be done anywhere else but in the United States.” Mr. Friedman offers three examples in which he attempts to refute my meaning: The American flag can be burned anywhere in the world (duh), the overall protest of American policies can be done almost anywhere (another no-brainer) and protesting against one’s own government’s policies is tolerated in many countries.
The one remaining base that Mr. Friedman conveniently fails to cover, which is so obvious to us veterans and other worldly travelers, is that burning a nation’s own flag can’t be done anywhere else but here in the USA without fear of arrest or being shot. Just try going to a public place in Mexico and burning the Mexican flag, or in France, or China or even Canada, and see what happens.
Oh, and Mr. Friedman, one last note about our country if burning the flag and freedom of the press seem futile and the political process leaves you feeling all empty inside: The USA is also one of the few places in the world where citizens can up and move to another country of their choice without fear of reprisal from the government. Just take care not to let the door hit you in your ass on the way out.
—David Richard Bloom
Having seen the “Body Worlds” exhibition on two occasions — the first time in London and the second an edited version in Singapore — I feel that attention should be drawn to elements of the exhibition beyond the aesthetic figures that Doug Harvey gushes about in his article “Plastic Fantastic Cadavers” [July 23–29].
Harvey fails to acknowledge the undeniably commercial nature of the show. By this I do not mean von Hagens’ shameless media courtship, but rather the downright expensive price tag that gore carries. Ironically, there is a bit of an anti-capitalist nod made by Harvey in the form of a disdainful description of a gargantuan food court; yet it seems to go over his head that this is science-lite, a Vegas-style anatomy lesson in which all the glitter is meant to wow and amaze people.
Moreover, I am gravely disappointed that Harvey makes no mention of the disproportionate number of male bodies mostly doing so-called manly things like playing sports. The only real representation of women is as mothers. I find this as equally disappointing as being able to buy a themed key chain and mug.
L.A. Weekly has always struck me as particularly well-rounded and sound. One would think that after having been around for this long (i.e., “Body Worlds”), people would begin to think beyond the rather limited scope that aesthetic appreciation entails.
Harvey replies: I firmly agree that women deserve parity in being saturated with plastic and cut into tiny pieces for the profit of a crackpot scientician and the continued spectacular distraction of the masses from the ever-worsening crisis in the body politic. Fair is fair.
How inspirational to read Jay Babcock’s article about the decades-long work of the late Amir Dialameh, and how his outstanding endeavor is now kept alive by two exemplary women [“Changing of the Gardener,” A Considerable Town, July 16–22]. Local volunteers Kris Sabo and Lenore Wruck are truly hope-giving, especially since I’m totally fed up with the unavoidable and constant nationwide marketing exploits of a jail-bound woman with a bad hairdo who publishes Living magazine and makes millions designing bed sheets.
Normally I don’t feel compelled to respond to reviews of my film This Old Cub, but Ms. Dumpert wrote a vitriolic personal attack with little substance to back up her statements [Calendar, July 23–29]. In her first line she states that our film “won’t be of much value to anyone besides die-hard Cub fans or the Santo family itself.” I think Ms. Dumpert forgot or simply ignored the fact that this film was made, in part, thanks to a generous grant from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). The JDRF feels this film provides education about their charity and, more importantly, provides inspiration to the over 20 million Americans who suffer from this disease.
Ms. Dumpert states that “. . . This Old Cubdescribes, superficially at best, the life and career of Santo . . .” For those who haven’t seen our film, Ron Santo allowed himself to be filmed during the most intimate moments of a rigorous and painful rehab after he lost his second leg to diabetes. He believes that if people watch his struggles — without any sugarcoating — they will fully understand how insidious this disease is and perhaps feel compelled to find out more about it and get involved with the JDRF. What is superficial about a strong man showing himself at his most vulnerable point?
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