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
REBEL REBEL, FIX THIS MESS
It is abundantly clear from Robert Greene’s article "Rebel With a Plan" [November 19–25] that the problem with implementing inclusionary zoning lies with the Planning Department’s chief zombie, Con Howe, and his crony zombies. Con Howe, like J. Edgar Hoover, has always regarded elected officials as mere transients — or, worse yet, politically elevated insurgents railing against the established order in the vast mosaic of officialdom. Ed Reyes’ courage is indeed admirable but time is needed for his gutsy stands on inclusionary zoning and other important issues to take hold. The mere threat by voters for a change to eliminate or modify term limits should spark a call for a zombie-free zone in the exalted chambers of power at Zombie Central on Spring Street.
To any person who cares about poor people, homelessness and outrageous rents, Ed Reyes’ vision could possibly be seen as a truly humanitarian plan. But there are very obvious reasons why he has had such difficulty convincing his colleagues on the City Council to agree with his vision: These discerning politicians look at some residential areas of Reyes’ first district, for instance, and see countless merchants’ display windows destroyed by gang graffiti, used condoms and empty liquor bottles discarded in the streets, vandal-tagging everywhere, and rampant noise.
Imagine, now, that Reyes sees his vision of affordable housing implemented all over the city. Increased density could result in increased tensions, but we may be able to live with that. More significant to consider is that if Reyes’ vision is to be accepted and put into effect, by the time it is implemented the population of Los Angeles will have again increased by an additional million or so. What then — increased, increased density? Will it then be up to a really daring, future city leader to say, "Where is there any space left to build humane housing?"
Let’s truly think about the farther future and not just one generation away.
TIPTOEING THROUGH THE TULIPS
While it is clearly not entirely positive or flattering, I think Dave Shulman’s delightful piece on the Tiny Tim tribute [A Considerable Town, "Making Very Nice With Tiny Tim," November 19–25] is fabulous — written wonderfully, very insightful, highly entertaining and absolutely hilarious. It made me laugh out loud!
Possibly the weapons and the battles were carefully researched, but the historical facts are twisted, eliminated and created, so trying to blame the huge, flattening boringness of the movie on adherence to the historical record doesn’t work. Indeed, most everything that makes Alexander’s story so compelling (other than the fact that he never lost a battle) has been eliminated and replaced with trite Hollywood situations and motivations, which when married to an abysmally badly written script make for a snore of a movie. For instance, the actual story of how Alexander took the Sogdian Rock and met Roxane is so much more compelling and interesting than the clichéd she’s-a-dancing-girl-by-the-barracks-campfire-and-he’s-an-enthralled-spectator scene we get in the movie.
Strict adherence to the facts doesn’t necessarily create a good movie, and while embroidering on history can create a good movie, this is not the case with Alexander.
What has happened to Oliver Stone?
Apparently L.A. Weekly sees zero value in documenting the facts about Billy Graham, despite the newsworthiness of examining his simple message that fills venues around the world, and why he continues his lifelong sojourn at the obvious risk of his health, when he surely could indulge himself in leisure and reap the financial rewards that come with celebrity.
Case in point: L.A. Weekly sends cheap-shot, third-stringer Seven McDonald to pose as a journalist [24/7, "The Billy Pulpit," November 26–December 2] just long enough to pull out a list of party tricks for baiting Christians into a debate that Seven has undoubtedly rehearsed in her head a hundred times — and then washes her hands clean of any responsibility for the stammering answers that she’s provoked. That’s not reporting; that’s child’s play. Leave Seven to writing cutesy paragraphs on hand jobs [24/Seven, "Prick Up Your Ears. The Hand Job Is Back!," November 19–25]. The Weekly owes it to its readers to either cover a story like adults or else leave it alone.
McDonald replies: Mr. Ham, it is undoubtedly good news for some that Christ is making a comeback. For others, it is better news that hand jobs are. Nevertheless, for fear of sounding pedantic, I will control my urge to cite the Bible — something I am prone to do. Instead I will quote Joseph Campbell: "The God you worship is the God you deserve."
In "The Rise of Empire" [November 5–11], L.A. Weekly reported that the Darron Company, a chemical manufacturer and supplier, changed its name to Southern California Soap Co. Inc. in 2001. The two companies are separate entities. The Darron Company went out of business in 2003, according to its president, Steve Michaelson, now an independent sales representative with Southern California Soap, which was incorporated in 2001.
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