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
Where Did We Put That?
Maybe I’m behind the curve with this new “LA VIDA” concept for the layout on your printed Weeklypaper. But I’ve found that as “edgy and creative” as the new moniker is, it is difficult to find what you are looking for.
Why? Because there are no simple listings with the appropriate page numbers on the index page for such sections as Dance, Museums, Art Galleries, Events, Kid Stuff, Readings, Learning, Politics, etc.
I’m sure that you are very familiar with the layout of your paper and have little trouble finding anything you want. Of course you have license to call the Calendar section anything that excites you, but please, please, please list ALL of the different sections of your fine magazine with the numbers of the pages where they can be found for those that appreciate the simple function of a well-laid-out index.
Blue skies and love above all,
Editor replies: For years, our contents page did not give readers any information on finding dance, art, film and music happenings or any of our other listings — there was just a single page number for “Calendar” and then, deeper in the paper, a secondary listing of contents that many readers told us was difficult to find. To highlight the importance of our listings and make it easier for readers to locate them in the paper, we divided our listings into their logical sections — film listings now run with our feature film reviews; theater, classical music, dance and comedy listings run with our feature theater reviews and Alan Rich’s A Little Night Music column in the newly named Stage section; readings listings run with our book reviews; gallery listings are next to our feature art review; music listings with our music features; and citywide events and festivals, museums and kidstuff, and learning and politics listings now appear with lifestyle features and fashion coverage in our La Vida section. Each of these sections now has its own contents box, and our main contents page tells readers exactly which sections contain specific listings. We’re not saying the new system is perfect — indeed, we often talk about how we can make it better — but readers now get much more information on how to find our listings than ever before.
Another Satisfied Customer
Although L.A.Weeklycan sometimes border on being over-the-top in its liberal mores, I am most often giddily entertained by its witty and creative articles. Recently I came across a review of the new bore-buster Monster-in-Law,and for the first time in my sporadic reading of your publication, I was enraged at what I read. Ella Taylor writes: “. . . But if the screening I attended is anything to go by, this is a gay men’s movie whose primary function is to doll Fonda up like a drag queen and let her rip.”
Although a more conservative paper like the OrangeCountyRegisterwould never run an article written in this fanciful style, I would expect to see a damaging generalization like this made in their publication. But L.A.Weekly?I was not only saddened and angered, I was shocked. Who can the gay community count on to stand behind them in the pursuit of banishing harmful stereotypes if not a liberal publication like L.A.Weekly?At first I attempted to pretend to not understand the implications of this statement. Then I realized that I couldn’t just skip over this one, not this time. Prejudice is everywhere; we know this. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t at least hear a teenager uttering the word I use to classify my sexuality as a synonym for “stupid,” or, more commonly, the more classically inspired “faggot.”
But how could you, as an editor of arguably one of the most liberal publications in the country, read over this review, and think that it was okay to publish? Ms. Ochoa, did you really think that gay men would not be offended by the stereotype of wanting to “doll up a pretty girl” offered up in Ms. Taylor’s trite review? I must have missed the part of this that the two of you found so amusing. I found it nothing but hurtful and insulting. What’s next, a reference to African-Americans loving fried chicken? You have lost a once semiloyal reader. Thank you for further validating my fears that we are taking a major step back in the abolishment of stereotypical notions.
Taylor replies: It is neither stereotypical nor insulting to argue that movie divas have had a particular appeal for the gay community. ThatMonster-in-Law is a bad example of such movies is not the fault of that community but of the director, and I did not claim otherwise.
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