Losing the War at Home 

And “Burnout” fades to black

Wednesday, Jan 10 2007

Losing the War at Home

I was deeply saddened by Seven McDonald’s to-the-point bus-depot interview with Private First Class Mendoza [24 Seven, “Onward, American Soldier,” Dec. 22–28], given that the 19-year-old was heading off to train for a war about which he was woefully misinformed.

From the poverty culture that is America’s working class, these (dare I say intentionally) undereducated kids are given a Potemkin-village picture of U.S. history/policy/intentions. Then, on the thinnest of rationales — if not outright lies — by the likes of Mendoza’s “staff sergeant” on up, they volunteer to be cannon fodder. The sweet dreams of “freedom,” “patriotism” and “national sacrifice” become the last refuge of a hopeless generation that faces drugs, gangs and a do-you-want-fries-with-that? future as its only alternatives.

Related Stories

  • Cali Lives Strong

    Californians spend more in federal taxes than they receive back in services. And the same can be said for healthcare. According to an analysis by personal finance site WalletHub, California barely makes the top 20 (number 19) among states when it comes to "return on investment" (ROI) for healthcare costs...
  • Henry Rollins: Hemp Is Back 3

    I am in the back of an SUV, the seat in front of me almost against my knees. The great wide open of southeastern Colorado rolls by the window. Except for Kerri, who’s driving, everyone has a laptop open. Phone calls are coming in, logistics are being hammered out, something about...
  • Creative Town

    Forbes magazine this month put its stamp of approval on on L.A.'s role as one of the world's foremost providers of popular culture. The problem is that the publication didn't give us nearly enough credit.  Forbes ranked the 50 largest American metropolitan areas based on how well locals did with...
  • Better Weather

    This news is not going to knock anyone off their seat. But, yeah, L.A. County is home to the best warm weather places in the nation. At least that's the conclusion of personal finance site WalletHub, which this week named Glendale, Pasadena and Burbank as "cities with the best ... year-round...
  • L.A. Teens Fast For Central American Immigrants 2

    When you were a teenager you hung out at the mall, made mixtapes and ate McNuggets. These here L.A. kids are going without food this week to support the children coming to the United States illegally from Central America. The young people "will be drinking water only" through Friday, a...

Where are the voices shouting “Stop! Don’t go! Don’t fall for their line!”? There are virtually no articulate or contrary arguments reaching the sorry souls doing the actual fighting and dying. This one grunt’s story says it all: We’ve already lost the war at home. Let’s face facts: The Statue of Liberty (not to mention our president) has no clothes! And it makes me weep.

Stephen Jerrom

Los Angeles

“Burnout” Fades to Black

Regarding the decision to drop Paul Malcolm’s column about DVD releases [Confessions of a Video Store Burnout, “The End,” Dec. 29, 2006–Jan. 4, 2007]: Well, this just blows! I’ve looked to Paul Malcolm for ideas on what to rent. I’ve waited for Thursday to roll around to hear from a good friend about films. I’ve pulled his writing out, folded it up in my back pocket and discarded the rest of the Weekly to carry his words with me on lunch breaks, trips to buy DVDs, or as a time killer waiting for the show to start at the New Beverly Cinema. Shame on these new owners for stopping this fun!

Jerry Lentz

Studio City

I’d just like to formally register my dismay at the cancellation of Paul Malcolm’s excellent column, Confessions of a Video Store Burnout. Every week I looked forward to his interesting video discoveries (often ignored by any other media outlet). Unlike many, he often went out of his way to champion California filmmakers, like Bruce Schwartz and Craig Baldwin — worthwhile artists I might not have discovered otherwise. His writing was solid and entertaining. Bluntly, you screwed up. I can only imagine what your management thinks of the L.A. Weekly’s readership. Hear this: We’re not a bunch of complacent dolts, people. If you continue to remove the individuality of the Weekly (whether it’s insidiously, or gradually, as what’s happened with the utterly un-“eclectic” KCRW), all bets are off. Our relationship is done, and your paper will languish in Jiffy Lube waiting rooms and in stacks at the entrances to corporate bookstore chains. I will say one positive thing: You still have some great writers on staff (Scott Foundas and Doug Harvey are two of my personal favorites) who can not only write, but write about the arts in this city with style, humor and, above all, discernment. Don’t continue down this road.

Jonathan Ward

Los Angeles

They Protest Too Much

This is in reference to Nikki Finke’s article on the recent remake of Black Christmas [Deadline Hollywood, “It’s a Wonderful Life?,” Dec. 15–21]: Wake up. The more you protest these films, the more successful they become. I am not a fan, nor do I go to or support this type of movie. But when are she, and others like her, going to learn that there is a market for this kind of crap, and castigating the filmmakers only gives them more publicity? Her article cites the 1984 protests against Silent Night, Deadly Night, which went on to do “great box office” and four sequels. Has a protest ever hurt a film? Almost without exception all the “protests” succeed in doing is raising the film’s profile. If a reviewer can’t avoid raising the public profile of a movie appealing to the lowest common denominator by ignoring it completely, at least give it a review commenting on the lack of production values and story quality, and move on.

Gene Kelly II

Las Vegas

Everybody’s a Critic

Just got back from a production of Eurydice, which has been hyped the past two weeks in your Stage section. It was described as “achingly beautiful.” On the contrary, it was pretty bad. Applause barely outlasted the actors leaving the stage, and grumbling was overheard on the way out. My girlfriend and I were speculating about who knows whom at the Weekly. Bottom line is, a few more misleading reviews like that and we’ll look elsewhere for our theater recommendations.

Steve Kidder

Los Angeles

Related Content

Now Trending

  • Sexual Predator Is Targeting Females in Eastside Park

    A sexual predator is on the loose in an Eastside park, police warned today. Cops say the creep has targeted "lone females" walking in Ernest E. Debs Regional Park three times between January and July. He has groped, exposed himself and even attacked with a knife, the Los Angeles Police...
  • U.S. Reps Call For Federal Intervention in Dodger TV Blackout

    A group of local U.S. representatives wants the Federal Communications Commission to help end Time Warner Cable's blackout of Dodger games for competing cable and satellite providers. Negotiations to bring the team's games to AT&T U-verse, Charter Communications, Cox Communications, DirecTV, Dish Network, Mediacom, Suddenlink Communications and Verizon FIOS have gotten...
  • Foster the People's Downtown L.A. Mural Is Coming Down

    The controversial Foster the People mural downtown is coming down, the office of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today. Despite claims by the pop band that it had necessary permits and that the artwork was legitimately produced, the mayor's office states what we reported previously: The piece is on a...
Los Angeles Concert Tickets


  • Street League Skateboarding Super Crown World Championship
    On Sunday, Street League Skateboarding touched down in the Galen Center at USC as part of a four-stop tour for SLS's Super Crown World Championship. The L.A. stop determined the roster for Super Crown, airing August 24th on FOX Sports 1. The final eight are Nyjah Huston, Luan Oliveira, Torey Pudwill, Shane O'Neill, Paul Rodriguez, Chaz Ortiz, Matt Berger and Ishod Wair. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
  • Comic-Con's "Celebrity" Autograph Area
    A sometimes overlooked (but still incredibly unique) aspect of San Diego Comic-Con are the celebs available to sign autographs, as well as the autograph seekers themselves. If you've ever wanted to meet the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld or the guy who played Michelangelo in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, chances are, as you wander the Autograph Area, you'll be able to connect with someone you didn't even realize you were waiting your whole life to meet! All photos by Rob Inderrieden.
  • Real Madrid Soccer Practice at UCLA
    Fans came out to greet world champion soccer team Real Madrid as they practice at UCLA. This is the first time that soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has practiced with the team this year. All photos by Jeff Cowan.