Through the Past, Weekly 

30 years and counting

Wednesday, Dec 17 2008

I appreciated the 30th-anniversary package (Dec. 3-11), which brought back memories of my own years at the Weekly. It was the most fun — and certainly the most educational — job I’ve ever had. A couple of notes: I proofed the film review in which (as John Powers recalls) Michael Ventura referred to the French actress Mathilda May's breasts as “numinous.” I remember Michael making sure we knew that the odd word was, as always, precisely the one he intended to use. I later saw the movie, a piece of glossy dreck about space vampires called Lifeforce, and he was exactly right. Also, I wrote the “hagiography” of Randy Newman that Jonathan Gold seems to think was the chief representative of the paper’s misdirected music coverage at the time. Considering that it was the only music feature I ever wrote for the Weekly, I find that flattering. What I recall is Jonathan himself patiently, if gruffly, spending hours helping me turn the piece from the simple Q&A I had conceived into a thoughtful profile. While the Weekly may have sometimes missed the boat in regard to the local music scene over the years, I can’t think of any other publication that covered it better.

Ben Kallen, Santa Monica


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I credit L.A. Weekly in part for my two gorgeous half-Salvadoran children and 10 amazing years in El Salvador (1991 to 2001), leading to a career in global issues and social justice. As a USC student from Indiana, I discovered Central America in my Wilshire/Normandie neighborhood, but understand more about the U.S. role in the world through reading L.A. Weekly. Thank you.

Linda, Providence, RI


I think the daily DNC issues are my fondest memory of the Weekly. I was one of the protesters, and I remember taking the 720 to the Red Line, and getting off at Pershing Square, and looking for that day’s issue. For some inexplicable reason, I didn’t save them.

Evan Garcia, Santa Monica


I’m so glad John Powers shared his thoughts on literary treasure Michael Ventura. I’ve been one of those fans you mentioned for the past 20 years. I was so moved by many of his articles that I started collecting them before he eventually published them in book form. In fact, I still have a box full of Ventura articles, my own buried treasure of “Letters at 3AM.” Thanks for giving him a piece of his due.

Charles from L.A.


The 30th-anniversary issue left me with a giant question mark. Sure, it’s a beautiful story, that romance between the underpaid music critic who falls for his future wife, the hot intern, and they live happily ever after, today as the Weekly’s Pulitzer Prize–winning first couple: esteemed food critic Jonathan Gold and editor in chief Laurie Ochoa, respectively. But in Ochoa’s editorial, she refers to that now-defunct underground hole as the “Anti-Club,” while Gold, in his piece, spells it “Anticlub.” Hmm ... could this be a glimpse into an opposites-attract kind of marriage between two hardheaded Weekly-ites?

Michael Aushenker, Pacific Palisades


Send letters to 3861 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, CA 90230. E-mail ­readerswrite@laweekly.com. Or fax to (323) 465-3220. Letters, which must include a telephone number for verification, may be edited for purposes of space or clarity.


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