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Jonathan Gold Writes Fiction?

It's news to us, though we have a feeling Mr. Gold could write just about anything he sets his mind to. But GQ food critic Alan Richman, straight outta New York City, writes to suggest just that: "Jonathan Gold is invariably fascinating, never more than in his May 13 story on Gourmet Island ('Sweetness and Light: At Alhambra restaurant, less is more'), where I was vilified for 'eating kung pao chicken in Hong Kong–style cafés,' and concluding that 'the Chinese cooking was better in New York's Chinatown than it was in Los Angeles.' To my knowledge I did neither of those things, although I might well have stumbled into a Hong Kong–style café, which he makes sound as sinister as an opium den. I think you should start a new section: Jonathan Gold's Top Ten Fictional Food and Drink."RANT OF THE WEEK

We're having a hard time working this one out. In Gendy Alimurung's People Issue miniprofile of UCLA Professor Paul Abramson, the "sexpert" who often testifies in court in matters of sexual impropriety, Michael Jackson is mentioned as having been "accused of molesting a 13-year-old." Abramson testified at Jackson's trial. That is what is said, yet it elicited four strong responses from Jackson fans, including this from Truthseeker: "This really takes the cake of ignorance. How can you be taken seriously when you willingly slander an innocent man. PRETENCIOUS [sic] doesn't even begin to describe you. You pretend to know better than a court of law that found Michael Jackson not guilty on all charges. You pretend to know better than the FBI who investigated Michael for several years all over the world and found NO justification to prosecute him. You also pretend to know more than Aphrodite Jones, who has investigated the case for several months, wrote a book about it and just recently did a TV show about it. Lastly, you pretend to know more about the case than two respectable lawyers, Tom Messereau and Larry Nimmer, who had in-depth knowledge into the case. Everything's on YouTube for anyone who cares to educate themselves on the truth, which you PRETEND to know. Again, you PRETEND to want to help humanity and you're willing to destroy Michael Jackson's children in the process. Who are you people? Who's the evil that own you?"

For the record, we never pretend to know more than Aphrodite Jones. Never.

HO-HUM HAHN

Let the record also show that we yawned while writing that headline. And we yawned while reading these letters — it's just kinda hard to get excited when even the story is titled " Lieutenant Governor of Paper Clips " (Patrick Range McDonald, May 27). Yes, we're talking Janice Yawn, er, Hahn, the city councilwoman now running for the office of lieutenant governor of California. Even the position is soporific. And yet not a few readers got their knickers in a twist over even this.

"Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no when it comes to Janice Hahn," writes Ken Camp. "She is the dweeb who successfully censored the artwork of Alex Donys at the Watts Cultural Center because black gangbangers objected to the humorous illustrations of gangbangers waltzing with cops. I won't vote for an art censor for lieutenant governor; nor will I vote for any censor."

"What a sad state of affairs," adds Joseph. "The only candidates we have are career politicians who are only interested in furthering their political careers: Newsom, Maldonado, Hahn. ... None has anything that gives Californians hope of a resolution to the many problems that plague us and, most likely, anyone of these who wins will perpetuate the status quo. These career politicians are sinking the entire state."

Nick Antonicello provides the big picture: "Janice Hahn's attempt at the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor is a symptom of term limits and too few local opportunities in this game of musical chairs that has too many politicians and not enough political offices to seek! For the only qualification for lieutenant governor must be the ability to become the governor. With that as the standard, both Councilwoman Hahn and Mayor [Gavin] Newsom fail to qualify.

"In the case of Newsom," continues Antonicello, "his failed gubernatorial odyssey has him settling for a position he seems to know little about, while in the case of Hahn, she believes being simply female is the prerequisite for the nomination. It seems neither meets the standard for qualification in a time where substandard candidacies seem to be more the norm than the exception.

"Hahn, a failed congressional candidate in 1998 who could not defeat an obscure one-term Republican, is the best Democrats can offer; it looks like the councilwoman from San Pedro is this year's version of Cruz Bustamante! When your biggest supporter is a political nonentity like do-nothing Councilman Bill Rosendahl, it shows just how shallow the training pool is for Democratic prospects for statewide office! While the Hahn brand is still an important factor in Los Angeles politics, it fails to make any statement in a crowded primary of average candidacies for an office few people understand."

Zzzzzzzz ...

THE FINAL, UM, WORD
Music Editor Gustavo Turner posted about rapper 50 Cent's movie role as a football player suffering from cancer, and the singer/actor losing 50 pounds for the role, with accompanying photos to prove it. A number of readers responded with surprise or disbelief, and this response, from Yared Aklilu, summed it up effectively: "woooooooooo he soooooo cooool what fuck is this? he look like a father of snoopdogy. kekekekekekekekekeke."

CORRECTION
In last week's paper, we ran incorrect dates for Dances With Film, the independent film festival running at Laemmle's Sunset 5. The correct dates are June 3-10.

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