. . . AND FORGIVE THE
While reading Gary Webb’s "Dark Alliance" [November 6–12], I was reminded of the scene from The Godfather when a Mafia don says, "Let’s keep the drugs with the dark people, the colored . . . They’re animals anyway, so let them lose their souls." Congratulations to the Weekly for printing what the L.A. Times didn’t have the guts to print, and God bless Gary Webb — he should have won the Pulitzer Prize for exposing the greatest scandal of the post–Vietnam War era.
Thank you for Lina Lecaro’s profile of KROQ’s Rodney Bingenheimer [Reverb issue, November 6–12]. For a sizable number of fans who came of age in the mid-1960s and who still find passion in today’s music, Rodney is irreplaceable. After all these years, there is still no DJ in L.A. who can break a band like Rodney Bingenheimer. Ask Blondie, the Go-Go’s and about 50 others.
AND OTHER CLICHÉS
Re: Judith Lewis’ cliché-laden article about her weekend trip to London [Real Gone, October 30–November 5], I lived in London and other places in the U.K. for several years, so when I see articles such as this one, which feed American prejudices, I feel quite annoyed.
First, London is in no way a wilderness. It is quite the opposite. Los Angeles is literally a wilderness, an empty place full of empty-headed people, built on a desert. London is an organic, living, ancient expanse that changes from moment to moment.
Of course, if you go in search of clichés, you will find them. If you expect to find bad food, you will find it if you look hard. A colleague of mine came back from Germany, having stopped at Heathrow for two hours on the way, and told me British food was awful. What did he have? A soggy pizza at 3 a.m. in the airport’s terminal.
As for finding the formal culture of London unrewarding, this is yet more evidence of your journalist’s commitment to being a true Angeleno.
As a fan of your magazine from the beginning, I was appalled by your ill-informed remarks condoning wholesale slaughtering of innocent horses [election endorsements, October 30–November 5]. And since I work as an animal activist and technical adviser, I must inform you that your magazine, along with the names of your advertisers, has been put on a boycott list that is now being distributed to 27 animal-rights organizations — including the Ark Trust, Fund for Animals and Equus Rescue — whose combined membership numbers in the many hundreds of thousands. Separate letters will be sent to the establishments that advertise in your magazine informing them that their names shall also be included in this boycott list, and will remain there until they cease advertising with you . . .
I would like to commend you on your opposition to Proposition 6. First, by making it a felony to sell or slaughter horses for human consumption, the voters of California have now made it a high offense to be culturally different from the "normal" beef, pork and poultry eaters of this state. By merely participating in their accustomed eating habits, they can now be convicted as felons and face all that that entails (loss of the right to vote, big old "X" on their permanent record, etc.). We have managed to legislate our cultural norms and attach a very heavy price for infraction.
Second, there is nothing in Proposition 6, as far as I can determine, that stops the ongoing slaughter or sale of horses for processing into pet food (it’s okay if Pookie eats Mr. Ed, but not if that damn German next door does), into glue, or whatever else they can make out of a horse carcass.
Look, within five miles of my house, I can buy ostrich burgers, buffalo steak, barbecued pork uterus, cow brains, goat heads, deer (Bambi?) venison, rabbits and probably grub worms if I look hard enough. To place horses on some sort of pedestal is ridiculous at best. In this world, people eat them and have eaten them for a long time. We also ride them, put them in circuses and make them pull plows. They are our pets, yes, but so are pigs, cows and chickens for ä many as well.
I too love horses, and I would never consider eating them — in fact, the only creatures I choose to consume are shellfish — but to dictate my cultural or culinary standards to another person or group would amount to intolerance. I extend my praise to the editors of the L.A. Weekly for grasping and bravely vocalizing the hypocrisy of Proposition 6.
Exactly how did you rationalize your rambling, quip-filled, chuckle-a-sentence dismissal of Proposition 6, the initiative measure to ban the slaughter of California horses for human consumption? Your entire justification for the rejection of the initiative seems to boil down to the idea that "some people or peoples prefer eating horses." It’s also true that "some people or peoples" prefer eating dogs and cats, veiling women, enslaving children, and indulging in other habits that we narrow-minded Americans find culturally repugnant. Must a guilt-inflamed sense of accommodation compel us to import other distantly sanctioned cruelties as well?
Finally, for the Weekly to publish such an unsupported sniper attack days before the election was an act blatantly calculated to thwart any meaningful and timely rebuttal. No, I’m not accusing you, the writer, of being a "communistic, egalitarian leveler." But in this case, youbeen a very, very bad journalist.
LET US KNOW WHEN YOU’RE DONNE
Regarding Dan Epstein’s article on the loss of radio station KBLT ["A Change in the Air," November 13–19], KBLT is not an island, entire of itself . . . Any censorship of my Silver Lake neighbors diminishes me, because I am part of Silver Lake; and therefore never send to know for whom the Feds come; they come for thee . . .
—Joel J. Rane
Lalo Alcaraz has always been low, but with his recent cartoon on the late Sherman Block [L.A. Cucaracha, November 6–12] he has sunk to the level of . . . a cockroach!
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Due to a fact-checking error — and with an unintentional nod to the author of Mildred Pierce and The Postman Always Rings Twice — John M. Stahl appeared as "James M. Stahl" in the opening sentence of Manohla Dargis’ contribution to our 20th-anniversary issue ("They Lost It at the Movies," November 20–26).