Re: Nancy Rommelmann's article "Hailey's Comet" [June 11-17]. As a native of Los Angeles, I have seen and known celebrities of every caliber all my life. It saddens me that the people of Hailey did not recognize the massive egos of both Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. "Let's just purchase a bedroom community and make it our safe haven." If only all of America could live in that fantasy (movie) world. Both the Willises and the community of Hailey are in serious denial about what is real and what is not.
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The article on Bruce Willis was interesting, but not surprising. If we set the Wayback Machine to the late '80s, we can visit a time when Kim Basinger was dating the artist formerly known as Sane and bought a town in Georgia, just to show the small-town folks of her birth state how she still felt like kin. She made promises, courted investors and, due to her taking the pickle from Prince at the time, promised movie and recording stars would flock to Mt. Kimton or Basingerville or whatever it was. As in the Willis story, after building a shrine to self-worship in an area that would assure no big-city ennui with celebrity to spoil her massive ego trip, Basinger bailed on the whole thing, leaving the town to pick up the pieces of its shattered economy.
I found Nancy Rommelmann's article very interesting, to say the least. However, in my experience, Bruce and Demi had a purpose here. I too worked for them, and enjoyed the experience. I placed principles before personalities. They treated me with respect, and they made a difference. Is that not what life is all about?
Sun Valley, Idaho
Wow, your story about our l'il ol' town makes our community sound a little pathetic. The truth is, we're thriving, and I don't think anybody is losing any sleep over the situation with the Willises -- other than those who had the opportunity to work for them and perhaps were a bit starstruck. Most of us are a little sad about the breakup of their marriage and really hoped they'd work it out. But that's just the type of community we are here -- we genuinely care about our neighbors. As your article said, there's so much more going on here than the Willis family that, to most of us Ketchum/Hailey citizens, their lives moving on is not that big a deal. Still, I found your article to be very interesting. It's always fun to read about your town and people you know in a publication.
Doug Sadownick's article on the future of gay activism ["What Next?," May 21-27] provoked a range of hostile responses, including a letter from the executive director of the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center that defensively reiterated the center's accomplishments. No one offered Sadownick a hint of gratitude for having the courage to write about a deeply problematic issue in the community. Unlike the views expressed in other letters, I felt that overall Sadownick painted a balanced portrait of the dismal state of gay community activism. Sadownick drew fire for openly criticizing the Gay and Lesbian Center, though I felt that he dutifully attempted to acknowledge both the historic importance and relevance of the center to our community, and its shadow, i.e., its cowardice, lack of vision and covert violence. Without this kind of responsible journalism, toxic "family secrets" that mire the center (and other institutions) are kept mum, and the community becomes another extended alcoholic family system caught in denial. Maybe the snipes at Sadownick, and the defensive response of the center, are indicative of a profound distress and spiritual crisis in the gay and lesbian community that Sadownick, in his reliably incendiary and empathic way, is daring to write about, and toward which the L.A. Weekly, to its credit, is sometimes willing to offer support.
FABULOUSER AND FABULOUSER
As a writer, every so often I come across a piece and think, "I wish I had written that." So it was with Steven Mikulan's article "Forever Fabulous" [June 410]. And to think I almost passed it up as just another article on Hollywood kooks. I'm so glad I didn't, because it turned out to be a poignant yet uplifting story that says more about the twists and turns of people's lives in L.A. than anything I've read in a long time.
Thanks, Steven, for giving us the privilege of meeting Royce and Marilyn. With all their eccentricities, they are an endearing pair. Long may they reign.
Re: Marc B. Haefele's June 11-17 City Limits column. Granted, Rudy Svorinich may not be the brightest bulb burning at City Hall, but to denigrate his being the manager of a small business is a cheap shot. Under other circumstances, his working-class background might be touted as a reason to support him. Similarly, Rupert
Murdoch's $200,000 contribution would ordinarily be regarded with suspicion, except that he happened to support city-charter reform. I supported and voted for Measure 1; I didn't need press histrionics to arrive at this position.
--William D. Wolff
Rudy Svorinich, "village idiot"? Perhaps, but he's our chubby, cherub-faced village idiot.
VIVA "L.A. CUCARACHA"
Lalo Alcaraz's cartoon this week [June 11-17] hit my sentiments exactly regarding the Army using Staff Sergeant Andrew Ramirez as a means of recruiting more Latinos to go to war instead of going to college. Lalo never disappoints, always expressing perspectives that too often go ignored in the mass media.
THE RIGHT GEIST
Thank you for Dave Shulman and his Sitegeist column. The man is a treasure. Every week there is something to make me laugh or wonder or explore. This week [June 1117], it was the Billboard Liberation Front. I had only dreamed about correcting those wonders of low tech that assuage my sits on the freeway, and to find out that there have been people doing it for over 10 years . . . What a country!
The Weekly contains lots of interesting articles, ranging from pop culture to global culture. However, the impression I'm most often left with is that everyone is in need of a boob job, a face-lift, liposuction, hair removal (or restoration), penis enlargement or, at the very least, a good colon scrubbing. Self-hatred comes in many forms, and this sort of advertising is perhaps the most pervasive in promoting it. I guess it's a good thing you included a "Spirituality L.A." directory in a recent issue. I was beginning to think cosmetic surgery was the only way.
Salt Lake City, Utah
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