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Overstated and overrated
Re: Gay Shame [June 915]. The L.A. Weekly has once again allowed Douglas Sadownick to ramble endlessly in a poorly thought-out mishmash of circular logic and hoary overstatement. First of all, Sadownick offers little to justify his unwavering support for Clinton despite the mans repeated betrayal of gays. A Republican president would be excoriated for such miserable legislation as Dont ask, dont tell, which has been linked to an increase in harassment of gays in the military. Then, while freely admitting that Bush is largely an unknown quantity on gay issues (he has at least met with the gay Log Cabin Republicans), Sadownick has the nerve to compare a Bush win in November to Hitlers ascension to power in the early 1930s. How does he expect to be taken seriously as a journalist?
Regardless of who becomes president in November, gay civil rights will only advance when a majority of voters support them. Radical activists and anti-assimilationists do little to advance that goal. In fact, the threatening, hyperbolic tone used by people like Sadownick has probably done more to undermine gay causes than all the Dr. Lauras and Senator Knights combined.
Also, you might want to rethink the Jesus Christ was gay photo caption. I know all you hip urban liberals think that kind of thing is funny, but there are an awful lot of Christians in this country (some of whom are not even right-wing extremists) who find such statements patently offensive. Can gays really afford the political capital such antics undoubtedly cost?
Eileen Blass Winnetka
I like reading the extreme-left perspective of the L.A. Weekly, but Im growing bored with filtering the offensive bile out of the articles. Is it your goal to turn others away? Insulting and skewed remarks litter Weekly articles like a Tijuana street. Is that the rep you guys are going for offensive liberal rather than liberal offensive?
Cullen McGraw Los Angeles
While I agree with Mr. Sadow nick that the prospects of Bush Jr. as president are rather scary, I think his article is deeply flawed. The comparison with Weimar Germany and the Jews is ridiculous at best, offensive at worst. Furthermore, the whitewashing of Clinton as the great president of gay America is ill-informed. Clinton has failed to effect lasting positive change on gay issues; hiring gays and lesbians is not going to have much effect beyond his presidency, as Mr. Sadownick points out himself. The last president to effect lasting change was Bush Sr., under whom the ban on gay and lesbian immigrants was lifted. Most of the progress in the last few years is due to state courts declaring anti-sodomy laws unconstitutional, as well as supporting gay and lesbian families (e.g., in Vermont).
Robert Grimm Seattle
Lets not forget Clinton and Gore completely wimped out on gays in the military and havent put any teeth into hate laws. Republican gay bashers live at the extreme radical fringe of the GOP and, as such, are nonplayers. Bush may not talk the talk of the two-faced Clinton, but hes politician enough to know that he cant afford to alienate this constituency. Lets get real here. Clinton isnt and never has been a supporter. He may say he is, but his actions prove otherwise.
Tony Assenza Canoga Park
Regarding Douglas Sadownicks article Gay Shame, I have to question the thought process of a writer who calls Bushs policies Orwellian then proceeds to cry because these policies will be a detriment to so-called hate crime bills. Adding additional punishment to a criminal because of what he was thinking or what he believed at the time of the crime is Orwellian in its own right. It is also unequal protection under the law.
Cam Cannon Los Angeles
I am greatly disturbed at being misquoted in Doug Sadownicks article. I never said that Personally speaking . . . Clinton has been a disaster on all levels, and, as should be obvious from some of the other quotes attributed to me in the article, I dont believe that. I spoke at length with Sadownick and made it clear that I think Clinton has done more for lesbians and gay men than any prior president. His weakness in dealing with ongoing discrimination in the military and marriage does not erase his important contributions to gay equality.
In addition, I did not say that the Romer vs. Evans decision won by one vote, 5-4. I told Mr. Sadow nick that this landmark gay civil rights case won by two votes, 6-3, and that the two-point win was due to Clintons appointment of Justices Ginsburg and Breyer. I know that when reporters work without a tape recorder, they sometimes have to reconstruct quotes, but it is upsetting to have quotes put in ones mouth that contradict either the facts or ones actual views.
Jon W. Davidson Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund Los Angeles
Sadownick acknowledges his mistake on the Supreme Court ruling but believes he quoted Davidson correctly.
Re: Erin Aubrys review of American Pimp [Freakshow Bros, June 915]. I have a very hard time understanding why Ms. Aubry feels it is the Hughes brothers responsibility to humanize blacks for white Americans. Here we go again with the thinking that, regarding racism, there is greater culpability in the behavior of some blacks than there is in plain ignorance on the part of some white Americans. I say that the white friend of hers who thought that white people should stay away from the film, presumably because the onscreen images would reconfirm their fears about black men, is an idiot. As a black man, Im not afraid of the Hughes film, because Im not a pimp nor have I ever aspired to be. As for the minority of black men who are, maybe theyll support the film much as real wise guys supported The Godfather.
Chazz Cotton Los Angeles
Hold the Ballona
Filmmaker Sheila Laffeys rebuttal [Letters, June 28] to Marc B. Haefeles critique of The Last Stand [City Limits, May 1218] unwittingly confirms the validity of the Friends of the Ballona Wetlands decision not to participate in her documentary. In the first paragraph, she labels the Friends pro-development advocates despite the fact that she knows that we do not advocate Playa Vista, and are not about to support the development unless and until we determine it will not have an adverse impact on the Ballona Wetlands. We have not yet made that decision, and wont until we see the upcoming environmental-impact report.
The Friends dont want to suppress Laffeys film; we merely want to point out its appalling deficiencies. Anyone who wishes to read our critique or to examine the Friends true position and learn about our activities should visit us at our Web site, www.ballona friends.org.
Ruth Lansford President, Friends of Ballona Wetlands Playa del Rey
Can you say Snake oil?
Re: Hope Urbans Unbroken Will [June 1622]. Welcome to Mr. Cimmarustis Neighborhood. Does anyone really think that switching one eyesore [the Van de Kamp bakery] for another makes Ralph Cimmarusti a neighborhood savior? I see him as more of a pariah: a snake-oil salesman peddling yet another crappy box development and burger joint. How original! If all developers were like him, wed be gagging down McBurgers at the site of the old Helms Bakery, and parking our cars at the Old Towne Pasadena Parking Garage and Strip Mall. Our neighborhood deserves better than this unimaginative, unoriginal concept. And to top it off, if we dont like it, we deserve to have our houses trashed! (If someone did throw a rock through [activist Miki Jacksons] window, I dont blame them one bit.)
I propose denying Mr. Cimmarusti and his company, Lucia Properties, the privilege of bidding on any and all work within Los Angeles city limits until he retracts his support of vandalism and criminal behavior.
Nick Santangelo Los Angeles
Thank you for the fine story by Bill Gibson on Playa Capital [Playas Problems, June 1622]. This kind of truth-telling is essential in our current social climate. It is very difficult generally for all media sources excepting NPR, in my opinion to get the facts out without some spin.
John Armer Santa Monica
Do the arithmetic
Re: Chuck Stephens on Titan A.E. [Space Junk, June 1622]. This is the stupidest review Ive ever read. The year is 3028, the film is Titan A.E., and the future of the human race is . . . white. How can the future of the human race be white if, of all the humans going to the new planet, only two were white? This guy is seriously bitter about something.
Naven Johnson Austin, Texas
I want to applaud Chuck Stephens for the Titan A.E. review. It was the only review Ive seen so far that drew the comparison with anime. I have always found anime entertaining precisely because it addresses sophisticated emotions and has some finesse in telling the story. Titan looked spectacular, but I outgrew Johnny Quest ages ago.
George Walden Camarillo
Thanks for Erik Himmelsbachs Boys Are for Noise [June 9-15], a positive article on Hanson, one of the most talented bands making music today. Unfortunately, the radio industry hasnt caught on yet. In spite of the number of requests to hear Hansons singles, stations are not giving the band their fair share of airplay. (One station restricts the hours in which Hanson music can be played.) In all my 40 years, Ive never seen such deliberate discrimination doled out on a decent band.
Kim Holladay Madison, Alabama
I really enjoyed the article you wrote on Hanson. I love their new album, and I am excited to hear adults giving them credit for an amazing job. Thank you again.
Kristi Nashville, Tennessee
I would like to say that I think the Hanson Busts Out article has to be one of the best articles I have recently read about Hanson. Finally a journalist actually listened to the CD before judging it. Total brilliance!
Jacqui Glen Burnie, Maryland
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Thank you very much for Erik Himmelsbachs wonderful and thoughtful review of Hansons new album. I have had the album for a while now and love it to death. It is always great to see that people are actually listening to the album before writing the review. Job well done.
Mel Sunshine Coast Queensland, Australia
CORRECTION: In last weeks Music in Los Angeles 2000 pullout, Marsha Kerasidis of the Gig in Hollywood was misidentified on the page thanking supporters of L.A. Music 2000.