Re: “The God of Small Things” [November 22–28]. The Center for Biological Diversity is doing anything but “saving Southern California,” as Susan Zakin claims. This group has more than half the state of California’s 163,707 square miles of desert under litigation. This is saving the state? From whom? Furthermore, Ms. Zakin’s description of the Algodones Dunes as the “gnarly Charlie Manson outback” is an insult to the thousands of citizens of this state who use these areas for recreation. We visit these areas to enjoy the fruits of our labor and spend time with our friends and families.

The Center wants to close all public land to all recreation, and is not “saving” the state from anything.

—Wayne Lee Ontario


Re: Judith Lewis’ “Encounters: Jazz Up the Ass” [A Considerable Town, November 29–December 5]. I must be humor-impaired, because the situation that Lewis recalls with a laugh leaves me cold: A mentally unbalanced man gets on a bus with a blaring radio. When informed that playing his radio is against MTA regulations, he gets abusive with the driver, shouts obscenities and disturbs the other riders.

The public is constantly being told to give up their cars and take mass transit for the sake of the environment. Situations like the one Lewis recalls in an attempt to be funny will keep my ass firmly planted in the bucket seat of my truck.

—Michael J. Lott Los Angeles


In Doug Harvey’s article on Baldessari [“Baldesaurus Rex,” November 22–28], he refers to conceptual art as “that early ’70s movement.” Excuse me?! In 1916, Marcel Duchamp was working on his groundbreaking conceptual-art piece The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even. In that same year, when Monet was painting water lilies, Duchamp signed his name to a urinal and called it art. His work was indeed “important and cutting edge.” That was 86 years ago. When is the art world going to acknowledge that, in 2002, the conceptual-art genre is as old-fashioned and traditional as Impressionist painting?

—Jeff Winslow Van Nuys


Re: “Outside in L.A.” [December 6–12]. My profound thanks for Doug Harvey’s marvelous article about Sweet Deal, at the Exceptional Children’s Foundation’s Art Center. As the mother of one of the kids, and as a board member of the ECF, I enjoyed the description of what our special ones are doing within the Art Center Program. The artists have delightful, inimitable personalities and are some of the kindest, warmest persons in my life. The staff, too, cannot be praised highly enough. Harvey did a great service to the individuals and staff who constitute this little-known part of Los Angeles.

—Marilyn Mann Lindquist Pasadena


Nikki Finke did a great job [“The Untold Story,” Deadline Hollywood, November 22–28] raising the specter of Big Media corporations muzzling or intimidating their journalists to limit coverage of their deeds. “We’re shocked, shocked, to see Big Media conglomerates fail to accurately or extensively cover themselves . . .,” she writes, ignoring the ongoing investigation by a state and federal antitrust task force over the deal by L.A. Weekly’s parent corporation that recently shut down New Times in Los Angeles. Oh well, that’s what happens when the Los Angeles “alternative” press becomes a monopoly. Blast Disney! Scald Time Warner! Plaster Rupert Murdoch’s photo on the page! But God forbid that David Schneiderman, Village Voice Media’s CEO, should share some ink in this piece.

—Michael Linder Venice


Where did Bill Bradley get the idea that Arnold Schwarzenegger is pro-gay [“Mr. California,” November 22–28]? Arnold’s the one who, while palling around with Pappy Bush a few years ago, constantly referred to the Democrats as “girly boys.” Now, what’s that supposed to mean?

—Ken Camp Los Angeles


Thank you for another fine article [“Sons of the City,” November 29–December 5] by John Albert. It’s time you made him a regular columnist. Although I’ve never been ready to put the Chili Peppers into the L.A. pantheon, I have little choice now but to give the new disc a chance.

—Liz Waldman Culver City


Do we really need a front-page story on the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ newfound bullshit AA spirituality? What were you thinking? Leave such tired subjects to Spin, please.

—Sara Kelly Los Angeles


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