Bad Vibrations

I really don’t want to break Brian Wilson’s balls; he’s such a fragile genius. And I’m glad John Payne got to meet his idol. But their fawning made Payne’s article ["Child Is Father of the Man," November 12–18] nearly pornographic.

Payne states early that Brian Wilson is "not very good at being a puffed-up, fat-head Rock Star." Wilson then says of Smile: "Oh, I think it’s a masterpiece ... the most joyous, happy, creative music ever made ..."

If I want lies and hyperbole, I can get it from our leaders in government, thank you. And I’m sorry, but summer really is over.

—Frederick Cleveland


I’m just curious why, in an otherwise okay story about Brian Wilson’s album Smile, writer John Payne felt it necessary to mock the "oh-so-hip" Leonard Bernstein. When Bernstein presented Wilson on his TV special in 1967 and gave him kudos, it meant a great deal to Wilson. It’s mentioned several times on his official Web site, and it was a major factor in moving public perception of Wilson away from the cars, girls and surf mentality of the early Beach Boys. Wilson was being more than "courteous" when he acknowledged this to Payne. Leonard Bernstein composed the music to West Side Story — y’know, as in "Somewhere," "Tonight," "Maria," the Sharks and the Jets, etc. Brian Wilson has written some amazing music over the years, too, but if Bernstein had done nothing other than write the score to West Side Story, he’s still deserving of respect from music fans. Payne’s slur just read as petty, juvenile and more of the I’m-oh-so-hip tone one often finds in the Weekly’s music section.

—Michael Dean

Van Nuys

Timeless Wonder

Thank you, Nikki Finke, for a wonderful piece highlighting the absurdity of Joel Stein, his absolute fecklessness, and those clueless enough to consider him worthy of a salary [Deadline Hollywood, "Failing Upward, a True Hollywood Story," November 19–25]. His puerile and flaccid navel-gazing hardly qualifies him for a place at the base of a kitty-litter pan, much less a job, and it’s one of the reasons I stopped buying Time magazine altogether.

Finke’s use of "talent" and "Stein" in the same sentence initially made my hair stand on end, eased only by her adding "lack thereof." How Stein manages to spew his -inanity on VH1 remains a complete and bewildering mystery, as he lacks perspective, humor and street cred.

My only complaint with Finke’s piece is that precious ink and paper were wasted in the coverage of such an undeserving subject. After all, when Stein says people like to see their name in print, he’s likely speaking for himself.

—B.D. Gonzalez

New York, New York

Missive Defense

Back in the old days, I thought Marc Cooper was a radical rabble-rouser. After reading most of the recent 2004 election coverage articles in the Weekly, I now consider him a moderate voice of reason. To analyze the inanity of "A Message From the Arrogant Liberal Elite" [November 12–18] would be a waste of time. However, the enraged anonymous author forgot to condemn the 99 percent of Midwest and Sun Belt states that also ended up in Bush’s column. Bush didn’t do too bad in New Jersey and New Hampshire either. It turned out that there was far more red in the blue states than vice versa.

Any half-assed historian could figure out what happened two weeks ago. Simply put, the relentless negative campaign that the Radical Left waged on Kerry’s behalf blew up in their collective faces — and took Kerry with them. Until the Democrats jettison Michael Moore, Al Franken et al. from their party, they can expect more of the same results.

As far as L.A. Weekly’s coverage of the election, to have expected it to be balanced and fair-minded would have been asking for too much. But how about a return to reality?

—Charles Reilly

Manhattan Beach


As a Satanist, I find L.A. Weekly’s demonically enhanced cover image of George Bush quite curious [November 5–11]. While I applaud the Weekly’s efforts to openly voice its opposition to the adminstration, it must be stated that the use of devil imagery is more than a little alarming. Satanism promotes the full indulgence of civil liberties, encourages individual thought and expression, and fiercely opposes herdlike conformity. I believe that many of the Weekly’s readers, regardless of religious preference, would agree that George Bush stands firmly against these policies, as they are clearly the ideals of evildoers. While I certainly would never speak for all Satanists, I do suspect that more than a few of us don’t want this fucking guy around either.

—Charles Alexander



In last week’s Deadline Hollywood column ["Failing Upward, A True Hollywood Story"], former Hollywood Reporter columnist George Christy’s name was misspelled.

Also in last week's issue, a review of the play Marvin and Mel that ran in the calendar section miscredited the performer in the double-cast role of Marie Gomez. The part was played by Lorena Mena.


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