Michael Albo's story on young women taking up prostitution to support their loved ones ("The Family Prostitute," Sept. 2) struck a few nerves. Some readers, such as SadForTheseGirls, are sympathetic but disapproving: "I'm depressed that the attitudes and economy in our society are so bad that ordinary working-class women are degrading and commodifying themselves in this way. It seems that their priorities in life are so out of whack. I know that prostitution has been around since time immemorial, but when we as a society are to the point where so many women are so desperate (or maybe they are just frivolous about their own bodies and their lives?) as to see this as the most effective way to support themselves and their families ... very depressing."
Others, such as Jack Flores, are sympathetic but not quite so depressed: "Sad, but true: All you have to do is look at the adult ads on craigslist or City Vibe and you'll see more college-age young women advertising themselves for in-call or out-call services (sex). What's a girl to do, right? I won't judge them because I'm not in their shoes. Blame the media for flaunting sex if you want, but everyone loves sex — even uptight Republicans!"
Some men, such as Steve, find a parallel in their personal lives: "Don't feel sad for these girls. I really don't see what the big deal is about prostitution when the girl decides she wants to do it. Really. American women walk a fine line between being a prostitute anyway. I can't tell you how many women implied sex for spending money on them. ... "
Some, such as Roclive, find solace in history: "I live in Britain, where prostitutes have few teeth, smell of broccoli, and work out of disused coal mines. So I suppose all in all, it was a good idea that we gave you the colonies in 1776."
Others, such as TwoCents, find solace in cynicism: "We're all whores on some level. Rich, poor or middle class, we all have an agenda and jump at the chance to make a buck. So for anyone to judge these women would be supreme hypocrisy. And as long as men primarily think with their dick, there'll be prostitution."
On that note ...
VALLEY POLS GONE WILD!
Paul Teetor's story about the battle within the Studio City Neighborhood Council board ("Done In by Democratic Process," Sept. 2), detailing the ouster and re-election of "green-and-gay" board member Michael McCue, reads more like an episode of Peyton Place. And the mail, most of it in McCue's favor, is flying! "Michael McCue is passionate and knowledgeable," writes Todd Hacker. "Outspoken? Yes. This is the whole point in grassroots DEMOCRACY, is it not? God Bless Mr. McCue for not backing down. That's the stuff heroes are made of."
"What is so shocking about the events at this neighborhood council," adds George Staggs, "is that there was no oversight of corrective actions taken by the people downtown, whose job is to protect the idea of transparency and accountability. Who exactly was asleep at the wheel?"
"Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water," cautions Ross D. Frankel. "Los Angeles City Neighborhood Councils are a critical part of our grassroots democratic-representative governing processes. However, clearly there are a lack of critical checks and balances. What is overlooked is that neighborhood councils are a proving ground, a place to train for future city council members. Without this proving ground, we risk having a city council that is less competent, less objective and ethical but more dependent upon corruption by 'special interests.' "
Byron DeLear takes this particular cake, however, with his New Yorker watch-that-metaphor!-worthy treatise on flies: "I have attended Studio City Neighborhood Council meetings, and can testify that SoCal Neighborhood Councils suffer from the same behind-closed-doors corruption(s) that plague most legislative bodies: Cue, Michael McCue. Entering from stage left, McCue began pushing buttons, asking questions, probing data, demanding answers, bringing accountability, recruiting interest among residents, and all in all, acting the fly to the Studio City Neighborhood Council's status quo ointment.
"Well, when you're an ointment owner," continues Mr. DeLear, "the last thing you want is a residential fly. A conspiracy began to remove McCue, and it backfired on the plotters, as it were — the ointment is actually owned by the people. Which brings up the moral of this story. If you spot a fly on the wall and wish to swat, think twice, he may be Super Fly, and while being a fly on the wall heard a few secrets. Once you miss, Super Fly will make you eat crow: If you fly with the crows, you get shot with the crows."
KARINA, YOU IGNORANT SPOILER
Reader Joe is mad at Film Editor Karina Longworth and he's not going to take it anymore, at least not before letting us know that her review of the new Robert Rodriguez movie, Machete ("Blades of Gory," Sept. 2), was out of line: "Author Karina Longworth, you suck. Quoting one of the last lines of a not-yet-released movie. You suck, spoiler!"
Phew! We thought you were going to complain about that story's really bad headline.
A JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT KISS IS BUT A KISS
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Another Karina Longworth piece (“Inception's Kiss: And Other Memories of Summer," Sept. 2), in which she noted that the midfilm kiss between actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page "gave the film an all-too-brief jolt of sex, spontaneity and unexplained intrigue — all common dream elements that Inception otherwise had in short supply." That inspired this reply from critic, intellectual and Weekly contributor David Ehrenstein: "Well, who doesn't want to kiss Joseph Gordon-Levitt?"
One word, David: Eww!
KEEP ON WRITING
You can make our day. Really. At firstname.lastname@example.org.