Luring Cougars, Wooing Audiences
Baiting the Cougar Trap
Regarding Matthew Fleischer’s “Confessions of an Aspiring Kept Man” [July 4-10]: Oy, Matthew, even as a gay man, 40-something, not looking for “cougars” (and not interested in being the gay male version of a cougar for my team), I still get it. But look, Matt, like me, you’re Jewish, so, ipso facto, you’re thinking too much. First off, stop thinking. Don’t ruminate. Don’t ponder. Get on Match.com, get on craigslist, hang out at strange times, when the 45-year-old female therapists and sole practitioners are taking a “me day” of spa and sun. I recommend Wabi-Sabi in Venice, or Joe’s. Or Pasadena. Your quarry is there. I’ve seen them. A well-put-together woman looks like, well, a package someone like you would want. Your ad: Young, horny [translation: Likes to do it a lot] Jewish guy, likes to cook [translation: Not a lot of money to eat out, likes to do it a lot), appreciates older women [translation: Yep, still doing it]. You may even get a twofer.
I’ve been working in L.A. theater for nearly three decades (only half of that time as a publicist) and have never heard of the practice of selling discounted tickets referred to as papering [“Paper Tigers,” July 11-17]. I have heard that term only in reference to the practice of bolstering attendance by giving out free tickets.
Many of the shows I work with offer discounted tickets throughout the run, not just the first two weekends. We live in tough economic times, and it is a reality that a discount will snare a patron who might otherwise pass a show by.
I counsel my current clients against padding an audience with complimentary tickets when a critic is in attendance. Most critics are perceptive enough to figure out if a producer is trying to manipulate the review, and the practice will come back to bite the producer in the butt.
One new marketing tactic is to jack up the ticket price to $30 or $35, so that a patron going to Goldstar will pay $15-$17.50 for a ticket, just a couple of dollars shy of a normally priced ticket in the current market climate.
Philip SokoloffLos Angeles
Thank you for reporting on the illegal practice of suspending convicted BUI offenders’ driver’s licenses [“Thousands of Drunks Beat the California DMV,” June 27-July 3]. While at Lake Havasu over Memorial Day weekend in 2003, I was convicted of BUI. I paid almost $2,000 in fines, was put on three years’ probation and had to take a boat-safety course, attend AA and join a first-offender alcohol program. The kicker was that I also lost my driver’s license for six months. When I went to the DMV, they said that drivers in DUI cases could get their license back after a 30-day suspension and then it would be restricted for six months, but in the case of BUI offenders, they automatically lose their license for six months. Shortly thereafter, the MTA went on strike and I had no way to get to work. This totally changed my outlook on government and police. I no longer saw them as protecting and serving but rather as a capitalistic racket. Costliest two beers I ever drank.
Jason Cromer (Not Very Drunken Sailor)Los Angeles
Homeless on the Hollywood Range
Good article [“Death of Raven, a Hollywood Beauty,” June 20-26]. As a resident who passes these kids every day, I can tell you that the shelters and services offered are both the savior and the lure for these kids. There’s a reason they’re in Hollywood — more access to foot traffic (money), more services (free clinics, several shelters), more access to drugs (for buying, trading, selling) and more people close in age. Add in that Hollywood is still one step from a slum in most parts, and that the other areas chase them away (Beverly Hills drives them straight to Hollywood), and you have tragedy in the making.
Posted Wednesday, June 25 by Todd
A Drop in the Gas Pump
Transit basher Jill Stewart re-emerges from the smog with moronically framed statistics from the right-wing “Washington Policy Center of Seattle” [“Do You Trust the MTA With $40 Billion?” July 11-17]. New sales tax? In the era of near $5-per-gallon gas, for the L.A. taxpayer to pay 7 cents a day for $40 billion in transit improvements is a bargain.
Roger ChristensenSherman Oaks
Dividing and Conquering
Regarding Matthew Fleischer’s article “California Prisons’ Big Group Hug” [July 4–10]: There has always been segregation in the prisons, just as there has always been in the society at large. No one saw that as a problem when “whites” were the majority in the prison population and were the sole arbiters of administration. And the white power structure sees a benefit (albeit short term) in maintaining subgroup conflicts as a way of avoiding the real task of rehabilitation and a possible unified revolt against inhumane treatment.
F. Daniel Gray Los Angeles
Peter Landesman Wins John Bartlow Martin Award
Two L.A. Weekly writers received recognition in Northwestern University’s prestigious John Bartlow Martin Awards, given for public-interest magazine journalism. Peter Landesman won first prize for his article “Nine Miles and Spreading,” a look at the world of Southern California gang violence. Former Weekly staff writer David Zahniser was a finalist for his “The End of Murder,” which detailed the city’s flawed crime-fighting tactics.
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