A divine power must have been at work at the trusty L.A. Weekly last week. How else to explain the wonderful flood of outrage about drugs, assassins and balsamic vinegar?
Medical marijuana led the way. (Is there a more reliable ignition switch for readers?) Our story revealing that many medical-marijuana retailers remain open, despite the city's order to close, elicited atta boys, WTFs and a dollop of gallows humor.
From James Sequioa: "I think that if I am a patient I should be able to sell to give care to another patient. Why do they say that if you sell to more than four people it would be illegal? Who is making these damm laws leave mmj alone. We will never stop you ass face government alloo allday!!!!"
A reader known as Funny had a different thought: "Well well well, the defiant dispensary owners. How stupid could they be? Duh! No doubt, greed and sheer stupidity will empty their pockets, put them in severe debt and get them jail time. Stupid stupid stupid! Amazing."
Brett offered a view from the neighborhoods: "The argument that the city loses money, the DWP loses money, etc., is a smokescreen. Money will not be lost. Meanwhile, the blight associated with the proliferation of these 'clinics' and 'facilities' will hopefully be muted and eventually eradicated, and property values for homeowners may actually go up again. Frankly, Northridge doesn't need 20 'medical marijuana' clinics within a two-block radius."
Someone identified only as Medical Patient saw a couple of villains: "The morons on the City Council don't even realize that delivery service is ALREADY illegal according to the ordinance. Calling an emergency meeting, etc., just shows that they have not read the ordinance that they supposedly wrote. The illegal collectives are more to blame for this ordinance than anyone. It was their blatant disregard of all the laws, zoning and general decorum that caused a huge backlash against medical marijuana in L.A."
Indeed, the conveniently named Toker complained that the closures will inflict a hardship on some patients. "The CCSP in Pedro was on the close list, but it's the only one on the Pedro peninsula. I hope they don't close. It is a hardship to expect people who are sick to travel miles and miles for a substance that brings relief. In my case it's arthritis, and I don't want to have to drive all over L.A. County."
And finally, no discussion of medical marijuana in this rag would be complete without a salute to the Weekly.
From Abby: "Why is the L.A. Weekly doing the investigative work of the City Attorney's Office? The Weekly should be supporting the dispensaries, not helping to bust them!"
Dear Abby: If we supported them any more, we couldn't get the paper out.
Nathan Ihara's thoughtful piece about the state of book publishing, "The Tyranny of the New," argued that readers are to blame for assuming new is always better than old. "We want our authors young and beautiful, our novels hip and topical," Ihara wrote.
To which Schuyler Esperanza responded: "Are there seriously readers out there who look at author photos on book jackets or the Internet before buying or reading books? I attend several book signings a year, and frankly, the authors vary wildly on everything from looks to speaking abilities to what's on their book's pages. It really comes down to this: Can the author tell a good story?"
A reply, from Paul: "Schuyler, it's not down to the retail buyer to make that decision — the author himself needs to charismatically charm the doors open at both an agency and a publishing house. So while the craft of writing is private, the act of selling (to agencies, houses and audiences) is very public. And there's no reason to think that great writers would be presentable or palatable public speakers.
LOOSE BORDERS HELP HIT MAN
Christine Pelisek's chilling story of an FBI Most Wanted hit man working in California for Mexican drug interests prompted a reader identified as Truth Teller to connect a few dots:
"The cartels recruit from the U.S. for their killers and errand boys that can cross the border with ease. The product (drugs) that the cartel sells comes across the border both hidden in legitimate shipments and on the backs of illegal immigrants through the Arizona desert.
"Anyone who does not support Arizona's attempt to control the border and illegal immigration including SB1070 supports the Mexican drug cartels and killer rapists like Jose Saenz.
"Next story should look into how long until L.A. overtakes Phoenix as the kidnapping capital.
"The solutions to these problems include the decriminalization of some drugs, the securing of our southern border and an honest assessment of the damage that welfare and other good-intentioned programs have done to the societal fabric of the nation."
HOLD VINEGAR AT YOUR PERIL
Food critic Jonathan Gold's review of Terroni reported that the Italian restaurant's practice of refusing to slice its pizza or serve balsamic vinegar merited scarcely a yawn in Los Angeles.
Not so, says unhappy diner Dennis Huddleston. "Some advice for Terroni," Huddleston writes. "(1.) Give your customers what they want; and (2.) The customer is always right.
"No one is ever going to make their way to your restaurant because you DON'T slice the pizza, or because you won't let them have balsamic vinegar. But you WILL lose customers for these very reasons. I and my whole family, for instance. I took a party of 12 to your eatery three weeks ago and we all agreed: We love the pizza, but not enough to overcome the stupid (LAME) issues of uncut pizza and refused balsamic vinegar.
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"You want to lose more customers? Then keep this stupidity going.
"Arivederci [sic] Suckas!"
Oh, Otto, we love it when you speak Italian.
WE LOVE IT WHEN YOU WRITE
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