Riff Raff and Kapparot Chickens: Readers Respond

A Boy Named Horst

How to summarize the reaction to last week's cover story ("Becoming Riff Raff," by Ben Westhoff)? You laughed, you cried, you called us assholes. Some of you even had articulate responses. Writes Genesia Williams, "What makes me hate this article is the fact that it's seven (Internet) pages of circle jerkery and benefit of the doubt given to someone who intentionally embodies as many cliches and stereotypes and caricatures as one person can possibly pile into one — but artists of color are lambasted for both authentic expressions and the expression of caricature. When y'all write a similarly in-depth article examining the quirks, backstory and proclivities of, say, a 2Chainz (who is equally interesting, and 'enigmatic' and whatever), then let me know when to tune in."

Rhiannon Jung was more succinct. "Fuck you, L.A. Weekly. Seriously. Fuck this clown as well."

Heather Williams was not happy with the cover. She writes, "I'm a big fan of L.A. Weekly and an avid reader. However, I was disgusted at the Riff Raff cover, and not because it featured a real-life caricature of a man but because of the woman's legs that appeared on the cover. The artwork made it look like he was holding someone lifeless that had been dumped in a trash barrel. You don't need to cut women into pieces on your cover to get people interested in the publication. It's the good stuff inside that keeps us reading."

Silence of the Chickens

Gendy Alimurung's visit to Pico-Robertson just before the ritual slaughter of chickens called kapparot had some readers laughing — and others livid at the conditions she described.

Momof5 writes, "OK, so let me get this right. One gets to screw up all year, and later, instead of accepting personal responsibility, kills an innocent animal. Really? Animals who are crammed into cages, one on top of the other, covered in their own poop and pee, suffering through heat with no food and no water, all to get swung around and their throats slashed, and tossed into garbage like they don't even matter? Yes, they did end up in trash. Yes, there was a sanitation truck picking them up EVERY SINGLE DAY. Yes, I live in the area and I've seen it. Shame on those who participated in this inhumane, wasteful and barbaric ritual."

George Vreeland Hill observes, "People who believe they can pass their sins onto chickens by way of a religious act are idiots. It is not religion and it is not sane. Those who treat chickens that way should be fined and sent to jail."

Melanie Pinkard enjoyed the story. "I would like to thank Gendy Alimurung for giving me the best laugh I've had since seeing Sharknado. Phrases like, 'The chickens will pay for your sins' and 'God is not taking all the chickens ... some will live to squawk another day' had me in a fit of giggles. When I saw the picture of that chicken contemplating his demise, I was done. Brilliant writing. Thank you!"

You Write, We Read

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