Words on Urban Scrawl
For all the air talk and ink dedicated to the L.A. Weekly losing its soul to the corporate evildoers in those second-floor cubicles (or wherever you keep them), I found last week’s cover story on graf writers refreshing, facinating and important [“Graffiti Gods of the Seventh Letter,” July 13–19]. This is a misunderstood art form that has been criminalized for too long in L.A. The issue was not even that flashy or sensational, but I will see that parts or all of it make their way into the City’s Arts & Culture Master Plan.
If L.A. is to take its place as a world art center and force, we must do as NYC has done with its graf artists. If there is a young Keith Haring somewhere out there in the L.A. basin, he or she does not belong behind bars.
As far as the corporate side of things, our complex world is ever changing, and every member of Rage Against the Machine is a millionaire. So there.
Keep up the good work, comrades.
Culture Clash founder
Cultural Affairs Commissioner for L.A.
Getting an F in art class is no excuse for creating massive urban blight. This fact is admirably illuminated in your cover story “Graffiti Gods of the Seventh Letter.” Taggers and “street artists” should all be shot on sight — make that site. Krylon has much to answer for.
Lawrence J. Pippick
Show a Little Pride
It’s a shame that you don’t have more GLBT events covered in the paper. Our community has supported the L.A. Weekly for years! I expect to have all aspects of events (political, social/entertainment) written about, especially when it comes to the Pride March and Dykes on Bikes. I look forward to more coverage in the future.
Extreme, But Not Acting
Christian Bale, “the best actor of his generation” [“Christian Bale and the Art of Extreme Acting,” July 6–12]? Sorry, Joe Donnelly, but Bale’s performances have been consistently stiff. It’s not enough for an actor to gain or lose weight for a role. There has to be some conveyance of emotion in the performances, an ability that Bale has thus far lacked.
What’s up with choosing the Donnas as a music pick of the week and then using the whole description as an opportunity to diss them? [Music Picks, June 29–July 5]. Maybe writing a music recommendation is better left till after you’ve sorted out your feelings about a band. Anyway, the show rocked.
East Is East (of the River)
In response to Matthew Fleischer’s review of Jon Huck’s “Couples” [“The Dating Game,” July 6–12] exhibit, I have one issue. The Eastside is east of the L.A. River . . . not located, as suggested by Mr. Fleischer, in Echo Park or Silver Lake.
East L.A., Boyle Heights and City Terrace are all vibrant and culturally rich communities that do not deserve to be overlooked.
It may seem like splitting hairs, but to seek to rename Echo Park and Silver Lake as the “Eastside” totally serves to shift the cultural center of Los Angeles farther west. Terminology is serious business — as the Eastside continues to move west, the historic rainshadow effect cast over the real East L.A. continues to grow darker, and its cultural accomplishments continue to be overlooked and isolated.
In light of the recent and startling shift of the Weekly’s editorial focus on gossip rather than the substance of social and artistic movements, this shifting of the Eastside reeks of passive-aggressive, privileged racism.
Keep Up the Good Work
I just wanted to thank you for the stories you have written on Bell Gardens City Councilman Mario Beltran and the 740 Club. Your in-depth reporting on Beltran was outstanding. This, along with your reporting on the true nature of the 740 Club, is the type of unbiased reporting the mainstream papers like the L.A. Times lacks. I hope you continue your investigations on both of these issues.
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After reading “Ghost Stories” [July 13–19], Steven Leigh Morris’ article on the ephemeral nature of theater — so beautifully put together from beginning to end — I must say that if Morris is not a great writer, I am willing to eat raw the entire hard copy. Rock on, Mr. Morris.