Sometimes, a comment is so timely, so essential, it just begs to come first. So it is with Michelle Klein-Hass's response to Jonathan Gold's review last week of Slaw Dogs (“Three Dog Night: Frank talk about a new L.A. food movement,” June 10). “I still miss the Weiner Factory in Sherman Oaks,” she writes. “Steamed egg bun, steamed hot dogs, best topping combo was their signature red cabbage, cheese and brown mustard dog.”
Who among us, Michelle, doesn't miss the Weiner Factory?
GOOD-BYE TO ALL THAT
Speaking of walking, Jonny Whiteside's tribute to country singer-songwriter Mike Stinson's leave-taking of L.A. (“Walking Away,” June 10) generated some heartfelt responses. Some were downright cynical, such as this one from Frankie:
“Bottom line, join the club of many broken-heart talent on the Blvd of broken dreams, who came to L.A. and left. L.A. does nothing but destroy one's spirit, hopes & dreams. Especially with fuck heads making decisions who don't know their heads from theirs asses. So Mike may have been special, maybe not. Join the ranks of many other unsung talents. Farewell and better luck in Texas. At least you got another mention in the L.A. Weekly. Whoop-pee!“
But others, such as this one from Matt, were anything but cynical: “I've never met a more humble, soft-spoken gentleman in the music world. He writes real honky-tonk music, the types of songs that anybody out there who is just trying to make it can relate to. Mike Stinson knows who he is. The music industry knows who Mike Stinson is. For those of you who don't know Mike Stinson's music and haven't experienced his stage presence, do yourselves a favor, make a point of getting out to one of his shows. Who knows? You might leave there with a little better understanding of who you are.”
Add this from Michael des Barres: “I do sincerely believe that Stinson is one of the great songwriters of his or any other generation. Your piece on him, Mr. Whiteside, is insightful and soulful in and of itself.”
CRITICISM OF CRITICAL MASS AND LAPD
Readers liked Dennis Romero's story on the clash between the police and the cycling group Critical Mass (aptly titled “Bicyclists Clash with LAPD,” June 10), or they hated it. Dennis (presumably not Romero) liked it: “Thanks Dennis for being the only one who has actually put out both sides of the issue. We all know what the radical, lawless group Critical Mass is all about. You're right, media coverage has been all about LAPD and not the hostile, aggressive behavior of these bicyclists. Many of us who have had run-ins with the bikers appreciate the balance on the issue.”
Matt hated it: “? 'Hard-core bicyclists'? You mean anyone who rides in this city and advocates for their right not to be run down and killed? You give the police the absolute benefit of the doubt despite the contrary video evidence and then paint all the cyclists as radical environmentalists out to only 'prove a point,' when you clearly are unfamiliar with any of these groups or the diversity of people who do ride. You turned a story about cops kicking and tackling people for being in the street (and then attempting to destroy that evidence!) into a fluff piece about how much cops are doing for these pain-in-the-ass cyclists. If I wanted to read FOX News, I'd point my browser in that direction.”
Mark liked it: “Truth be told, many participants of Critical Mass do have a thug/mob mentality. I wouldn't say it's a majority of the people involved, but I've seen their ganglike behavior firsthand. Before I knew what Critical Mass was, I made the mistake of honking at their group because they were being rude and taking up the whole road. (Mind you, I wasn't on their tails. Just a friendly “Hey, just trying to get through” honk). Upon doing so, I was stopped by the group, threatened verbally and had my car kicked. Now, I understand that they're for bikers' rights. I am, too. But the way they behave is much like that of a vigilante. And lots of times they're breaking the law. Last I checked, bikers follow the same rules of the road as motor pedestrians. So while I support what they're doing in theory, they still need to not be dicks about it.”
Ubrayj02 really, really hated it: “This lawless bunch of cyclists using their bikes en masse at a designated time once a month deserves to have their throats crushed! I can think of several other lawless groups doing the same thing every day: They line up in a herd and clog the entire street network every evening along the 101 at around 5 p.m. I can't wait for the LAPD to respond to these aggressive, lawless monsters clogging the roads at 5 p.m. every day near the freeways. All sarcasm aside, this coverage is absolutely poisonous to public discourse, and your descriptions of cyclists is insulting to the intellect and damaging to the facts. L.A. Weakly, you suck.”
POLITICAL CYNICISM OF THE WEEK
Many readers responded to Jill Stewart's analysis of Meg Whitman's chances to win the governor's seat from Jerry Brown (“Meg Whitman's Uphill Battle,” June 10), but few were so clear in their conviction as someone calling themselves Fish Oil:
“It doesn't matter who you vote for, California is f****d. Brown will tax and spend this state further into bankruptcy, there will be no border between Mexico and California, L.A. will sink further into the Tijuana cesspool it is becoming. Whitman is polished and spits out all the right answers. Only when she gets into office she will go nowhere . . . the unions and special interests will see to that. Arnold tried and quickly learned his place. The next governor will be another useless hack. So, while you trash the other side's candidate with rehashed political ad sound bytes (like sheep) … just know that CA is f*****. We are broke. The party is over. Neither candidate will change anything.”
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