I read through the Weekly’s endorsement for the 42nd Assembly District and had to shake my head. The Weekly insists that both Mike Feuer and his opponent, Abbe Land, are “extremely qualified” candidates who “easily outshine” the rest of the field. Yet mere moments later, the Weekly warns of Feuer’s “penchant for self-righteous finger-pointing” and the massive amounts of funds he raised in both his current campaign and his bungled bid for city attorney (which he managed to lose despite that massive fund-raising and a 20-point lead in the polls before the election). The Weekly’s final line, a hope for a “Feuer who persuades, not alienates,” could just as easily have read “Let’s cross our fingers and hope for the best.”
Diane Sherman Smith
I was frankly puzzled by the L.A. Weekly’s reasoning in its endorsement for the 41st Assembly District race. While your paper states that “attorney (Barry) Groveman . . . show(s) an impassioned interest in the environment,” you surprisingly and incongruously question whether he “seems entirely suited to the work of getting difficult bills through the state Legislature.” In fact, Groveman co-authored Proposition 65 — California’s landmark Safe Drinking Water Act. He has drafted other important laws in the field of environmental protection. As a dynamic and proactive mayor, Groveman has demonstrated a rare ability to bring quarreling sides together and fashion creative “win-win” solutions to seemingly intractable problems. Ironically, it is the L.A. Weekly’s endorsed candidate, Jonathan Levey, who has neither held public office nor demonstrated any legislative accomplishments.
Alan Rich deserves a standing ovation. I generally eschew music criticism, as many such “critics” throughout history have deserved the abuse heaped upon them by Charles Ives. But Alan Rich is different. His column is always informative and thought-provoking, and one gets the sense that he actually knows a thing or two about music. But Mr. Rich really delivered a jewel last week. [A Lot of Night Music, “Sudden Shock,” June 2-8].
His musings on the life and work of Claude Vivier were compelling, approaching poetry. And then he served up a priceless symphony of words in “Maestro by the Pound,” which came across to this reader as a sonnet in the spirit of Huxley’s Brave New World. I really thought I’d seen it all three decades ago, when I encountered a do-it-yourself chord organ upon which the intellectually challenged and/or lazy could delude themselves into thinking that they were “playing the great classics.” A kind of precursor to karaoke, which, thankfully, has not (yet) landed itself in the symphony hall. This “Maestro” contraption is really over the top, though, and Rich’s description of it was hilarious, while at the same time disturbing. This is the kind of absurd pabulum-feeder-beginner-melody product for the types of people who go to the Hollywood Bowl for “culture” and then proceed to talk and drink through the entire performance. Keep up the good work, Mr. Rich. Your voice is sorely needed in these troubled times.
In a fascinating interview [“Something to Offend Everyone,” May 19], Brendan Bernhard quotes Taki Theodoracopulos: “George Orwell was off by 25 years.” The first (British) edition of the book was titled 1948, and the U.S. publisher, feeling the public could not accept the harsh truth, transposed the two final numbers. And so, in fact, Orwell was well on-target by over 50 years.
L.A. Weekly has won six 2006 Association of Alternative Newsweekly awards. Winners in the respective categories are: Bruce Eric Kaplan for “BEK” and Dwayne Booth (Mr. Fish) for “Image Control” (cartoon); Judith Lewis for “Green to the Core” (feature); Jonathan Gold for “The Revolutionary,” “Raw Power” and “Sex and the Steak House” (food writing); Nikki Finke for her column, “Deadline Hollywood” (media reporting/criticism); and the Weekly’s “Best of L.A.” issue (special section).