You’d practically think, from the piece on Brian Copeland’s show [“Town Without Pity,” March 24–30], that San Leandro in the ’70s was a bastion of white supremacy and KKK-like mentality. It was not; nor was the term “whites-only community” anywhere near accurate.
I grew up in this limited and boring-but-good-natured town concurrently with Copeland. I shared classrooms with many brown kids. While San Leandro had a white majority, it nonetheless was a melting pot of many different ethnicities.
Admittedly, black was barely one of them. Was a police unit indeed stationed at the neighboring Oakland border, assigned to harass any black entering? My family members have driven in this area countless times since 1948, and say they’ve never seen any such thing.
Copeland’s performance includes numerous flashbacks to San Leandro — all of which are negative and traumatic. Surely he had some good times there, as he’s chosen to live there 30 years, to this day. And if the loving, hard-working mother he described truly felt her four children’s lives and well-being were under constant threat, she would’ve relocated her family.
Cherish the Memories
While I enjoyed Alie Ward’s article on the history of two-piece indie bands [“Wonder Twin Powers, Activate!,” April 14–20], she forgot to mention L.A.’s own industrial “junk-punk” duo, Babyland, who have been doing the “duo” thing since 1989! (Note the gap in Ward’s genealogical timeline from 1985 to 1990, which should be filled by Babyland!) Dan and Smith met while students at USC and have been tirelessly gigging around L.A. for years, playing legendary shows at Al’s Bar, the Impala Cafe, Kontrol Factory, Helter Skelter, the Smell, etc. Not only do Babyland not get enough credit for anticipating the whole ’80s “electroclash” revival (they were one of the first “indie” bands I ever saw bring a computer onstage), now they’re snubbed by L.A.’s own alternative weekly. Shame.
I enjoyed your article [“Cute Schizophrenia — Ray Davies: Pratfalls and Preservation” by Jesse Walker, April 14–20]. However, I felt the title of the article was misleading and makes fun of a serious illness.
Schizophrenia is a real mental illness based on physical changes in the brain. Calling it “cute” demeans those who suffer so greatly and stops individuals from seeking treatment.
The reference in the article to Davies’ “alter ego,” while appropriate, does not imply that he has schizophrenia. Those suffering from schizophrenia do not have split personalities or Multiple Personality Disorder.
Kathleen E. Kain, Ph.D.
Columbia, South Carolina
THE EDITORS REPLY: “Acute Schizophrenia” is the title of a song written by Ray Davies.
Finally, a fair article on the recent student protests! [“What Adults Don’t Get,” April 7–13.] Any previous coverage I had seen only speculated on what those wild, unruly Mexican kids may do next! Looting?! Riots?! Disrupting the complacent middle class?! Who knows! It only served to discredit the dissent of young adults who may not have the vote, but certainly do have a valid voice to speak on behalf of their families and the inherently racist state of affairs. They are smart enough to organize and stand up for themselves, and are not just cutting class. Thank you for making them heard, and calling out those in the media who seek to quiet these students.
The American Institute of Biological Sciences announced its annual media awards, one each for print and broadcast journalism, and the Weekly’s Margaret Wertheim won the print award for her Antarctica pieces “Gen-X on Ice” and “Godzilla Ice,” which appeared on February 4 and March 11, 2005.
In our cover story “Young at Heart — Future: Last Chance for Our Theater” [April 7–13], the study “Gifts of the Muse” was done by the RAND Corp. on behalf of the Wallace Foundation, not by the Wallace Foundation for the RAND Corp., as was reported.