Our annual Fashion Issue — this year focusing on the quandaries of trying to dress ethically — had L.A. talking. Readers were particularly worked up about Patrick Range McDonald's cover story, which gave the backstory on West Hollywood's first-in-the-nation fur ban (“Political Animals,” July 27).
David Tulanian is a fan — if not of the ban itself, then of McDonald's story. “Another well-written think piece. Thank you.”
He continues, “Well, the fur fanatics strike again. Here's one anti-fur person's remark about an opponent: 'It was very hard for me not to want to punch him in the face.' How ironic that those who profess concern about the plight of helpless animals can be so oblivious to the plight of helpless humans — like the hard-working, modest store owners profiled in your article.“
Rwpipher disagrees. “I think this ban is wonderful,” she writes. “There is no excuse for killing animals merely for fashion. A caring, compassionate woman or man looks sexier when they show their concern for those lovely animals who are slaughtered in a very inhumane way, merely for their pelts! It is a shame that we have so many celebrities who care about nothing but their own vain interests, who could care less about the hell these animals had to go through even before they are killed! The Kardashians, Joan Rivers and Cee Lo are horrible uncaring people who prove how vain and selfish they truly are.“
Helpful Heroine is less impressed. “Really? Of all the issues society faces today, fur? This is what a city is choosing to spend all their time outlawing? Because there are some other social issues that I'd like to see outlawed as well. How about outlawing the wearing of ugly clothes, because that really disgusts me and hurts my eyes and is bad for the environment. How about outlawing the legislating of people's personal opinions? How about outlawing all the bad drivers? How about outlawing all the people who come to L.A. from other places who give L.A. a bad name? How about outlawing plastic surgery — does Ellen know how people's obsession with looks negatively affects children? All these lame, fur-banning people who assault and batter people who wear fur and leather are so privileged and delusional that they don't even notice the busboy bringing them Pellegrino who works three jobs to send money to his family. Talk about disgusting hypocrites.”
MissDeeDee responds: “The fur ban appears kind of silly when you look at it. Blankets are OK, but not Uggs? But this is at least an attempt to start a dialogue about humans' 'use' of animals, and banning a fur coat in Los Angeles doesn't seem so far-fetched, does it? Is living on this planet really all about doing whatever you want as long as you have the money?”
But Kate Brown, for one, was mostly troubled by our cover. “Enough with the slutty-girl cover art,” she writes. “Please! Why not slutty men? L.A. is an awesome, diverse and cosmopolitan city. Why not speak to us with some good art?”
Henry Rollins, the Controversy!
Our music columnist, Henry Rollins, stirred the waters last week by arguing that increased gun control is doomed to fail. Rollins writes, “Barring guns would be like amputating everyone's legs, thus insuring that no one will ever shoot themselves in the foot again. Since guns will always be with us, we have to be better and get up the road together.”
Some readers appreciated Rollins' counterintuitive take. “I read this article with both Aurora, CO, and Anaheim, CA, in mind,” Woolfy writes, referencing both the movie theater massacre and the police shootings and subsequent protests in our neighbor city to the south. “Thank you for this thoughtful and well-written piece.”
Scott Matz isn't buying it. “ 'Be better and get up the road together?' In your case, does this mean becoming an apologist for the U.S. military machine, as when you went to visit the 'troops'? When you did that, you became part of the propaganda machine that includes millions of dollars spent on lavish commercials glorifying our military.
“This is not a liberal name-calling but a miserable truth for those innocents called 'collateral damage.' Also, by showing up to do whatever it is you do (ranting), you just confirmed your words and supported our death machine that 'as always, it's the people' who kill.
“Your words are scary, but your actions are deplorable. In this grand American tradition, you have become the status quo. Congratulations. If you had real balls, you would not subscribe to this vicious cycle, but, again, are an official apologist. Carry on!”
Godoggo ponders Rollins' argument. “My immediate reaction was, surely American culture isn't as rigid as all that. We seem to have made some pretty impressive progress toward getting past our deeply ingrained homophobia, for example. But the thing about gun craziness is that it's self-perpetuating. The more people have guns, the more people want guns to protect themselves from all the people with guns. Plus, guns are hard to get people to give up, because the people who you'd want to give up their guns have guns to keep you from getting them to give them up.
“I for one would vote for a nationwide (not just local) gun ban in a heartbeat. But I'm about as optimistic about that happening as I am about the prospect of Americans being humane to one another.”
Last week's piece about three local eco-conscious designers (“Fashion Forward”) misstated the date that Loomstate 321 was launched. Its predecessor, Loomstate, began in 2004, but the 321 line began only this year. We regret the error.
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