Traffic Stop

Why was Eric Red involved in a car accident that killed two people five and a half years ago [“Death Race 2000,” Jan. 13–19]? Well, according to Paul Cullum, the lack of chest-beating Hollywood cred had something to do with it. We’re told that Red used to live grandly on Mulholland Drive back before one of his films grossed the ignominious sum of $64,000. From there, he moved into a small apartment (near the freeway, mind you!), and, after losing his A-list representation, he’d been picked up by an agency run by just three people who were repping over-the-hill jokes such as Bo Derek and Adam West. Moreover, Red had taken to writing production notes for a straight-to-video company whose latest films, Cullum points out, had featured the likes of Eric Roberts and Mario Van Peebles. Finally, to top this list of horrors, he’d done a movie with Morgan Creek, where, an observer informs us, “the souls of the damned” can be seen to “tramp in and out.”

So there you have it, folks. Even the so-called alternative press thinks you’re either somebody or you’re nobody, and if you’re nobody, you deserve all the snickering contempt that Paul Cullum and company can lob your way. No wonder Roberts and Derek show up in a story about someone they don’t even know: With careers like theirs, they’re liable to run you over, too. Meantime, Mr. Cullum should be reminded that schizophrenia has nothing to do with a split personality, but hey, I get his drift. Does he?

D.R. Haney

Echo Park

A huge thank-you to Paul Cullum for the piece on the tragedy surrounding Eric Red’s actions. I witnessed the crash and much of the horrific bar scene from my window across the street from Q’s, and until now had only heard bits and pieces of the aftermath.

Matthew Smith

Los Angeles

Emo Is Dead, Long Live Emo!

According to your article [“The Secret Lives of Boys,” Jan. 20–26], I suppose you can call me an “indie fuck.” Just some washed-up 17-year-old punk who has all those so-called requirements. One who is also pissed at the state of the punk scene right now, and has expanded his scope a bit.

One year ago I wouldn’t have believed that I would be defending emocore. Now that I’ve grown up a little (enough at least that I’m not pissed at everything for no reason), I see that I’ve been too close-minded. Supposedly, the definition of emo has become broad, but that’s because people don’t know what true emo is. Fugazi was emocore because its music was emotional, not whining. There were feelings, all of them, not just depression. There is no such thing as true emo music today. My Chemical Romance is not emo, just melodic whining. Fugazi, Rites of Spring, Hüsker Dü, etc., were emo.

Emo is dead, so is punk, so is rock, because the ideals are gone. Now to be emo is to be sad and cut yourself, to be punk is to be angry and stupid, to be a rocker of any type is to make money on MTV or commercials or whatever. There never were any requirements, that’s why it was cool, because everyone did their own thing. But now everyone looks the same, there is no punk, it’s a style now, no more an ideal. Don’t ever say that music today is punk, or emo, or even true rock, and don’t EVER talk bad about Fugazi.

Rod Hamidi

Sherman Oaks

We’re Only Human

I’m very appreciative of Eric Bluhm’s review of my novel Street Magic [“5 Overlooked Literary Sketches of Coastal California,” Jan. 6–12]. I’ve come to the conclusion, over the years, that having my name misspelled in reviews is simply part of being “overlooked.” Nevertheless, I still dream of someday being a household word.

Michael Reaves

Woodland Hills

Born to Make Mistakes

Regarding Ted Soqui’s beautiful photo-essay on the L.A. River bridges [“Spanning L.A.,” Jan. 13–19]. The caption for the large photo incorrectly identifies the bridge as the Macy Street Bridge, though it is in fact the North Broadway Bridge, originally known as the Buena Vista Viaduct.

Joe Linton

Los Angeles

LA Weekly