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GUMSHOE GRANDIOSITY

Many thanks
to the Weekly and my friend and colleague Paul Cullum for the “Watching
the Detectives” cover story [April 12–18]
. Despite their bluster and gumshoe
grandiosity, detectives Dan Hanks and Fred Valis are the real deal. After months
of investigation, the Threat Management Unit of the Los Angeles Police Department
failed to find a stalker who had been terrorizing me for over a year. Within
12 hours of a single phone call to the P.I.’s, Danno and Mad Dog had located
and neutralized my stalker. They’re that good!

—Mark Ebner
Venice

OBJECT LESSON

Re: “A Witness
to Devastation and Death” [April 19–25]
. After reading Mouin Rabbani’s litany
of atrocities perpetrated by the bloodthirsty Israeli joy killers, I could almost
hear the orgasmic hyperventilating around your office when this dispatch finally
came over the wire and the fine folk at the Weekly frantically tried
to find a way to print it without any verification. After all, it was pro-Palestinian,
so it had to have been true. The little guy, no matter how evil, never lies,
of course. So my hat’s off to you and the brilliant disclaimer you came up with
to precede the story. But you know what? You’re just not allowed to illustrate
the dire need for factual reporting of the truth by printing something which
is full of probable fabrication and lies.

—Mike Coulter
Los Angeles

I will eat your paper whole if you ever can prove that the
Israeli army willingly attacked, shot, molested, robbed or did any nefarious
act anywhere in the Palestinian cities (and they are cites and not refugee camps)
during this campaign to collect all the terrorists that have been planning and
carrying out murder all over the world for 10 to 20 years. War is war, and I
am sure some civilians were killed. Everyone was warned over and over again
to vacate the buildings the terrorists were shooting out of, and some people
refused. Hiding behind your mother’s skirts does create a very difficult military
problem.

In any case, your paper has done the same job CNN does regularly.
You published total propaganda written by the Palestinian machine. You will
find none of their allegations truthful because their culture believes in lying
to non-Muslims. You have effectively help spread anti-Jewish sentiment in America
by not checking your sources carefully. There is no independent confirmation
of Israel’s finest having made off with “awesome amounts of cash [and]
jewelry,” etc., or saying, “Your money or your life,” or using
the building as a “snipers’ nest to kill women doing laundry.”

Not only should you be ashamed, but I accuse all of you at
the Weekly of being in the same category and ultimate final punishment
as Hitler’s henchmen who convinced the Eastern European uneducated that the
Jews were responsible for all the ills of mankind. I do not believe you are
stupid, so I can only surmise that you are evil. This is not Bosnia. Jews do
not hate other religions or people. They hate murderers. Every other sin is
forgivable. Yours is not.

Martin Kay
Glendale

 

REVERSE CHAUVINISM

Re: “Dude,
Where’s My City?” [Open City, April 12–18]
. So Los Angeles and its ball
club have failed Steven Mikulan. What a shock. Has Mikulan ever stood up for
any aspect of this town outside his own little bailiwick of the local theater
(perversely enough, its least defensible institution)? Missing from his lament
is any sense of identification on his part, or any sense that the city’s failures
are in any way his failures. Like the Dodgers, Los Angeles exists to live up
to the lofty standards of Steven Mikulan, and Mikulan’s only obligation is to
be the first rat over the side when the ship starts to take on water.

Me, I’m a fan. I figure that if you don’t stick with the team when it’s down,
you’re not entitled to share in its victories. I figure that if you have to
know a team’s won-lost record before you know you’re backing it, you’re not
a fan — you’re a heel. (Incidentally, the Dodgers have only had two losing records
in the last 10 seasons and had the fifth best record in the National League
in the ’90s.) To me, a city is a story, and you choose a city to live in because
you want to be a part of that story, however small. I think at this point in
history, Los Angeles is the most fascinating urban story there is. The easy
part of that story is over, and that’s too damn bad, but it’s now — in the hard
part — that we have the opportunity to show our worth.

Mikulan, I think, is an example of an urban type that’s unique to Los Angeles,
the person who lives in a city for the sole purpose of feeling superior to it.
Look at it this way: Any city can attract people who like it. A city that can
attract people who hate it is really something to conjure with.

—Bob Fiore
Los Angeles

 

Hey, Steve, L.A. is over here! Take a look! It’s goddamn beautiful! As someone
who smuggled in a flask of Makers Mark and smoked Pall Malls in non-designated
areas during the same Dodger game, I think our city is still metaphorically
around.

And contrary to what you read, we didn’t sing “America the Beautiful” during
the seventh-inning stretch. We sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” And it sounded
fuckin’ great.

—Robert Gonzales
Alhambra

REVERSE COLONIALISM

In “Claiming
the Camera” [April 12–18]
, Holly Myers reveals more of her own postcolonial
guilt than she does the virtuosity of Seydou Keïta and Malick Sidibé. It seems
that Meyers lacks the faculties to see the work of these great photographers
as anything other than an extension of her own muddled and confused perception
of Africa and its people. She referenced one of the more “charming” pieces in
the show but failed to realize the very person of whom she spoke (“one of them
wearing a sombrero-like hat”) was the photographer Sidibé himself. With so little
care taken in absorbing these powerful images, it is no wonder that Myers was
forced to fall back on grade-school rhethoric on the ills of colonialism. She
missed an opportunity to talk about this work in a way that pays homage to its
artistry rather than the colonial powers that the subjects of these pictures
so clearly defied.

—Cauleen Smith
Hollywood