FRANKIE COME LATELY
Re: Marc Cooper’s
Burden” [Dissonance, June 14–20]. A little history lesson is in order for
Mr. Cooper and his readers. For more than 30 years, David Dotson was part of
a regime in the LAPD that routinely violated people’s civil rights, committed
violent acts of brutality and spied on people simply because their views were
different. He was part of the system that did this; he said and did nothing
for 30 years. When it was convenient for his future (he aspired to take over
the helm of LAPD after Daryl Gates), he suddenly turned Frank Serpico and spoke
out against these abuses. Had he done so as a young sergeant, that would have
been admirable, but instead he went along with the “good old boys” for years.
Then, when it was politically advantageous for him, he spoke out. Mark Cooper
calls that “cojones”? Integrity? What has the man been smoking? David Dotson
comes from the same bolt of cloth that Gates, Vernon and the rest of the Parker
Center clones came from. I have more integrity in my left pinky than he ever
will. All of us are stakeholders in who is selected for that job, so let’s not
waste valuable time discussing obviously ridiculous candidates. We need David
Dotson for chief of police like we need Daryl Gates back.
Marc Cooper’s message was clear. I liked what I heard about Dotson. Helping
to create a groundswell is admirable, particularly since he does sound like
the best man for the job. Too damn bad it’s against his own wishes. Could drafting
him entice him, one wonders?
—Ms. Dale McElroy
IDENTITY CRISES OF THE SMALL AND SHAPELESS
Although I groove with both “high Modernism and Tin Pan
Alley,” the synthesis that Harold Meyerson refers to in “City
Without a Story” [May 31–June 6] hasn’t defined New York for more than half
a century. In fact, the New York I remember from my stay there as far back as
1960 was more Robert Frank’s Pull My Daisy than Edmund Wilson’s I
Thought of Daisy. You guys and gals miss the point when you claim (1) that
L.A. has no history, and (2) that a cliché mythos will cure a city’s ills. Every
spot on this planet is going through an identity crisis, and has since the amoeba.
I was born in L.A. My parents moved to L.A. in the early part of the last
century, and if L.A. doesn’t have a history, then neither do I. I disagree that
spatial separation necessarily creates dysfunction. I disagree that we should
live like ants (as Mike Davis suggests) to free up the space around us. We live
on a rotating sphere; therefore “Any point is the center.” The whole is everything.
This said, breaking up the city is not the solution. The shallow motives of
the Valley secessionists suck.
Re: “The Big Rewrite” [June 7–13]. Stephen Wolfram’s
gambit is interesting, but not far from the work of Richard Feynman that became
Feynman’s legacy to physics: the investigation of quantum mechanics through
diagrammatic analysis. The difference between the two thinkers is that Feynman
remained in the complexity of science, never trying to reduce it to a systematic
approach, whereas Wolfram mistakes the tool he invents for the world he is trying
I am afraid that Wolfram is far from the radical he imagines himself to be.
He remains on the beaten path. He should take a trip into real complexity —
look what it did for his mentor!
FOR SOCCER RIOTS
I enjoyed Brendan Bernhard’s “Games
Without Frontiers” [June 7–13]. I am not a big soccer fan, but like Bernhard,
I am surprised when those around me know nothing and care less about the contest.
I compare this to my 1998 World Cup experience. I was a student in Mexico City
the day the national team upset Germany. Like everyone else at the Jesuit University,
I cut class to watch the match. (Picture chanting nuns and dancing law students.)
Afterward, my friends and I waited for hours at a bus stop while downtown fans
jubilantly tipped vehicles. I â can only imagine the bedlam in London this week
when Argentina fell.
The World Cup is supposed to give us a temporary break from our usual reality.
The workday stops, and wars are limited to a 45-minute time span. Strangers
get together and celebrate. And Brendan, somewhere on your block there is
a party going on — some Latinos are festejando the English win or, I
should say, Argentina’s loss to England. In the spirit of the World Cup,
you should knock on a door and join them.
Just a brief correction on your publication’s lively, enthusiastic piece about
the World Cup. South Africa fired their Portuguese coach Carlos Queroz after
a dismal performance in the African Cup of Nations early this year, where South
Africa scored two goals in four games and were eliminated on penalties by hosts
Mali. South Africa is currently coached by the enigmatic Jomo Sono, a South
African soccer legend and former club manager cut from the same cloth as megalomaniac
Zulu chieftain Mangusuthu Buthelezi.
Thanks for the article.
Glad to see the L.A. Weekly support a small indie
film on its cover (“Three Faces of Ivan, June 7–13] rather than the latest Hollywood
blockbuster. But the subhead, “The movie that’s making the industry crazy,”
is absurd. Sorry to be cynical, but ivans xtc. opened in exactly one
theater and was greeted by a largely mixed reaction from critics (including,
ironically, Ella Taylor’s accompanying review). Hard as it is for me to admit,
the biz was driven infinitely more “crazy” by that weekend’s Spider-Man
grosses and J.Lo’s apparent divorce than by this little-seen film.
Re: Ella Taylor’s review of the film ivans xtc. Please know that Jay
Moloney did not commit suicide in a hotel room after being fired for cocaine
addiction. In fact, Jay lost his job several months prior — yes, due to substance
abuse problems, but substance abuse that was overshadowing his intense bipolar
disorder. He hanged himself in the shower at home; he was getting ready for
a business meeting, one of many he optimistically had scheduled. Jay was severely
manic-depressive, and it was the disease’s in-the-depths-of-hell low swing that
ultimately tore his life away from those of us who adored him. A really fucked
morning that ripped out a lot of hearts, his own and his friends’.
A JOB WELL DUNNE
Re: Steven Mikulan’s “Murder
at the Vanities” [May 31–June 6]. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have
been waiting so long for someone to put that simpering, affected, celebrity-sucking
twit in his place. Righteously done!