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CALIFORNIA FOR THE CALIFORNIANS

Re: “The
God of Small Things” [November 22–28]
. The Center for Biological Diversity
is doing anything but “saving Southern California,” as Susan Zakin claims. This
group has more than half the state of California’s 163,707 square miles of desert
under litigation. This is saving the state? From whom? Furthermore, Ms. Zakin’s
description of the Algodones Dunes as the “gnarly Charlie Manson outback” is
an insult to the thousands of citizens of this state who use these areas for
recreation. We visit these areas to enjoy the fruits of our labor and spend
time with our friends and families.

The Center wants to close all public land to all recreation,
and is not “saving” the state from anything.

—Wayne Lee
Ontario

NOISE ANNOYS

Re: Judith Lewis’ “Encounters:
Jazz Up the Ass” [A Considerable Town, November 29–December 5]
. I must be
humor-impaired, because the situation that Lewis recalls with a laugh leaves
me cold: A mentally unbalanced man gets on a bus with a blaring radio. When
informed that playing his radio is against MTA regulations, he gets abusive
with the driver, shouts obscenities and disturbs the other riders.

The public is constantly being told to give up their cars and take mass transit
for the sake of the environment. Situations like the one Lewis recalls in an
attempt to be funny will keep my ass firmly planted in the bucket seat of my
truck.

—Michael J. Lott
Los Angeles

CONCEPTUAL

In Doug Harvey’s article on Baldessari [“Baldesaurus
Rex,” November 22–28]
, he refers to conceptual art as “that early ’70s movement.”
Excuse me?! In 1916, Marcel Duchamp was working on his groundbreaking conceptual-art
piece The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even. In that same year,
when Monet was painting water lilies, Duchamp signed his name to a urinal and
called it art. His work was indeed “important and cutting edge.” That was 86
years ago. When is the art world going to acknowledge that, in 2002, the conceptual-art
genre is as old-fashioned and traditional as Impressionist painting?

—Jeff Winslow
Van Nuys

 

Re: “Outside in
L.A.” [December 6–12]
. My profound thanks for Doug Harvey’s marvelous article
about Sweet Deal, at the Exceptional Children’s Foundation’s Art Center. As
the mother of one of the kids, and as a board member of the ECF, I enjoyed the
description of what our special ones are doing within the Art Center Program.
The artists have delightful, inimitable personalities and are some of the kindest,
warmest persons in my life. The staff, too, cannot be praised highly enough.
Harvey did a great service to the individuals and staff who constitute this
little-known part of Los Angeles.

—Marilyn Mann Lindquist
Pasadena

SELECTIVE MEMORY

Nikki Finke did a great job [“The
Untold Story,” Deadline Hollywood, November 22–28]
raising the specter of
Big Media corporations muzzling or intimidating their journalists to limit coverage
of their deeds. “We’re shocked, shocked, to see Big Media conglomerates fail
to accurately or extensively cover themselves . . .,” she writes, ignoring the
ongoing investigation by a state and federal antitrust task force over the deal
by L.A. Weekly’s parent corporation that recently shut down New Times
in Los Angeles. Oh well, that’s what happens when the Los Angeles “alternative”
press becomes a monopoly. Blast Disney! Scald Time Warner! Plaster Rupert Murdoch’s
photo on the page! But God forbid that David Schneiderman, Village Voice Media’s
CEO, should share some ink in this piece.

—Michael Linder
Venice

WITH FRIENDS LIKE ARNOLD

Where did Bill Bradley get the idea that Arnold Schwarzenegger is pro-gay
[“Mr. California,”
November 22–28]
? Arnold’s the one who, while palling around with Pappy Bush
a few years ago, constantly referred to the Democrats as “girly boys.” Now,
what’s that supposed to mean?

—Ken Camp
Los Angeles

PEPPERS

Thank you for another fine article
[“Sons of the City,” November 29–December 5]
by John Albert. It’s time you
made him a regular columnist. Although I’ve never been ready to put the Chili
Peppers into the L.A. pantheon, I have little choice now but to give the new
disc a chance.

—Liz Waldman
Culver City

 

Do we really need a front-page story on the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ newfound
bullshit AA spirituality? What were you thinking? Leave such tired subjects
to Spin, please.

—Sara Kelly
Los Angeles

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