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OUT WITH THE OUT CROWD


DEAR EDITOR:

Re: “Kill ‘Em
All” [July 13–19]
. Greg Burk virtually nailed the apocalyptic vibe of this
year’s Ozzfest, yet failed to mention the overall disturbing presence of backwoods-Deliverance-gearhead-white-fucking-trash
that dominated the crowd. Back in the early 1990s, metalheads were your basic
long-haired, non-fashionable youth in Slayer shirts. The patrons at this year’s
Ozzfest ranged from disturbingly inbred youths covered in poorly inked tattoos,
to full-on White Power clans with chests and backs plastered with white-pride
rhetoric, to a group of teenage boys trying to encourage one of their sisters
to show her tits to the crowd, to two guys with no front teeth trying to snort
a line of a synthetic drug off a half-burnt plastic cup. This was not a gathering
of metal fans. It was like a commercial abortion skull-fucking the “Hot Topic”
shopping-mall retail culture and ejaculating infected sperm in the form of “heavy”
music all over us music fans’ faces. I refused to swallow the load. No more
Ozzfests!

—Justin Grams
Los Angeles

 

DEAR EDITOR:

This year’s Ozzfest was a joke. Any true metal fan knows that the only real
metal band on this year’s bill was Black Sabbath. All the other bands were a
bunch of rap-rock, pop-metal, makeup-and-mask-wearing pussies. Is Ozzy letting
his daughter pick the lineup? What’s it gonna be next year, ’N Sync? This year’s
show was a waste of money, and a lot of people vowed not to return next year,
even myself.

—Mike Lohrey
Spartanburg, South Carolina

 

DEAR EDITOR:

As a member of the heavy metal community, I found your story on the current
state of heavy metal in concurrence with my own views and experience. Kudos
to the writer who used the words empyrean and proles. I’m going
to look them up when I’m finished here.

—Steve Highway
Boston, Massachusetts

 

GALLANTER THAN GALANTER

DEAR EDITOR:

Marc Haefele’s views of the first day of the new City Council [City
Limits, July 13–19]
, when Alex Padilla beat out Ruth Galanter for the council
presidency, couldn’t be further from the reality of the scene. While Haefele
saw only lobbyists (and there were lobbyists, as there always are in council
chambers), there was also a large segment of the audience who were members of
the public, wanting to celebrate five new council members’ first real day on
the job and to see if this new mix of leadership (due to term limits) would
at all portend meaningful citizen input. Also present were members of the public
who felt they had a stake in the council president’s election — like several
environmental leaders there to witness whether or not our lobbying efforts to
seek a more public-friendly atmosphere in council chambers had a chance of prevailing.

When Joel Wachs, Jack Weiss and Dennis Zine cast the final votes for Alex
Padilla that put him over the top for the coveted post, we indeed applauded
and cheered for minutes. And yes, when the public spoke at this first meeting,
we were treated with respect and good manners — two elements missing from the
reigns of both Ruth Galanter and John Ferraro.

—Marcia Hanscom
Wetlands Action Network
Malibu

 

BEANS OF WRATH

DEAR EDITOR:

Contrary to what Dean Kuipers wrote in “The
Seeds of Wrath” [July 13–19]
, Starbucks has no partnerships with Monsanto
or any other companies related to developing genetically modified coffee and
is not engaged in any activities supporting the development of such coffees.
Starbucks has clearly established that our core products, coffee and tea, are
completely free of GMOs and are not derived from genetically modified sources.

—Sue Mecklenburg
Vice President, Business Practices
Starbucks Coffee Company

 

DEAR EDITOR:

I attended the San Diego BioJustice protest, as well as the Democratic Convention
protests last year. Dean Kuipers implies that police were somehow responsible
for the smaller-than-expected attendance of 1,000 protesters at the San Diego
rally and march. However, he doesn’t provide any proof — the harassing tactics
he mentions mostly occurred during or after the march. What is true is
that the police presence and anticipatory scare tactics in both cities discouraged
curious but uncommitted citizens from checking out the protests, rallies and
teach-ins. (L.A. residents may remember the Sunday-afternoon-like dead zone
around the Pershing Square events last summer.) Protest events are intended
to educate the uncommitted public as well as attract media attention. Unfortunately,
because of the police’s (self-serving) warnings of violence, the uncommitted
citizens stayed away, and nearly everyone except committed activists ended up
learning about the protests only from the mass media.

—Danila Oder
Los Angeles

WELCOME TO THE “REAL” WORLD

DEAR EDITOR:

Celeste Fremon’s interview with Barbara Ehrenreich
[“Labor’s Pain,” July 13–19]
struck a real chord for me. The memories of
slaving at any of many retail jobs while trying to find the time to study for
college exams, and later while trying to find a “real” job, are still close
at hand. After finding one of those “real” jobs, I realized the only real reason
for the pay differential: One class of job makes rich people richer; the other
simply supplies them with goods. The general assumption that people are compensated
for their intelligence, skill or diligence is incorrect.

—Josh Solberg
Los Angeles

 

DEAR EDITOR:

The interview with Barbara Ehrenreich made me want to throw up. Where has
she been all her life? Obviously, up to this point she never even saw
the people who were waiting on her hand and foot. And now she’s an expert on
poverty? She should live so long.

—John Peterson
Houston, Texas

 

DEAR EDITOR:

I’m happy to see that someone in this world has decided to let us “less fortunate”
know we’re . . . well, less fortunate. Barbara Ehrenreich does her one-month
stint in her own community-service hell and proclaims she understands. Well,
I have news for her: You don’t know shit, lady. Try working 20 years without
health insurance, or surviving getting hit by a car, then living off dog-food-level
disability insurance.

While I appreciate Ehrenreich’s book and hope that people in the “right places”
will read it, I feel that her narrow look at the less fortunate will make people
think it’s not too bad out there. I also feel that the less fortunate will be
the only ones shelling out $23 for the book.

—Peter Lawrence
Los Angeles

 

CONGRATULATIONS . . .

. . . to this year’s Association of Alternative Newsweeklies
award winners: Nancy
Rommelmann, first place in the features category, for “Jena
at 15”
; Dana Collins, first place in the illustrations category; Brendan
Bernhard, second place in the arts-feature category, for “Boss
Cupid’s Poet”
; Harold Meyerson, third place for columns/political
commentary
; and Bill Smith, third place for editorial layout.

 

CORRECTIONS

In our Outfest coverage (July 13–19), Chuck Wilson, in
his review of the documentary Swimming Upstream, wrote that its subjects,
a lesbian couple having a child, had an “alarmingly new” relationship, when
in fact they had been together two to three years. He also stated that the women
had “no visible jobs” when both are, in fact, shown at their places of employment.

The location for the Eric Alexander jazz concert scheduled for Thursday, August
2, 5–8 p.m., was listed incorrectly in last week’s Concerts section. The free
event takes place at the MOCA at the California Plaza, 250 S. Grand Ave., downtown,
not at the MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary in Little Tokyo. For further information,
call (213) 626-6222 or 633-5334, or log on at www.moca.org.

Finally, due to a fact-checking error in last week’s issue, the film One
11 and 103
was listed as two separate titles in Holly Willis’ Filmforum
preview.

Apologies to all concerned.