I just spent the last two hours devouring your annual “Best of” issue [October 12–18] via your Web site (a paper copy has not yet arrived at the Shibuya Tower Records). At a time when I was feeling a little low and very disconnected from my native California and from the States, you’ve succeeded in bringing back my memories of the “good life.” Thanks.
—Roxanne M. Cooper
I have been an avid reader of the Weekly for the past 10 years, and your annual “Best of” issue is usually the one that I look forward to the most . . . What the hell happened this year? This is the most pretentious, verbose and utterly useless “Best of” issue I’ve read in any publication. Articles about how great it is to drive in traffic? Huh? Please, next year, how about a “Best of” in which you do what you do best and point out those little restaurants, bars and sights that make L.A. unique — and avoid this year’s literary masturbation.
Re: “The Geek’s Guide to the Good Life.” Few people capture humorous ponderings about life as insightfully as Mr. Paul Feig. I hope the Weekly acknowledges its great fortune in having Mr. Feig as a contributor.
New York City
Paul Feig, where have you been all my life? Or at least the past two years I’ve been living/hiding in L.A. “The Geek’s Guide to the Good Life” blew me away and opened my eyes that there are others out there like me. Thank you for your suggestions on places where us “geeks” may gather in peace. Maybe I’ll see you there!
I enjoyed Steven Mikulan’s “The Edge of Running Water.” It was especially refreshing to hear a local journalist sing the praises of the praiseworthy Hansen Dam Recreation Area in the Northeast San Fernando Valley. Amenities at Hansen Dam — once known as Holiday Lake — include a fully stocked fishing lake and the world’s largest outdoor pool. Forthcoming projects include a Valley branch of the Los Angeles Children’s Museum, as well as a Major League Baseball Youth Academy facility that will host at-risk youth for its athletic and professional-development programs.
Los Angeles City Councilman, 7th District
With regard to your endorsement of Beth Garfield for City Council District 4 [“The Garfield Gamble,” October 19–25], didn’t her skirting the spirit of the campaign-finance disclosure laws bother you? It apparently bothered many people in the 4th District. Garfield loaned her campaign $700,000, which she would have had to pay back after the election. In other words, if she’d been elected, Garfield would have done her fund-raising while in office. Who would her contributors have been? What about the voters’ right to know in advance of casting their ballots who a candidate’s contributors are?
Instead of endorsing Garfield, the Weekly should have called for campaign-finance reform to close this loophole.
Los Angeles (Franklin Hills)
BIN LADEN ON TRIAL?
Re: Joshuah Bearman’s “Uneasy Justice” [October 12–18]. Great idea about trying Osama bin Laden for the massacre of 5,500. One question, though. What happens if he doesn’t want to come out and play? What’s the plan then? Ask him more forcefully? Then what? A supersecret U.N.-sponsored ninja team? Like the one Susan Sontag opined about. LOL LOL LOL LOL.
Why do I think you have vastly underestimated your enemy? Yes, they are your enemy also. There is a reason why OBL chose Afghanistan as home for his Al Qaeda. Over the next 12 months, unfortunately, everybody is going to find out what that is.
An incarcerated Osama bin Laden will only continue planning attacks on innocent American citizens from behind the bars of his prison. Are you willing to take responsibility for his actions? Take it from someone who’s worked in the prison system for 21 years, this could and would happen.
Rome, New York
“That military action has begun does not mean we cannot focus on capturing bin Laden and delivering him to an international tribunal.
In fact, such an outcome, as idealistic as it might seem to most
Americans, would be the only way to justify the bombing under way.”
How arrogant can you get? As if the massacres in Los Angeles, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Kenya, etc., don’t justify a military action against a country that harbors and protects the people doing it. It would be wise if, amid this country’s current pro-military, flag-waving, conservative climate, you’d publish only the strongest — and, more specifically, most informed — liberal arguments.
Re: Howard Blume’s “War and Power” [October 5–11]. Does anyone really expect the government to reveal its case against Osama bin Laden in a public forum, potentially compromising intelligence sources in the process? And does anyone really want to watch a Cochran-Shapiro legal team vivisect the FBI’s evidence or try to prove the incompetence of U.S. intelligence agents?
The terrorists are termites. They’re in our house, and although we can’t see them, we can see the damage they do. They’re not American Indians trying to defend their homeland. They’re not African-Americans seeking civil rights. They’re not displaced Palestinians. They deserve what they get, which is relentless pursuit and extermination.
THE ANGLOS FILE
Brendan Bernhard’s story about Tony Blair & his speech 2 the Labour (note spelling) Party [“The Blair White House Project,” October 19–25] is beyond good, it’s topnotch, a lot better than most of the biased crap our broadsheets manage 2 churn out over here in not-so-Great Britain. Bernhard’s distant view on the situation seemed far clearer than nething ive read from my side of the pond. Keep him there, and make sure he don’t escape 2 a lesser rag with a less adventurous editor.
We the British — who, by the way, are preparing to shed blood in your defense — don’t, as Mr. Bernhard rightly points out, have very much to offer in real firepower compared to that of the U.S., being only the fourth most powerful nation in the world. We do, however, have a little experience in matters of foreign policy, and a certain experience of special operations in hostile territory. These may be a legacy from our imperialist past, but nevertheless could prove useful.
A marriage between a country with power but negligible executive intellect and a country with intellect but less power would seem an ideal solution to the current problem. Tony Blair may govern a suffering health service (at least we have one), a damaged rail service and a country full of “amateurs,” but he also governs a country which, despite these faults, can say that we were loyal to our friends across the sea in America (unlike some of our European brethren, whose battle tanks have one forward gear and five reverse). If you want to fire a literary shot across our bows in jest, that’s okay, but make sure you remember us as we fight and die alongside your sons and daughters in arms.
Remember us when we are attacked.
Last week, in the article “You’ve Got Hate Mail,” the Big Cheap Theater online bulletin board was misidentified.