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A CERTAIN DISREGARD
Thanks to Charles Rappleye for his articles on the Rampart scandal. I’ve learned things not to be learned from the TV news or the daily papers. On April 12, it was announced that the city is considering forming an independent civilian “oversight” group to look into such situations. We should, of course, keep in mind the double — and rather conflicting — meaning of the word oversight, but more worrisome is the fact that the group must report its findings directly to the office of the chief of police. Perhaps the panel should be called the Los Angeles Police Department Oversight Group — or LAPDOG for short.
—John A. Mann
ROUGE ALL OVER
Harold Meyerson’s “The Red Sea” story about the L.A. janitors’ strike [April 28–May 4] was brilliant. The nitty-gritty of the struggle is so little understood. The energy that it took to run the campaign, the energy that was created by winning, all came through the page into me. It was delightful to feel their success, and the promise and hope of more social justice to come. Thank you, Mr. Meyerson, for your vivid telling of a compelling story. I appreciate your celebration of their hard-won victory. Wonderful.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
IL ÉTAIT VRAI, MAIS N’EST PAS PLUS
In her review of Figaro Café in Los Feliz [“Figaro, Figaro,” April 21–27], Michelle Huneven claims the restaurant has improved. I don’t think it’s possible for me to disagree more.
My first visit to Figaro, prior to its “retooling,” was exquisite. Yes, it was a decadent, butter-laden meal, but that’s what French bistro food is. The escargot was the best I’ve had. The confit of duck was amazing. My wife’s meal was equally impressive, but more important, authentic. It was so good, in fact, I returned two more times that week. Each time, I had a tremendous amount of fun. The staff were slow, but they were friendly and had a great sense of humor.
The next week, Figaro was closed, and after waiting impatiently for it to reopen, I returned to find a dumbed-down menu, a sedate staff and an inferior chef (actually, I’ll just call him a cook). The escargot was gone. The confit of duck was a tough, salty shoe, and my frisée salad was as boring as the newly “simplified” wine list. Worst of all, my beloved wait staff had been sent back to France like so many Roman Polanskis. Needless to say, my wife and I have not been back since.
If Ms. Huneven equates healthy food with authentic French bistro cuisine, then her place is not in the pages of the food section, but in the freezer section of her supermarket — sifting through boxes of Weight Watchers French Classics.
POWER LUNCH . . . AND A BELATED VALENTINE
Re: Steven Mikulan’s article on Boardner’s [“Hollywood Straight Up,” April 28–May 4]. My memorable first visit to the old joint occurred back in the early ’70s. As art director for RCA Records, I was invited to lunch at Boardner’s by Harry Nilsson and John Lennon, ostensibly to discuss an album they were recording. Lots of talk, lots of laughs and, God, lots of liquor, but never a bite to eat and hardly a mention of the album, despite our six-and-a-half-hour stay. I’ve been back many times since. I enjoyed Mikulan’s delightful and informative article; however, he makes no mention of what is undoubtedly Boardner’s finest asset: the lovely Kelly, who brightens up the dim old saloon from behind the bar each weekend evening.
A DISCRIMINATING BLEND
I read with interest the April 7–13 Real Gone article “Get a Piece of the Rock” by Judith Lewis. The right blend of humor and fascination was evident, and the author should be congratulated for sorting fact from fancy.
—Herman E. Bender
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
AT HOME WITH JEROME
Thank you for the wonderful West Hollywood directory [April 7–13]. I especially liked the “Local Heroes” section. My favorite was Jerome Cleary, community activist and local cable-show host. He deserves to be part of the West Hollywood City Council’s future.
—Kevin B. Walker Jr.
A LITTLE GROGGY, MAYBE, BUT NOBODY’S FOOL
While I enjoyed Angela Gunn’s piece “Space Age Whiz Kids” [April 28–May 4], I would like to call to your attention an incorrect reference she used in the third paragraph. Great Cthulhu is not actually a “blind dancing idiot god.” Those terms are typically used to describe Azathoth, the Daemo Sultan and ruler of the Outer Gods. Azathoth has existed since the beginning of time at the center of the universe, where its monstrous, amorphous body dances mindlessly to the insane piping of its servitor gods. Cthulhu, on the other hand, sleeps and dreams in the sunken city of R’lyeh, at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, waiting until the stars are right and He will rise again and rule over the Earth as the Elder Gods once did eons ago. Cthulhu is neither blind nor idiotic, nor does he dance. Ia fhtagn!
GOING THE WAY OF THE FREE PRESS?
I long ago mourned the death of the progressive media in this country, but whenever I think I’ve finally found the subbasement and cannot possibly go any lower, you folks at the Weekly/Village Voice find another hidden stairwell.
“LALOVESEAT.COM,” the ad screams. “Adult Services — massage — escorts — dancers — clubs.” Why not tell it like it is? The Weekly is now pimping for prostitutes. I know none of you oh-so-talented writer types want to get day jobs, but really, how low can you go?
Have you ever talked to a former prostitute? I’m not talking about a young speed freak in denial lying to you about how she is in control, and besides she’s really just a college student. I mean a former prostitute who’s gotten out and can tell you the truth about what it’s really like. About the sad, self-esteem-destroying, soul-crushing, dysfunctional world that is real prostitution in this country. And now, the L.A. Weekly is going to make even more money from it. Not just from taking the ads, but from running a hot-line service on the Web.
You should be ashamed of yourselves.
Personally, I think prostitution should be made legal, and I think it should be regulated. But to participate in it, as if it’s not the horror that it is — only scumbags and weak people do that. Hope you don’t believe in karma.
a former reader, Los Angeles
RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN’ ON OUR HEAD
Hi, I’m Jordan Lee from Florida. The article about the “golden shower” made me laugh so hard people were turning heads in the county library where I logged on to the story. Thanks for your insights!
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
The EDITOR Replies: Would that be the “golden shower” reference in a) the March 26 story about singer Inger Lorre, b) the March 10 OffBeat item about author Shawna Kenney, or c) the January 29, 1999, article about artist Steve Hurd — all of which are available at our Web site?