CITY OF PYRITE
Does no one else find deeply disturbing Lewis MacAdams’ acceptance of Mike Davis’ practice of lying [“Jeremiah Among the Palms,” November 27–December 3]? When advocates, in their zeal, begin to not be scrupulous with their facts, they actually discredit themselves and their causes, however praiseworthy the ideals being championed. Isn’t this the stuff of Journalism 101? MacAdams can twist logic all he wants, but for me Davis’ days as a prophet are numbered now that his dishonesty has been exposed.
Following this revelation, does the Weekly plan to publish further articles by Davis? While MacAdams may excuse such practices, I don’t see how the Weekly can — and expect to keep its reputation intact.
One week after Jill Stewart savaged our resident Chicken Little’s credibility in the New Times, the Weekly chooses as its sycophantic cover story the very same Mr. Doom. Most startling is Lewis MacAdams’ celebration of Mike Davis’ admission that facts shouldn’t get in the way of a good story (Stewart’s main charge against Davis).
Tall tales are fine for family reunions or pub crawls, but when they creep into purportedly serious socioeconomic/
historical writing, they undermine the relevance of such writing. If it takes fabrications to make shopworn, discredited theories appear to fit reality, what good are those theories? In playing to the dwindling cadre of left-fringe thinkers, Davis does nothing to advance the cause of social progress in the real world.
Re: “Sierra Club Stands Pat” [November 27–December 3]. Kudos to J. William Gibson for reporting on Sierra Club’s internal-reform campaign — a grassroots movement committed to bold environmental leadership that goes beyond the timid “business as usual” approach of merely attending meetings and passing resolutions that, absent action, are often meaningless.
However, Mr. Gibson seems to have been deceived by Bob Gelfand, who advances the false claim that John Muir Sierrans who threaten his reign do not want to work within the political process. Gelfand’s charge that we are somehow against pro-environment Democrats misses the point. We are in favor of pro-environment officials of all parties — and we believe that holding these politicians accountable to those who’ve helped get them elected is part of the political process. Our job does not end with getting people elected, but rather with “constant pressure, endlessly applied,” a concept Mr. Gelfand and his cronies find “radical.”
Protecting the environment is not a partisan issue, but as long as the majority of Sierra Club officials see their role as being an arm of the Democratic Party, it will be used and seen as one.
Angeles Chapter Executive Committee
Let’s get a few things straight: The John Muir Sierrans do not represent the grassroots of the Sierra Club. The grassroots of the Angeles Chapter are the thousands of member volunteers who staff the 16 regional groups, the 31 activity sections and committees, the four major outings committees and dozens more specialized committees, not to mention our activists who help staff the statewide committees.
The core leadership of the John Muir Sierrans, on the other hand, are staff members of other organizations who are trying to capture Sierra Club for their agendas. Your paper reported last year on the attempts by anti-immigrant groups to do likewise.
Let it also be clear that the Sierra Club endorses individuals who have a chance of winning, be they Republicans, Dem ocrats, Greens or whatever. We remain nonpartisan — deploring, for example, how both major parties sold out on Proposition 9.
I enjoyed J. William Gibson’s fair and well-balanced report. In my view, most Sierra Club members would be more supportive of the John Muir Sierrans if the John Muir Sierrans were willing to learn the Sierra Club system, work within it and make the compromises necessary to im plement their policy proposals. Instead, they have adopted a “takeover” strategy whereby new comers to the Sierra Club run for election on well-funded slates in an effort to seize a majority on the various club- ä governing bodies, meanwhile accusing the opposition of being in league with developers, polluters and other bad guys of the moment. So far, they have not won a majority on any board.
A final point: The statement in the article that the Angeles Chapter “currently has $3 million in the bank” — a claim that has been widely repeated by the John Muir Sierrans — is a gross distortion of the chapter’s true financial status. The facts have been explained to them ad nauseam; they seem to have no interest in learning about the club’s actual financial situation.
Angeles Chapter Executive Committee
20 TO LIFE
Wow! Your 20-year issue [November 20–26] was a blast! I was transported to those early-’80s days of cocaine, blue hair and new wave. I especially loved the quotes from previous staff members who helped relive those awesome memories, such as “Sweet P” throwing cherry pies and eggs at cars on Hyperion! I pissed my panties laughing! Keep up the good work! I live, breathe, eat and sleep your “alternative paper.” Happy 20th!
Congratulations on 20 years of providing the city with the information and direction it so greatly needs. It’s been almost 20 years since you ran the cover that featured Levi & the Rockats. Thank you for being so supportive of a music style that is so often overlooked.
Being a former L.A. Weekly reader, I picked up your 20th-anniversary issue more out of nostalgic curiosity than current interest. Although I generally agree with the Weekly’s political and social views, the paper has grown increasingly and obnoxiously exclusionary in its “too cool for you” boho attitude. Being “alternative” does not necessarily produce quality journalism, and the staff’s quoted recollections of drug-addled days and nights in the Weekly offices does much to explain the tragically (and stupidly) hip attitude exhibited by many of the paper’s writers.
And for chrissakes, you’d think after 20 years you guys could print a paper that doesn’t leave your fingers black and grimy after reading it.
You’ve gone from being a cutting-edge, truly alternative journal to being a boring rag that epitomizes yuppie conformity and prejudice. Example: Harold Meyerson, who’ll endorse practically anything that’s labeled a Dem. Your support of legislation of morality, as long as it is allegedly from the left, places you in the same league as the self-righteous, self-serving Republicrats, supporting the status quo. I speculate that the reason you’re so popular after 20 years, even after selling your soul to the corporate devil, is the readership’s small hope that you may one day, someday, stand on the side of the individual again — as the New Left once did, before it became part of the establishment.