THROWING MONEY AWAY
The “American Family” series [“Living
on the Verge,” February 13–19; “Jail
Time,” April 2–8; “Hanging
On — Barely,” June 4–10; “Close
to Breaking,” July 16–22], by Celeste Fremon, is breaking my heart. And
the Aguilars are just one family out of so many. My Lord, it is overwhelming
to think how much support for change could be provided to our communities instead
of funneling billions to Iraq and Halliburton.
In response to my recently published article concerning a flag-burning episode
in East Los Angeles [“Burning
Desire,” A Considerable Town, July 9–15], Mr. David Friedman from Van Nuys
wrote a letter [“Up
in Flames,” Letters to the Editor, July 23–29] explaining that he is confused
with what I mean by stating that these protesters “were doing something that
could never be done anywhere else but in the United States.” Mr. Friedman offers
three examples in which he attempts to refute my meaning: The American flag
can be burned anywhere in the world (duh), the overall protest of American policies
can be done almost anywhere (another no-brainer) and protesting against one’s
own government’s policies is tolerated in many countries.
The one remaining base that Mr. Friedman conveniently fails to cover, which
is so obvious to us veterans and other worldly travelers, is that burning a
nation’s own flag can’t be done anywhere else but here in the USA without
fear of arrest or being shot. Just try going to a public place in Mexico and
burning the Mexican flag, or in France, or China or even Canada, and see what
Oh, and Mr. Friedman, one last note about our country if burning the flag
and freedom of the press seem futile and the political process leaves you feeling
all empty inside: The USA is also one of the few places in the world where citizens
can up and move to another country of their choice without fear of reprisal
from the government. Just take care not to let the door hit you in your ass
on the way out.
—David Richard Bloom
Having seen the “Body Worlds” exhibition on two occasions — the first time
in London and the second an edited version in Singapore — I feel that attention
should be drawn to elements of the exhibition beyond the aesthetic figures that
Doug Harvey gushes about in his article “Plastic
Fantastic Cadavers” [July 23–29].
Harvey fails to acknowledge the undeniably commercial nature of the show.
By this I do not mean von Hagens’ shameless media courtship, but rather the
downright expensive price tag that gore carries. Ironically, there is a bit
of an anti-capitalist nod made by Harvey in the form of a disdainful description
of a gargantuan food court; yet it seems to go over his head that this is science-lite,
a Vegas-style anatomy lesson in which all the glitter is meant to wow and amaze
Moreover, I am gravely disappointed that Harvey makes no mention of the disproportionate
number of male bodies mostly doing so-called manly things like playing sports.
The only real representation of women is as mothers. I find this as equally
disappointing as being able to buy a themed key chain and mug.
L.A. Weekly has always struck me as particularly well-rounded and sound.
One would think that after having been around for this long (i.e., “Body Worlds”),
people would begin to think beyond the rather limited scope that aesthetic appreciation
Harvey replies: I firmly agree that women deserve parity in being saturated
with plastic and cut into tiny pieces for the profit of a crackpot scientician
and the continued spectacular distraction of the masses from the ever-worsening
crisis in the body politic. Fair is fair.
How inspirational to read Jay Babcock’s article about
the decades-long work of the late Amir Dialameh, and how his outstanding endeavor
is now kept alive by two exemplary women [“Changing
of the Gardener,” A Considerable Town, July 16–22]. Local volunteers
Kris Sabo and Lenore Wruck are truly hope-giving, especially since I’m totally
fed up with the unavoidable and constant nationwide marketing exploits of a
jail-bound woman with a bad hairdo who publishes Living magazine and
makes millions designing bed sheets.
Normally I don’t feel compelled to respond to reviews
of my film This Old Cub, but Ms. Dumpert wrote a vitriolic personal attack
with little substance to back up her statements [Calendar, July 23–29]. In her
first line she states that our film “won’t be of much value to anyone besides
die-hard Cub fans or the Santo family itself.” I think Ms. Dumpert forgot or
simply ignored the fact that this film was made, in part, thanks to a generous
grant from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). The JDRF feels
this film provides education about their charity and, more importantly, provides
inspiration to the over 20 million Americans who suffer from this disease.
Ms. Dumpert states that “. . . This Old Cub describes, superficially
at best, the life and career of Santo . . .” For those who haven’t seen our
film, Ron Santo allowed himself to be filmed during the most intimate moments
of a rigorous and painful rehab after he lost his second leg to diabetes. He
believes that if people watch his struggles — without any sugarcoating — they
will fully understand how insidious this disease is and perhaps feel compelled
to find out more about it and get involved with the JDRF. What is superficial
about a strong man showing himself at his most vulnerable point?
Also, to refer to Bill Murray, William Petersen, Dennis Franz, Gary Sinise,
Ernie Banks, Willie Mays and Joe Morgan et al. as “gushing, deadly dull talking
heads” is beyond me.
Producer of This Old Cub
In last week’s Good Times article “Somewhere Over Cahuenga,” David Church is credited as the sole author of Judy’s Scary Little Christmas, when in fact the production was co-authored by James Webber and Joe Patrick Ward.
Two weeks ago in Considerable People, we ran a piece about Miles Kreuger, the keeper of the Institute of the American Musical, in which we repeatedly misspelled his last name (we got it right once in five tries). The correct spelling is Kreuger.