While Jimmy Kimmel was invoking the Weekly as a potential if indirect source of medicinal ganja, some readers find the Weekly somehow at fault: “California voters had the opportunity to increase tax revenue and consumer safety as well as generate many new jobs by creating a legitimate, above-ground industry,” writes Patrick O'Neill (in response to “What Killed Prop. 19?” by Dennis Romero, Nov. 4). “They also had the opportunity to save millions of dollars in judicial, policing, prosecution and incarceration fees, not to mention put a bunch of dangerous criminals out of business by ending the unscientific and unethical prohibition of a nonlethal, nontoxic herb. Instead, with the help of this newspaper, the alcohol, gaming and pharmaceutical industries prevailed. Well done. Hearst would be proud.”
Other readers, such as John, ask simply, “What is the big deal? Your doctor probably has or still smokes pot. Your politicians certainly do. Your greatest artists and writers do. Your kids will in college. And the people who don't? Well it's just not for them. Just like I don't shove things up my butt, but I don't care if other people do.”
Well put, John.
GERRYMANDER THIS, MOFO
You just never know what's going to rile readers up. Take Proposition 20, designed to ban redistricting in California — not exactly something you'd expect to twist the perennial knickers. And yet, in response to Hillel Aron's “Soft Revolution Ends Gerrymandering” (Nov. 4), here is reader Jeff: “Hey, did I miss something? Did Prop. 19 actually pass and did this writer get like really stoned before he wrote this? There is no serious discussion here of exactly how this new redistricting commission will work and how representative it will be nor how free it will be from partisan political influence. And to simply declare that gerrymandering is now dead in California reflects either monumental ignorance or naivete or both.”
Efrain Rojas, meanwhile, comes down on the grateful side: “A despicable practice finally comes to an end. Hopefully, party stalwarts will finally champion the interests of the middle — where most voters reside.”
Proposition 23 is another measure that garnered a surprising amount (and level) of discourse, mostly from conservatives who are outraged, dammit, outraged that California turned down 23 in an effort to keep the green legislation AB32 alive. “You stupid voters just killed Mexifornia,” writes Don Hillberg. “Thank you for collectily [sic] cutting our throats. When your [sic] foreclosed on and starving thank your God, Al Gore. You Fools are made for each other. Have a Grand Day.”
Jim Pierobon has a different take: “California is becoming the best thing the U.S. has going for it in the race for market share in the green revolution, especially vis-a-vis China. Kudos to the opponents of Prop. 23, because a victory by the oil companies would have sent a message to every other state that green tech won't pay dividends. This is credible evidence that even moderate voters understand its value to California's economy.”
Meanwhile, Jeffrey Richardson, president-CEO of Imani Energy Inc., asks for this correction: “The line attributed to [me] — 'but he'll be seeking lower wages for his green workers' — is a misquote that in no way represents [our] stated position and mission. Imani Energy is working to establish a manufacturing facility that will create strong and solid living-wage jobs in communities that have been neglected and where chronic unemployment has existed for years.”
PAY TO PLAY? PRAY, TELL
We heard from a lot of musicians following Diamond Bodine-Fischer's story on certain renowned music clubs forcing musicians to come up with “presales” (“To Pay or Not to Pay to Play the Sunset Strip,” Nov. 4). “As a freelance journalist & an artist who USED to play the Strip,” writes Denise Vasquez, “THANK YOU for writing this article! This has been a LONG debate over the years, [but] there's nothing to debate! Clubs need to get back to PAYING quality artists to perform and stop being lazy & trying to take shortcuts to try to make a quick buck!”
Says Musicguy: “One has to love the contorted semantics of the club owners and bookers here. If a band buys tickets to their own show up front from a club or promoter, they are paying to play. Call it presales, call it yo' mammy if you want to, it's pay-to-play. This policy has been in full effect on the Strip since the '80s. I can't recall the last time I saw anything resembling a name act at the Whisky or the Roxy.“
“The Strip has fallen,” adds Steve Seifert. “I have worked in most of the clubs. I don't like to drive down there, pay 20 bucks to park or ask my friends to come to see a great talent do a 30-minute slot at 9:45 between a metal band and a string quartet. I'm not sure you can get the Genie back into the bottle.”
Johnny thinks it's possible, though: “No matter how they try to spin it, presales is pay-to-play. When are the clubs gonna get that thru their heads? Book talented, touring bands and your scene will return to the Strip!“
Final word goes to L.A. Bassist: “An artist or band is not a ticket outlet or a promoter and should not be handling ticket sales. If a venue can't book great acts and afford to pay them, then don't book live bands! This nonsense has to stop. MUSICIANS: IT'S BAD EXPOSURE TO PLAY FOR FREE SO STOP WITH THE 'EXPOSURE' BULLSHIT! You're shooting yourself in the foot! Stop the insanity!”
The Oct. 28 story “Greens vs. Big Oil and Prop. 23,” by Patrick Range McDonald, misquoted Scott Clapson as saying one-third of students at L.A. City College can't vote because they are illegal immigrants. In fact, they are a mix of illegal immigrants, international students and out-of-state students.
RANT AND ROLL
Go ahead, make our day and blast us. At firstname.lastname@example.org. See if we care. See if we print it.