Thanks not necessarily for making the wild vids but for being the guy who made the wild vids. In an otherwise slow holiday news week, our Web site lit up after we blogged that Gawker had judged Joe Francis “The Douche of the Decade.

Comments mostly divided into two camps: people who think Francis is a douche who lures girls into misbehavior, and people who think he’s simply recording the antics of slutty girls who come from terrible childhoods.

Let’s start with Eileen: “I met him at a club one time and he definitely is the biggest douche I ever met. Good thing I didn’t get caught up in the hype and I walked away before he tried to pathetically lure me in with a stinkin’ T-shirt or booty shorts!”

Jay Hammers had an opposing view. “It’s not Joe Francis’ fault young women choose to be slutty on camera. Take some responsibility, girls. I thought that’s what women’s rights was all about?

“Joe did nothing wrong. He was attacked by corrupt judges, prosecutors, lawyers and law enforcement who denied him his constitutional rights.”

That comment drew this one from Natalie: “I can’t believe all the people defending Joe Francis. Making a profit off of drunk girls with low self-esteem? Yeah, that’s not douchey at all.”

Some comments took aim at other targets.

CannaGanja put Gawker in the crosshairs: “This shit’s ironic — they’re trying to pin this guy for objectifying women while flashing NSFW pics and links on the side. I guess that’s just what happens in a monetary-based world.”

Cope heaped scorn on “this idiot and everyone who enjoys his stuff … He’s partly responsible for the predominant misogynism of this half-brained generation. Sad to see how some women’s dignity is worth a fucking T-shirt.”

As if to help Cope’s argument, someone named Slice laid out this worldview: “Women who are whores deserve to be exploited. Plus down deep you all want it anyways. Just most women would be disgusting naked, and those are the bitter, angry ones.”

Slice also offered this gem, which stunned those of us who know our Dennis Romero, the virile author of the blog item: “. as far you you dennis, you must have vag.”

Uh, no. But we love the Jar Jar–speak.

Curiously, in all the crossfire, no one held out the possibility that somewhere between duped and slut are some women who merely enjoy showing themselves. How else to explain amateur porn? Surely even Slice sees those sites on Naboo.

Our cover story on Anne Rice’s new life here in California and her new subject — angels, not vampires — drew comments from across the country. Most of them praised the author, until Robert from Oakland made it personal.

“Turned Christian?” he wrote. “How pathetic.”

GPendragon from Amherst, Massachusetts, fired back on Christmas Eve: “Nothing pathetic about universal offerings that are answered with applause at the very sight of their sender. Dazzled and slightly sweaty is the tip of this genius’ iceberg. I wanna play bass for Anne Rice. The first, the only rock-star author.

Later, just an hour before Christmas, Sandy piped in with this: “If one actually reads Ms. Rice’s work, there is little pathetic or unexpected here. She always wrote about Catholicism, always had it wound up in the blood swoon. I would simply say that those who feel the need to call the artist pathetic are showing their own inner doubts.

For what it’s worth, we don’t care if she writes about vampires or angels. We wanna play bass for her, too.


Steven Leigh Morris’ story disclosing that the Los Angeles city planners were moving toward allowing granny flats at single-family homes generated a lot of heat — most of it directed at those planners.

Wrote Gwennie from Playa del Rey: “Why is it no surprise that City Planning uses the holiday period to take up the subject that surrounding cities did six years ago? It makes absolutely no sense to draw up this kind of loosening of single-family restrictions without considering what the surrounding cities have done as well.”

Truth Teller added: “The city of Los Angeles is seeking to change a rule that it has not enforced for years. Go to Pacoima, Sylmar, Van Nuys, Boyle Heights, South L.A. — every neighborhood that is below the median income level is packed with converted garages and backyard shacks.

“The only building code enforcement that happens in the city of L.A. is in response to politically connected or very persistent citizens that nag the city into performing its duty.”

DJB from Los Angeles saw a different villain. “The L.A. Weekly’s suburban bias strikes again!” he wrote.

Let’s prohibit grandma from living in a backyard cottage. Let’s restrict the supply of housing in L.A. and force the developers to build all their housing in the Inland Empire, so people can drive 100 miles a day just to go to work. That’ll REALLY help traffic.

“Restricting the supply of housing makes it more expensive. Forcing people to live in the boondocks makes traffic worse. Go Granny Flats!”

Finally, there was this from Michelle Laprade of Los Angeles: “Has everybody lost all their common sense and why are we allowing it to happen? The apathy and money-grubbing is sickening.

“I was born and raised here but I’ve had it and I’m gone.”

No need to retreat, Michelle. Facing a storm of criticism, the city shelved its plan indefinitely.


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