The Phil Zone
How convenient it is to trash gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides [“Dead Man Running,” Sept. 22–28]. It’s a shame no one bothered to check Angelides’ Web site. To be sure, I am biased. I teach in an inner-city school. I’ve seen too many of my students give up on the prospect of going to college because they can’t afford it. I know former students who got accepted at UCs and had to drop out because they couldn’t afford to go. I bitterly resent Arnold’s arrogant decision to eliminate the Governor’s Scholarship Program, which provided me with an incentive to get my students to excel on a state-mandated test that otherwise would have as much relevance to them as a war of cockroaches on one of the moons of Uranus.
All of the governor’s so-called “achievements” will be history in December, when, once again, he will have little reason to play Mr. Nice Guy. I remember 2000 all too well. What was the rallying cry of the so-called cutting edge progressives? Gore’s a bore. Look at what we got. As in the year 2000, who wins the next election may be of little consequence to readers and writers of L.A. Weekly. If Arnold turns into another Bush after the election, it just gives progressives something else to whine about.
But my students will be paying off not only their college loans but also the national debt and the state bond issues that Arnold has cavalierly passed on to them. And they will have to pay these debts while they are earning a “competitive, world-class wage,” which is something between the take-home pay of a computer engineer in India and a coal miner in China. Isn’t this a marvelous legacy?
My students deserve a better future, and between Arnold and Phil, you can easily guess where I’ll cast my vote.
William Joseph Miller
Rockin’ in the Free-Speech World
I am not sure what Ringo Starr, or Don Henley and Rod Stewart, for that matter, have ever done to Jonny Whiteside to warrant “asshole” status [“Aloha from Hell,” Sept. 22–28], but I would have to say that describing artists that way who participated in the sessions for an album literally years in the making is just a touch childish and pissy.
I have read a number of articles by Mr. Whiteside that always manage to include Beatles bashing apropos of nothing. Jimmy Rip and Steve Bing put several years and quite a bit of money into making an album that shows both Jerry Lee Lewis’ influence and his validity to today’s artists. I am not a fan of either Toby Keith or Kid Rock, but they suited up and showed up when called to play.
By the way, I do appreciate his praise of Arthur Lee over the years, but a little realization of the importance of Baby Lemonade to the live gigs before and after his prison stay would have been nice. Records last forever, but a hot live show needs to be of and in the moment, and those guys always brought it and meant it even when Arthur couldn’t.
For what it’s worth, this viewer will not spend time and money on a movie that has been unfavorably reviewed by the “critical” majority [“Terror in the Aisles,” Sept. 8–14]. Life is too short, and I realize that there are people better qualified than me to recognize when a film is or isn’t worth my while.
As for the relevance of film critics, let me share an example thereof: Back in ’82, a little movie in danger of being dumped by its studio was given wide release because critics (like Pauline Kael) who saw it intervened and threatened to run their reviews regardless of studio (in)action. That film was Diner — directed by future Oscar winner Barry Levinson, and my most favorite movie — and those critics have my eternal gratitude.
In last week’s Best of L.A. edition we printed the incorrect address for Gameland. The correct spot to find all your beloved Atari 2600 cartridges, gaming ephemera and new releases is: Gameland, 7071 Santa Monica Blvd., W. Hlywd.
In our film review of The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros, [Sept. 29–Oct. 5], we incorrectly identified the director, who is Auraeus Solito. Michiko Yamamoto is the film’s writer.