By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Election Night at the Republican Party shindig at the Sutton Place Hotel in Newport Beach wasn't exactly what you'd call fun-not even for me. It would have been rude to gloat, so every time I did, I had to preface my glee with: "Heck, I'm not gloating; I know how it feels. We Democrats have been in that position for 15 years." And I had to say it sincerely. Poor Republicans!
I very quickly lost whatever compassion I might have had (the GOP was losing even in Orange County, and I do feel for an underdog-I am an extraordinarily compassionate young lady) when a group of us outside the hospitality suites (where they were charging for drinks!) got onto the subject of education. One lady tried to tell me disapprovingly that teachers' salaries start at $55,000 per year. What does one even say to people like that, people who are obviously from a parallel universe? Telling them Commie Mom has been teaching for 10 years and makes just $36,000 per year obviously wouldn't convince them because it's the truth, and they have no need for the truth. And merit pay for teachers? Sounds great, but what do you base it on? Test scores? Commie Mom has eight math books in her classroom. (And while her kids' test scores are the best in the school, what happens when you're assigned a remedial class? De-merit pay?) So I was forced to start screaming incomprehensibly until they moved away. It's a particularly sophisticated form of debate, one that often comes in handy.
OC politico Jim Righeimer was wise enough to placate me by saying mildly that most education money never reaches the classroom or the teachers-and he was also wise enough to hold his tongue about teachers unions and let the others spout off in his place. When did teachers and their unions become the enemy? They're teachers, for God's sake! They're not the Medellin Cartel. They're teachers!
Of course, it's due to Righeimer and his cronies that teachers have become the enemy du jour; they're this year's illegal immigrants. The notion that teachers are "anti-reform" and their unions are holding education "hostage" is becoming the conventional wisdom; the day after the election, I even heard the "center" guy on National Public Radio's Left, Right and Center question whether Governor-elect Gray Davis was "too cozy with the teachers unions." To which I can only repeat, "They're TEACHERS!" and start screaming incomprehensibly. Oh, they make me so mad!
But let's take a moment of silence to mourn the political passing of the woman who ended bilingual education for Latino children, Orange County's Gloria Matta Tuchman. Her far-far-Right race for state Superintendent of Public Instruction was sadly derailed, which I guess means she's no longer Orange County's Scariest Person. Awwww.
In the crowd, I spotted General William Lyon-OC's 23rd scariest person-and the even scarier Karen Holgate, who spoke at the ultraloony Eagle Forum conference in Santa Barbara this year. Unfortunately, she's not from OC, so she couldn't make our list, but she did utter the single scariest quote of the year at the conference-direct quote: "When I think of the environment, I think of trees falling down on our kids, smog killing them, whatever." She also claimed elementary school sex-ed tests offer these actual questions: "My favorite erogenous zones are . . ." and "True or false: I am comfortable holding hands with someone of the same sex."
That was about it for the "party," except for Dan Quayle saying, "One can go to China, and they can live in China and immigrate to China, but they'll never really be Chinese." Oh, and a bunch of Young Americans for Freedom followed me around the whole damn night, chanting: "Hey, Commie Girl! Put us in your column!" like a bunch of cultists. I'm so sure, you guys!
I went to the grand opening of Sephora at South Coast Plaza expecting to get to write smirking, snide comments about rich ladies and cosmetics. But when I got there, they had $2 bottles of body spray in electric colors right up front, and I felt as if they were striking a blow for the proletariat-plus, they gave out really bitchen gift bags. And while $30 blushers might be excessive, the hors d'oeuvres were mighty tasty. And they've got their displays set up so very colorfully, so by all means, consume!
I flew from there to Santa Ana's MainPlace-I don't believe I've ever hit two malls in one day-for a preview of Adam Sandler's Waterboy. Aside from the annoying KEZY DJ who presided over the event, it was a terrific evening. I hate it when Sandler uses the retard voice, so I thought I'd despise the movie, but I was actually cheering through most of it. And I cried four times. I'm not joking. Oh, the humanity!
After that, my homey Arrissia Owen and I went to downtown Huntington Beach to get a cup of coffee; she lives there, and we had somehow managed to completely forget what a hideous time we'd had there the week before. I'm thinking senile dementia is setting in a bit early. It was nowhere near as bad as the last time, except this time, there was one cop for every four people on the street, and it felt like we were in some kind of Escape From New York movie. They looked at us like we were lawbreakers, and so we felt like lawbreakers. Just imagine if we'd been people of color! When we got back to my car, two cops were hanging out next to it, chatting, and if they had pulled me over, they would have seen that my insurance expired, so we got paranoid and went to eat, which meant we had to parade again past the same group of guys hanging out on the curb. This, of course, made us look like hos.