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
So we went to see Anthony Michael Hall-of Breakfast Club fame-hoping to mock him mercilessly, along with the new Anthony Michael Hall Literacy Club in the Harry and Diane Rinker Atriumof the Argyros Forum at Chapman University. Our first question, of course, was: "So is or was Anthony Michael Hall illiterate?" Our second was, "What would we have to fork over to get our name plastered on something at Chapman? We don't need a whole building; something modest would do. How much would the Commie Girl Pencil Sharpener and Hole Punch in some little-traveled administrative office set us back?"
But Hall was very sweet and polite, and he had dressed up-out of respect for all of us!-in a nice black suit for the occasion of his CD signing. Perhaps you noticed a few years ago that his head had blown up to three times its normal size; he looked like a giant, terrifying bee sting. You'll be glad to know he's now back to normal. And we really can't argue with the mission of the Anthony Michael Hall Literacy Club, which uses the former teen-geek king's films to get high school students interested in reading. Whatever works, we say; Commie Momgot our big brother Jesse to like books by giving him Fear and Loathing in Las Vegaswhen he was 11 or so. The gonzo weekend did the trick.
We would like to take a moment, though, to mock the people in charge of Chapman's bookstore; they've taken out the books to make it an "agora"-that's "marketplace" to the illiterati out there-and are selling sweat shirts and CDs. If you want books, you have to go across the street and behind the law school, like, 27 miles away! After all, everyone knows college isn't about reading anymore; it's about money. Big money. George and Judie Argyrospiles of money. Of course, the bookstore does offer some John Grisham and Stephen King novels. Remember way back in the last paragraph when we said, "Whatever works"? That doesn't count for college students. Presumably-with the exception of the business majors-they already know how to read.
We traveled all the way to San Diego's Pacific Beach to see our awesome friend Buddy Blue-better known to you as music critic Buddy Seigal-at the ultraposh Catamaran Hotel. It's the kind of place that has aviaries of tropical birds flying free in waterfalls in the lobby. And we found ourselves in the midst of a terrifying horde of what Anthony Michael Hall would have called "richies" back in the day but what we call yuppie fucks. In front of us in the line to get in, a hoity-toity young woman was testing out her new VIP card: they're very glittery, embossed with your name, and sent out to a "select few," such as every person in the OC Weekly offices. And they're supposed to get you such VIP treatment as free entrance and skipping to the front of the line at all manner of places-including, according to the accompanying booklet, the Catamaran. But, oh, dear! The bouncer said his manager had specifically told him not to honor the cards! We commiserated with the girl. "Oh, is that that glittery, embossed VIP card? We all got one at the office," we said. "You are supposed to get 'front-of-the-line' treatment." She stared at us and then turned back to her group. Apparently, we are living in 19th-century England, and speaking to someone without an introduction is at the height of bad taste. But then we skipped to the front of the line while she had to wait a whole four minutes. Membership has its privileges.
Apparently, Pacific Beach is San Diego's Newport Beach. And when we are surrounded by horrible rich people, it unleashes in us a scary prejudice. On this particular night, needing to punish them all for being them, our goal was to get drunk and sit on the laps of people with dates. Instead, we danced with someone who bought us a rose-or more precisely, bought a rose and then waited for the opportunity to give it to someone. We had to take our leave, though, when at the end of the song, he grabbed our ass and pressed us to his groin. We explained pleasantly why that is wrong, but he still got snippy. Rich people are entitled to a good dry hump, you know.
Interestingly, scattered throughout the earnestly dancing golden boys who looked like professional football players and the Nicole Brown Simpson girls who love them even though they have a Porky Pig sense of rhythm, were some of the "scum" who are regulars at Buddy Blue's divy gigs at Pete's Place. It was just like that last scene in Dirty Dancing, when all the prole hotel staff invade the chichi goodbye lunch for the big synchronized dance number!
My new girlfriend Dena and I invaded a Parents Without Partners (PWP) dance at the Buena Park Hotel because Commie Mom has been on my back to join up. She apparently thinks it's bad that I sob myself to sleep at night in hideous, desolate loneliness. But the only thing worse than sobbing yourself to sleep at night in hideous, desolate loneliness is showing up at a lonelyhearts dance so everyone knows you're sobbing yourself to sleep at night in hideous, desolate loneliness. We went, though, and it was very sweet, except for the hysterically crabby old lady who got really mad when asked to inch her chair forward when some workers carrying heavy tables needed to get by. She also spat, "This sucks" because they gave her a bad pen with which to fill out her membership application. She was just the kind of grandma I'd want; our orientation leader told us that PWP would become our family (which scared us in a cult-ish way, but we really wanted to stay for the dance). But Buena Park and Anaheim are older, more settled cities, and the PWP chapter there consists mostly of grandparents-some of whom were mamboing with aplomb. We stayed almost two hours while the DJ played songs like a "Rock Around the Clock" medley and the theme from Pocahontas. We thought "Eleanor Rigby" would have been more apropos. For you, though, dear reader, we will check out the other PWP chapters. We like old people!