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
Photo by Jack GouldI was on my way to ESPN-2's Pro Beach Hockey Saturday at the Huntington Beach Pier. The dilemma: to use my powers for good or for evil? There could be only one answer. Heh, heh, heh.
Oh, where to begin? I think it would be wisest to start with the Slammin' Dancers, a dance troupe that "entertained" between matches like the Fly Girls used to between In Living Color sketches. Did I say "Fly Girls"? I meant if the Fly Girls had choreography by Martin Short's Saturday Night Live synchronized swimmer, the rhythm of Al Gore, and were whiter than Barbara Coe's clasped knuckles at the sight of an undocumented cleaning lady. They spent their entire routine crouching unflatteringly and facing awayfrom the audience. The cameras and the bleachers were on opposite sides of the rink—guess which won out? Even the pubescent boys we saw weren't impressed—and yet the Slammin' Dancers all had very hard nipples, which you'd think would count for something with that key 12-to-14 demographic.
The uniforms alone were making my eyeballs bleed. The defending champs, The Web Warriors, were decked out in Jolly Rancher apple green, with lightning bolts and sequins and rainbows and God knows what all; Salsa—or "The White Burrito"—had chile peppers on their jerseys . . . chile peppers, of course, that wore extreme sunglasses, as chile peppers are wont to do. Those insouciant guys! The whole thing stank of letting some focus group try its collective hand at fashion.
Possibly the worst thing about Pro Beach Hockey—and, really, let me count the ways, from the white-ass, Hootie-like reggae-ish band to the bikinied blondes shaking their poor little ribs around on a high platform to the poor quality of play—is the Universal CityWalk/Tinseltown/Hard Rock Cafe/Lori Campbell candidacy/ad nauseam fakeness of it all. How fake is it? In a badly miscalculated ploy to attract Gen X, the six-team league has squads named Heavy Metal, Dawg Pac (woof!), the Goth Gargoyles—and, of course, one named for the Internet. The ball (not puck) is neon yellow. And they've got a slogan as prepackaged as a Ho Ho—"Raaamp It Up!"—which they try to get the audience to shout every time a player skates up the ramp behind the goal, but the only people shouting it were me and my friends, and that's just because we're snotty. Basically, it's a sad, sad thing—and they've got super hotty Chris McSorley (scrapping coach and brother of Marty) as commissioner! I wonder what the price is on his dignity these days; maybe we should take up a collection.
Spotted wandering aimlessly were El Promoter Elegante Jaime MuŮoz and new Pier Plaza czarina (and former director of the once-lauded but now ignominious Huntington Beach Art Center; it's getting the insipid, watercolor-filled "community"-art-center makeover to pander to reactionary old people who are down on "smut," although cultural-services director and scenario villain Mike Mudd, who orchestrated the bloody coup, keeps sending out press releases swearing it's gonna be just keen) Naida Osline. Whew!
The Greens don't stage bloody coups; instead, they thrive on "consensus." What this means is don't go to cover a statewide gathering of them and expect to emerge with less than an hour's worth of squabbling ringing in your ears about whether to communicate via the Net or via snail mail. And they'll hammer and hammer until everyone agrees out of sheer exhaustion. Still, I was glad to see them at Santa Ana's beautiful old courthouse, and if I hadn't wandered in just as they were letting people speak on whether the committees to amend bylaws should be bigger than the platform committee and whether to allow working groups and the youth caucus to meet during statewide gatherings or address the gatherings or something—it was kind of hard to follow, so I just looked at people, in what became a vicious circle that made it even harder to follow the discussion—I probably would have stayed longer. It was niggling, and it was wonky. But an old, longhaired hippie guy from San Francisco looked just like V.I. Lenin! No shit! I love the Greens!
Then I went to my old pal Jim Washburn's house because he was playing host to his best friend, Jonathan Richman, and Richman's drummer, Tommy Larkin, before their show at Linda's Doll Hut, and I wanted to look at the famous people. I'm not a groupie, but I play one on TV. Damn, I love famous people! For a while, Richman and Larkin were napping in the living room, but then they woke up. Richman? Kind of weird, though I guess I should have expected that from the guy who wrote "Pablo Picasso (Was Never Called an Asshole)." He believes that electricity zaps our strength; he prefers a house with the fridge unplugged. Also, he speaks with an accent that wavers between Czech and Paraguayan but is from Boston. See what I mean? Kind of weird!
Then I decided to head to the Lab for a cup of coffee from the Gypsy Den, and a rock band broke out! As I watched, soaring with love for the kung-fu-fightin' Barry Diamond, he and his band, Tex Twil, bewitched me further with their jigglin' and a-swayin', not to mention all the yoga Diamond does while he sings his shagadelic spy music. They are the most! But someone needs to see that Dallas' resemblance to Chet Baker remains only skin-deep. Have a cookie, dear.