Letters

Contact us via voice mail at (714) 825-8432, or by e-mail: letters@ocweekly.com. Or write to Letters to the Editor, OC Weekly, P.O. Box 10788, Costa Mesa, CA 92627. Or fax: (714) 708-8410. Letters may be edited for clarity and length. All correspondence must include your home city or service provider and a daytime phone number.

CHICKENS

Jim Toledano comes out, and you guys think it's big enough news to make the front cover (R. Scott Moxley's "Coming Out!" Aug. 13)? Now, if he had balled both Dana Rohrabacher and Christopher Cox, that would have been a story!

—Name withheld upon request, member, Orange County Democratic Central Committee

I'm a concerned Orange County resident that I'm sure speaks for a majority of Orange County residents that have to go by and see this rag that you run every weekend that is so pro-gay. I'm looking at your brand-new issue, your "Big Gay Issue"—and what isn't a big gay issue with you people? And last week's terrible, disrespectful story on President Richard Nixon, who happens to be a former Orange County resident ("Dick Nixon's Orange County," Aug. 6)? You should really look at what your people are running in this fag rag that you run. It's terrible. You disgust me.

—Name withheld by request Dear Anonymous: And the paper is so difficult to read with one hand. APPLE STILL FRESH

Re: Frank Catalano's assertion that Apple's new iMac means Apple is out of the computer business is an interesting idea ("Internet Appleiance," Aug. 13). But he's wrong. Catalano figures that because the iMac "isn't a Mac with the broad array of business and personal applications that Windows offers," the iMac isn't a computer—it's a niche operating system, a consumer computing appliance, anything but a computer. That logic reminds me of the old joke about the farmer who takes his first look at a Model A Ford and says, "It seems nice, but there hain't no place to hook up the horses."

James Kameny, Placentia

Catalano's evidence of Apple's demise (that Mac products available through retailers dropped 16 percent last year while software applications for PCs were up 8 percent) could be read another way: that unlike the obsolescence built into other computers, the Mac continues to offer durable, flexible applications that need little updating. That's a consumer-friendly spin that seems lost on Catalano, who seems enamored only of the latest and newest PC gimmick. I'll stick with my Mac, thanks.

Adam Zahn, via e-mail Frank Catalano responds: The essay was a bad news/good news piece—the good news being the sales of iMacs to non-computer owning households who may not need every software program under the sun. Both comments only confirm that Apple is blazing a trail that takes the personal computer in a new direction. NAZI BOY

To Commie Girl, Rebecca Schoenkopf:

I read you all the time in the Weekly. I so want to be a journalist just like you. So I had a brainstorm, and I wrote some sample columns under the heading "Nazi Boy." I mailed 'em out, but nobody got it. I got horrified responses, and then some old guys with heavy accents and long black coats and, get this, fur hats, in July, in LA County, came to my house and lectured me about tolerance, court orders, and some list they're putting me on. I couldn't tell what they were talking about 'cause of their accents. I smiled and nodded my head. I'm just like you 'cause I don't have a lover. I'm a white guy with short hair, and women won't go out with me, except fat white girls who smoke cigarettes and live in trailers, but I'm not attracted to them.

Pete Moss, Signal Hill Rebecca Schoenkopf responds: Dear Pete, thanks for your nice note! Have you ever noticed that old Jews just can't take a joke? Oy vey, huh? As for your letter, it's a good start! But anybody you send your sample columns to is gonna want a LOT more about how you can't get laid and a lot less about old Jews. Old Jews just aren't sexy! Also, if you can throw in there that you passed out somewhere—maybe in the hotel room of some old Jews at some kind of big Jew shebang—or threw up on a city street or something, prospective editors just eat that shit up! Good luck to you, comrade. Mazel tov! ANTI-NAZI BOY

While I appreciate your newspaper's efforts to attack hypocrisy wherever it lives, I must take issue with the way you positioned the article in your Aug. 6 issue about talk-show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger. I identify the teaser headline on the issue's front page, "Mo' Sex, Please: We're Yiddish (Analyzing Dr. Laura)" as misleading at best and anti-Semitic at worst.

I assume you attempted with the teaser headline to play off the 1973 movie No Sex Please, We're British. If successful, this effort could have been a clever rhetorical flourish to encourage the reader to remember that comedy of manners, in which risqué post cards are delivered to the wrong address. This connection suggests that in Dr. Schlessinger's encounter with a skateboard magazine, she simply happened upon material that was not intended for her, that the material was essentially harmless, and that Dr. Schlessinger appears as foolish as the British prudes in the film. However, I must admit this comparison only came to me after significant consideration of what your motives may have been in writing the teaser headline that ultimately appeared.

My late-breaking understanding was delayed by other troubling messages implied by the teaser headline. First, this headline foregrounds Dr. Schlessinger's Jewish lineage through the use of the word "Yiddish." (Dr. Schlessinger is only Jewish on her father's side.) As you know, this word is the name of a language uniting Hebrew characters and words with the German language and that was spoken exclusively by eastern and central European Jews. For a variety of reasons, including its derivation from the German word for "Jew," the word "Yiddish" has in American usage become more than the name of a language. It has become synonymous with "Jewish."

Based on this, I expected the article promised by the teaser headline to analyze Dr. Schlessinger and her role as a sex moralist in the context of her link to Judaism. The article actually printed in the Machine Age column, "Mostly, It's about Sex, Mostly: Online with Dr. Laura, curmudgeon," had nothing to do with her religious affiliation. Therefore, the teaser heading misled me from its intended message.

Furthermore, once I understood what must have been your intention, I was further confused about what was added by highlighting Dr. Schlessinger's Jewish roots, except for the fact that "Yiddish" and "British" rhyme sufficiently to allow you to play off the movie title.

The teaser headline could also be construed as anti-Semitic. The use of the term "Yiddish" appears to be a classic case of guilt by rhetorical association. Your article highlights offensive behavior it identifies Dr. Schlessinger to have committed. Your use of the word "Yiddish" appears to capitalize on its own latent suggestion of offensive behavior. You subtly suggest there is a common denominator between Dr. Schlessinger and other people identified by this term.

One test of improper or offensive usage, when any term of sociological or religious nature is used, is to insert another descriptive term in the place of the one in question. For instance, an article about an accomplished military leader might not have the same attraction if it were to read "the golf-playing Colin Powell" instead of "the African-American Colin Powell," unless the article were being published in a golf magazine. In Dr. Schlessinger's case, any other gratuitous term used to identify her might not have been as intriguing.

For the reasons identified above, I respectfully insist that you publish in an upcoming issue an apology for the careless and offensive use of the word "Yiddish" in identifying Dr. Schlessinger. I would further ask that you forward to me a copy of your published apology. I also feel obligated to forward this letter, by courtesy copy, to the Anti-Defamation League together with the offending article and front-page headline.

Mark A. Rothaman, Los Angeles How about this for an apology: Terribly sorry. Maybe you have to be a regular reader of theWeekly—or one of Dr. Laura's regular radio listeners—to know how frequently she reminds us that her morality grows out of her Jewishness—like she might merely be another AM shock jock if she were, say, a Muslim or an atheist. So here she is, representing herself as a conservative Jew and yakking about sex (child sex, homosexuality, incest, mommy/daddy sex) like she's Larry Flynt's evil twin. Now, if we were Jews—and some of us are—we'd be writing apology demands to Dr. Laura at KFI, 610 S. Ardmore Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90005. Or we'd take a clue from the Catholics. They know how to deal with someone like this: they call it "excommunication." WE PAWS

I just wanted to give you a handshake for your articles about the Orange County Animal Shelter. You've kept the pressure on, and you've been doing a lot of good follow-up articles. It's been a black eye on the county's face for quite a long time, but no press has really paid attention to it. I'm glad you guys finally are. Keep up the good work.

—Derrick Arita, Tustin IDIOT MERGING

Hey, there, "Pissed-Off Christ" writer (Hey, You! Aug, 20). Now let me get this straight: in heavy traffic, you took your car and inserted it into a lane between a semi and a small car where there obviously wasn't enough room by your own admission ("its grill filled my rearview mirror") and then honked at the car in front of you?

Well, not to unsettle you, but you're not just an idiot, you're also one of those special kinds: the Stupid Idiots. If you keep driving like that and pissing off other drivers, you're going to end up as a statistic (not to mention a small spatter mark on a semi's grill somewhere).

Now, I'm not the person you were harrassing on the freeway, but I've seen your kind before. A car isn't a toy for you to swerve all over the freeway, playing tag with your newfound playmates. It's a multiton instrument of death in the hands of people like you. I'll let you in on a little secret: other drivers aren't impressed with your zany antics. Driving erratically and speeding are excellent ways for you to kill yourself and other innocent bystanders. You are supposed to use your turn signals to change lanes (which you didn't mention, so I'm willing to bet that you didn't), leave a two-second buffer in front of you (which you obviously didn't since you had to "hit your brakes to avoid being accordioned"), only supposed to move into the lane next to you once you make sure that it is prudent and safe to do so (which you didn't), and only supposed to use your horn to alert the driver of a situation that could be dangerous (it's not a musical instrument or a message-relay device).

And the scary part is that you think that the dangerous situation you created is the other driver's fault. It's not. It's yours. And then you have the audacity to laugh about your life-threatening stunts. For the sake of all of us who have to drive on the roadways of Orange County, learn how to drive. Or better yet, take the bus.

Your pal,

—Meat, via e-mail
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