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 GouldThe Weeklyis being sold to an as-yet-unnamed corporate overlord (in our nightmares, the part is played by Times-Mirror Corp., which pulled exactly the same stunt in Hartford, Connecticut, buying that city's alternative weekly so they could reap its crop of young hipsters). So we've decided to get onboard with this newfangled journalism credo that extols the "objective," neutral reporter as some kind of Pimpbot 5000 with no innate sense of right or wrong but rather a willingness to turn the truth out onto the street like a strung-out runaway, giving equal weight to both sides of a story, no matter how inane or evil.
Journalism was never expected to be blind and stupid to the truth, not before the middle of this century, anyhow. This Great Nation's founding newspapers were libelous rags that existed for no other purpose than to let fly the publishers' most closely cherished seethings. Then William Randolph Hearst had to go and ruin it for everybody, giving Yellow Journalism a really, really bad name. For the record, we don't approve of actually making up "news."
Still. We're a team player. We'll do our best to embrace the bloodless, adjective-free hunk of dry wheat toast that is mainstream journalism today.
Let's warm up with something easy: Flogging Molly on Nov. 15 at Linda's Doll Hut. While some would say (note: this phrase is a really great journalism trick for inserting the reporter's own opinion: "some would say," or "many maintain," or "critics charge"—or "observers," "experts" or a "source"; watch for it in the neutral dailies!) Flogging Molly is the best Irish punk band in Southern California, we're pretty sure there are others who would disagree with that! If we could find one of them, we would add a quote here for balance. And take the band's assessment of Lulu, the sexy bartendrix, as "the best view in rock & roll." Unfortunately, in the interests of objectivity and general boringness, we're going to have to amend that statement to, "Some band members claim the sight of the young, dark-haired bartender is one perk among many associated with being a musician on a stage."
See how that works? Now let's try something a little harder.
The demonstration outside Santa Ana's Federal Building on Nov. 19 calling for the Clinton administration to close the School of Americas (SOA) drew approximately 100 protesters. Led by the rousing sounds of The Close the School of the Americas Band, a mournful chorus recited the names of people SOA opponents claim have been "disappeared," in between funk songs fit for a street-corner dance party. Many refer to the Georgia-based training facility as the "School of Assassins," which churns out they maintain churns out death squads paramilitary units that have terrorized may have patrolled Central America for decades. More than 70,000 civilians, political officials and clergymembers have been disappeared and murdered.
Representatives from such local activist organizations as The Catholic Worker, a non-mainstream group identified by local Democratic Party heads as "radical," and the Green Party (ditto) held signs in English and Spanish with such slogans as "I was hungry, and you gave me SOA death squads"—a reference to the Gospels, in which Jesus applauds those who feed the hungry and visit the sick. Some biblical scholars disagree with this interpretation of the Bible, which seems to suggest that Jesus would not have approved of SOA death squads paramilitary units. But the only one we could think of, The Reverend Fred "God Hates Fags" Phelps of Kansas, did not return calls for comment.
After a two-hour demonstration watched over by Steve, a Santa Ana police officer who has obviously been trained in the arts of community relations ("Call me Steve," he said repeatedly to the Concerned Citizens of Leisure World, who, as always, were representin in tha house present), protesters divided into small groups to visit the district offices of area congressmen. Protesters at Congressman Dana Rohrabacher's Huntington Beach office were met by Alberto, whom the protesters praised as being "a good listener" while they shyly explained why death squads are bad. "I think it's pretty safe to say we're not down with death squads," one cute Rohrabacher staffer smirked confirmed after the group had left.
The daylong music fest at the La Vida Roadhouse in Brea's Carbon Canyon on Nov. 20 featured sets by The Angoras, a mostly girl group that some maintain is the best damn thing to hit rock & roll since Sting stopped popping pills (Paula the blonde singer touches herself a lot, but in a cool way); sexy Latin-pop band Mirainga; and Senza Motiva, whose singer, critics charge, sticks his tongue out too much and makes mean faces while he sings.
Then we went and saw Dogma, which many say you should see right now, immediately, at once!
And it was back to Linda's for an intimate evening with John Easdale of Dramarama. Unfortunately, ever since daylight-saving time ended, we've been in a bit of a biorhythmic funk, and by 11:30 p.m., we decided to head back home, where we fell asleep in front of Saturday Night Live, which on this night featured Jennifer Aniston and Sting. Aniston is really cute, yeah, but have you noticed her chin lately? Japanese military experts contacted by the Weekly swear that thing could battle Godzilla. So we missed Easdale and what was purportedly a really terrific show. We did, however, note that the mirror in the Doll Hut's women's room has been moved to the side of the toilet, so you can no longer check yourself out while peeing. In its place right in front of the can is an entertaining advertisement board featuring a Planned Parenthood announcement that showcases a mohawked punk rock boy wearing pink-plastic New Wave sunglasses and holding a condom. Many are absolutely positive that the poor boy will never need that condom, ever, as long as he lives. Or until he takes off the Michael Jackson jacket, which ever comes first.
On Nov. 17, we went to the Steve Martin-penned Picasso at the Lapin Agile at the Laguna Playhouse, and it was very funny except for the excruciatingly bombastic appearance of Schmendiman, a too-blatant wild-and-crazy-guy stand-in for Martin. Oh, and the girl playing Picasso's lover bugged. Other than that, though, it was terrific, especially Picasso, who was played with a Tony Montoya/Scarface accent. Sexy!
We should point out that Mr. Martin's perspective of our century is a particularly dour one—it's been 100 years to regret. Outside the Playhouse, however, we sought for and found one person who thinks the century has been perfect and says he wouldn't change a thing.
Let's hear it for "balance," friends.Achieve balance by writing to CommieGirl99@hotmail.com.