The New New World Order

Legal demonstrators, the Idiot Party and Arthur Carmona

Photo by Jack GouldWe've attended one or two charity fund-raisers in our day, and we've gotta say we've never seen anyone quite as smashed as the debutantes who want to stop multiple sclerosis. We've really begun to enjoy these Newport Beach philanthropy chicks. No, it's true!

MS After Dark, held at Aysia 101 on Dec. 2, hosted such anthropological delights as the slim, 50ish Michelle Pfeiffer ringer who was already blitzed by 8 p.m.—but classily, elegantly so, although she did keep knocking her purse off her chair and then demanding that male passersby fetch it for her. The more drunk she got, the more she simply slowed down in an intriguing Greta Garbo fashion—no raucous chattering for her!—her wonderful, high-cheekboned face becoming as immobile as a painting on an Egyptian sarcophagus. She was very perturbed that we don't have a man to take care of us and promised repeatedly to find us one should we come and visit her. What does one wearto go protector-hunting? And if we find one, do we have to nod and smile, big-eyed and breathlessly admiring, while he brags about how he busted the fledgling union of 9-year-old workers agitating for a 14-hour workday and two 15-minute breaks per day at his Indonesian handgun-and-asbestos factory? Or would he be some fat middle-management Romeo groping delicately at our knee under the table while his shrill wife (who doesn't understand him) shops, as the saying goes, till she drops? Do we smile then, too? Do we have any Grey Poupon? But of course!

Also in attendance was a young Merck guy who kept trying to pitch us stories about lifestyle drugs like Propecia and Viagra. (Ooooh! Maybe our protector could be a Propecia-and-Viagra-huffin' 58-year-old with a 'Vette and a request that we dress up in pigtails and days-of-the-week panties!) He promised, should we write about it, that his company would advertise in our magazine. We explained, as nicely as we could, that reputable news sources don't write stories in exchange for advertising, no matter what the LA Times says and does.

And now that we've cleverly segued to the LA Times, we'd like to send a shout out to them for their entertaining coverage of Seattle's World Trade Organization (WTO) protests, which came complete with a very handy sidebar about why different protesters were protesting. Since we know about as much about the WTO as the next guy (which is a big, fat nothing; and we call ourselves a radical?), we appreciated very much the Times breaking it down for us. Still, we'd protest the WTO for its sinister, creepy name alone, which is both eerily Orwellian and reminiscent of President George Bush's New World Order, itself echoing (unintentionally, we assume) Hitler's Neue Weltordnung. Hitler? Bad. We're just saying.

Our very favorite part of the Times' broad coverage of Seattle came after the second day of the protests, when the Seattle PD was only tear gassing somecitizens, including people in their own front yards, and things had quieted down considerably. That's when the Times pointed out that the city of Seattle, trying to "begin the healing process," had issued marching permits to a group of protesters. The Times then referred—just in passing—to other demonstrators as "illegal demonstrators." Were they the punks setting the fires? Looting? No. They just didn't have permission to congregate. God, how we wish we'd been there.

So what we're saying is MS After Dark was a really great time, and they can sign us up any time! Thanks, MS After Dark ladies!

On Dec. 4, we headed to the fantastically obsessive-compulsive King Neptune's in Sunset Beach (check out the wallpaper in the men's and women's restrooms) for The Fuz and Lo Fi Champion. While the music was a delightfully crunchy, intelligent mix of puppy love and four-chord punk, the drunken-frat-boy carousings alone were worth the (free) price of admission. Those boys are a riot, as long as you're not the hot Betty they're dipping and then dropping and then falling atop. It must be reported, though, that Deyo Glines of the Fuz seemed only marginally amused by the Einstein who wouldn't get off the stage during the Fuz's set. Still, Deyo is a gentleman and a scholar and was very sweet about it. One of the Idiot Party had been physically ejected from the Foothill just the night before by bartender-about-town Smilin' Rick Sieloff, who, outnumbered this time, hunkered down and hoped the guy didn't recognize him.

While we hate to judge boobs by their covers, we can only too easily imagine these morons doing all kinds of crimes—raping, looting, being ugly—but we can't imagine them ever being brought to justice: too white, too privileged, too damned entertaining in their retardedness. Someone less white and less retarded will probably be brought to justice in their place. Someone, perhaps, like 17-year-old Arthur Carmona.

Carmona, a good boy with the wrong skin pigment and a Latino last name, was walking to a friend's house in Costa Mesa on the wrong day in February 1998. He was gently detained at gunpoint by the Costa Mesa PD for fitting the description of a robbery suspect wanted for a crime committed just a few minutes earlier. OC prosecutor Jana Hoffman used tainted witness identifications (witnesses told LA Times columnist Dana Parsons that police had told them there was physical evidence tying Carmona to the scene; also, they weren't sure it was him until a baseball cap—which he was not wearing when arrested—was placed on his head) to convict him; there were absolutely no fingerprints or physical evidence linking Carmona to the crime, although the suspect had not been wearing gloves. And Carmona had been on the phone in Costa Mesa with friends when the robbery occurred in Irvine. But Carmona's court-appointed defense was less than dazzling, summing up:

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