Enough on the prejudice situation; let's turn to the artistic aspect. No. 1, I don't like the fact that Barton is altering or maybe intentionally altering the events of the play. The two men don't just get up and walk off or fly up to heaven. In theater, it's a known fact that if the lights fade and then rise again, there's a transition. What happens is the lights fade to black and then slowly begin to rise to the sound of the two male characters singing "Amazing Grace"; the scene symbolizes the soul leaving the body after death and crossing over into heaven, where (as I and most African-American males of the time were taught) there is "no guilt or prejudice." Barton, who I took to be a very intelligent and artistically sound person (until this review), should get his facts in order before making statements he can't really justify, unless the play in fact ignited the prejudice within him, revealing his true colors. Maybe the question we should be asking is, "Does Dave Barton have a prejudice against themes that he really knows nothing about and feels are irrelevant to the times? Or, being a theater owner himself, use these opportunities as a means of getting rid of his competition?

And No. 2, is it possible Dave Barton is a bigot himself?" Orange County, especially Santa Ana, claims it wants more cultural awareness and wants to become a community where diverse groups have a better understanding of one another and are able to communicate effectively, but yet, when it comes time for Black History Month, half the students (and in some cases, the teachers) don't know very much about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael, Huey Newton, Bobby Seale (especially his part in the Chicago Conspiracy Trial, which also included the famous Tom Hayden), Eldridge Cleaver, Julian Bond, Carl B. Stokes (first black mayor of a major city), etc., etc. It's the same situation when it comes to the Spanish-speaking citizens—you never hear about Che Guevara, who was the true liberator of Cuba, not Fidel Castro; he's always linked to Evita. I could go on and on because the librarian in my high school made sure I knew things that weren't being taught in the classroom. I'll stop at this point because nine times out of 10, this response will be to no avail.

Roosevelt Blankenship Jr. President/Executive Producer Eastern Boys Productions via e-mail Dave Barton responds: My review never questioned the painful history dramatized by situations inVolcano—only a dunderhead would be unaware of America's history of racism. I decried only your vapid handling of a very serious issue, and your play's wretchedly implausible ending. My history as a civil rights activist is a matter of public record, so I'll excuse your asinine race-baiting as something produced in the heat of the moment. I find it more difficult to excuse the fact that you copied your e-mail toThe Orange County Register and theTimes OC. Shame on you for stirring up a divisive controversy to cover up the shortcomings of your play.

Does Rebecca Schoenkopf have some kind of chip on her shoulder about being from the Nazi family tree herself (Commie Girl, Feb. 18)? Or is it that she is already all washed-up and can't hold a candle to someone as pretty and talented as Lisa from Lisafer? You know it never ceases to amaze me when someone does a review of a band and they don't have anything else to bag on but looks. To begin with, if Rebecca had the nerve to get close enough, she would have seen that Lisa in fact has no fringe; it's just a short haircut. Pretty simple. But I guess she had to write something other than facts about the band in order to dazzle the readers with her endless font of vocabulary wizardry and articulation. It may be just me, but with a last name like Schoenkopf, it's pretty hard to take her seriously when she makes remarks about Nazi girls. One more thing: Lisa has a tattoo of a figure throwing a swastika in a trash can on her arm. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to come by and see our band. . . . I know I might have a slightly biased attitude toward Lisa—she's my wife! As far as the press goes, I guess the only bad press is no press.

Zieg Heil,

CHCKN guitarist for Lisafer Rebecca Schoenkopf responds: How sweet that you love your wife! She is a talented singer, as I noted—that's what the words she "snarled real good" mean. And I didn't say she was a Nazi; I said she "would have been Joan Jett-in-her-prime gorgeous if she hadn't sported one of those stupid fringe haircuts usually worn by slightly post-pubescent Nazi girls." You might as well have accused me of agism for calling her only "slightly" post-pubescent. By the way, Schoenkopf (as my most serious critics note in their anonymous letters to the editor) is a Jewish name. And the word is "sieg," for "victory."


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