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By Charles Lam
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I read your article about Jan and Paul Crouch during the Christmas season (Rebecca Schoenkopf's "God's Big Inning," Dec. 31). I didn't appreciate your negative point of view. I understand you are coming from a Generation-X point of view. Maybe you would prefer writing an article about Hanukkah? What you said was like Scrooge. It won't be tolerated. Basically Christmas is a wonderful, wonderful holiday. And it should be respected and treated as so.
Also, I would like to tell you that Jan and Paul Crouch are not what you had said they were at all. They are Good Samaritans; they help a lot of people. They have accepted Christ as their savior—something you probably have not done. There is nothing wrong with what they are doing. I admit Jan wears a little bit of heavy makeup. She's a little bit hard to take, as for her whipped-cream personality, but you've got to look at what she's doing. She's going around the world, her and her husband, and they have helped many, many people. Now, can you ask yourself one question: Have you ever done anything for anyone else, in the way that they have? Ask yourself that.Anonymous via voice mail
What's with you guys? In one issue, you've got a picture of some music-geek tough guy posing like Mickey Rourke and brandishing a gun ("Aural Reports," Feb. 4). A fucking gun! I searched the story in vain for some higher purpose for the presence of the gun but could find none. Then, in the Feb. 18 issue, you've got the first-person account of a woman contemplating "sticking my gun in your mouth until you forked over whatever money you keep in your expensive-looking riding suit" ("Hey, You"). What's happened?
I read recently that the Weekly was purchased for some millions of dollars. Was Charlton Heston involved in the takeover?Sue Halder via e-mail
Congratulations on the regular El Toro Airport Watch updates (I noted that the Times unfairly stole your former column title "El Toro Watch" for their Feb. 14 article "Battle of Ads"). No one in the journalistic community in Orange County researches the facts surrounding the county's El Toro airport "planning" process and presents them more accurately than Anthony Pignataro. On top of that, his columns are extremely well-written and pack a lot of punch. I would hate to see him write for the other side!Achim Krauss Foothill Ranch
Thanks for the continuing barrage of good perspectives on El Toro. The quality of life most of us have come to Orange County to enjoy is on the verge of being forever destroyed by our own county government—our air, our water, our parks and lakes, our homes, schools and businesses all stand to suffer if El Toro International Airport is built. A lot of us feel very disenfranchised by our county government and by the various media. The OC Weekly is a breath of fresh air: you give us at least one public voice, a voice we very badly need. Please keep up the good work!Michael E. Smith Mission Viejo
Just as I figured he would, reviewer Dave Barton blasted Volcano. Barton's review shows his ignorance of the time and culture. It's no joking matter to me and to many African-Americans who grew up in the 1960s and were actually confronted with the prejudice outlined in the play. I was born in 1959 in Greenville, Alabama —that's 30 miles south of Montgomery, one of the hot spots of the civil-rights movement. So I know for a fact that the things in the play he seems to take for granted or think are not plausible are in fact truthful situations. The Korean War is not an "after-school special" takeoff—for many who share the generation in which I grew up, this was the war of our fathers. Yes, it is true that if you were black and serving in this war, as long as you were on foreign soil, you were treated equal, but when you returned home to your native land, America, you were a second-class citizen, only fit to work in the cotton, bean, corn and potato fields of what were once called plantations. The play is really about hidden prejudice, where everything is fine until the situation gets too close to home. I once dated a Jewish girl, and when her grandparents heard about her dating an African-American, they disowned her; in high school (Green Bay, Wisconsin), a friend of mine became friends with a white female classmate, and that was fine and dandy with her family until they started calling themselves boyfriend and girlfriend.
Now let's bring the situation closer to home, since it seems Mr. Barton is very limited in worldly experience. Every time I go into the local bank in my neighborhood in Irvine, this one teller who only seems to open her station when I go into the bank treats me like a suspected criminal; if I happen to get lucky and go to another teller, she intercepts the transaction to look it over. My wife, who is Danish (that's as white as they come), goes into the bank (without me) and to the same teller and gets treated like a queen; hell, the lady even laughs and jokes with her and the kids.
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."
HATES HIS OWN BIRD SO MUCH HE WON'T LET IT READ THE WEEKLY
Daaaaammmmnn!! Don't you just love it when Rebecca talks all dirty like that ("The Domestic Life of a Porn Star," Feb. 11)!? Sends chills up the spine. This is one issue I can say for sure will not be used as fish wrap or to line the bottom of my birdcage.Todd Ebert via e-mail
Re: Buddy Seigal's obituary for Screamin' Jay Hawkins (Feb. 18): the words to a song are the "lyric"—not the "lyrics." You could look it up.Lex Icon via e-mail A member of theWeekly's infallible Style Council responds: So Buddy sends off Screamin' Jay Hawkins with the most feculent obit imaginable, and all you can see is the word "lyrics"? My dictionary (New World, second ed.) shows that your preferred word—"lyric" —is an adjective. Buddy properly used "lyrics" as a noun (as in, "I have transcribed some of the lyrics"), which my dictionary defines thusly: "[usually pl.] the words of a song, as distinguished from the music."
DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS
In the Feb. 18 Politics listings, we sent you to the right place on the wrong day. The Vote No on Proposition 21 Community Forum and March in Santa Ana is this Saturday, Feb. 26. For complete details, see the Politics listings in this issue's Calendar.