Excerpts: Part 1

Nov. 8, 1996 Charles Marowitz's most vitriolic comments were directed at the Orange County audience. Following Arms and the Man, Marowitz wrote: "The audience lapped it up like seals swallowing carp at feeding time. . . . This is all jolly good fun, they seemed to be saying: this is what theater is all about. And so the obviousness, the flatness, the interpretative stodginess were magically transformed into transports of delight."

Later, he wrote that the experience reinforced his belief that suburban taste "is what makes California soggy and bozo-like and justifies the sarcasm and contempt of Easterners who occasionally find themselves sucked into the air pockets which make cultural life in the Great Southwest so treacherous."

Joel Beers, "The Critic Is In: Charles Marowitz takes no prisoners"

Nov. 15, 1996 Willie Nelson is a great American, and I'm not just saying that because he offered to share a joint with me.

I didn't inhale, but only because Nelson was 2,000 miles away, calling from a cellular phone on his tour bus, which was driving through Texas. Hell, yes, I'd smoke a joint with Nelson. That would be going to the essence, like sleeping with Marilyn Monroe or being dunked by John the Baptist.

Jim Washburn, "On the Bus Again: Sharing a joint with Willie Nelson"

Jan. 3, 1997 Now you can start feeling old. David Bowie, the Thin White Duke hisself, turns 50 on Jan. 8. 50! We bet even Mick Jagger won't want to kiss him now.

Jim Washburn, "Hey!"

Feb. 28, 1997 [T]he online pornmeisters are, in a way, the Larry Flynts of Disney's hothouse society—striking at our cultural myths by pointing out the needs they don't meet. Like Flynt's habit of pasting politicians and other celebrities' heads on porn stars' bodies, seeing Jasmine's tits forces us to re-evaluate the beliefs and calculated emotional reactions that have been drummed into us since birth.

Wyn Hilty, "Cartoon Buff: Wanna see Pocahontas nekked?"

March 14, 1997 [A]ttempting to regain some credibility after months of doing Dornan's bidding, the boycotted Times carried a March 7 report accusing B-1 Bob of hassling nuns and Marines to sustain his fraud fantasies. I'm telling you, folks: give this guy a death squad, and it'll be El Salvador all over again.

Matt Coker, A Clockwork Orange.

March 28, 1997 Around 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday, the 1997 season begins for the baseball franchise known as the Angels. The team will have a new name (the Anaheim Angels), a new logo (wings affixed to two baseball bats), a new-look stadium (a $100 million face-lift), and what its relatively new owner (the Walt Disney Co.) and its new manager (Terry Collins) promise will be a new attitude. And if Disney's marketing magic is true to form, the team should also have a host of new fans ready to cheer on the new Angels.

I won't be one of them. You can change the name, the uniform and the owner and try to change the image. But one thing that will never change is the Angels history; you can't take the Angels out of the Angels.

That's why I hate the Angels. I always have. I always will. I don't pity their incredibly fucked fortune during the past 36 years. I don't admire their pluck. I don't applaud their mettle. I do not choose to ignore them or even laugh at them. I hate them—every single thing about them.

Joel Beers, "Why I Hate the Angels: You can change the name, the uniform, the owner, the image—but you can't take the Angels out of the Angels"

March 28, 1997 I found a skink in my yard the other day, which seems to be as close as I'm going to get to interviewing Kink Ray Davies this time around. For the record, a skink is a reptile that looks like a big earthworm with rudimentary legs. Ray Davies is an Englishman.

Jim Washburn, "Dedicated Follower of Faction: Ray Davies is a genius; Dave Davies is Ray's brother"

April 4, 1997 In some of her Angry Thoreauean columns, she wrote about her live-in love slave, Manny Manimal. She'd boss him around in bed and make him wash her car. And then she fell in love with him—the real thing, with bells, whistles and handholding. And then on Sept. 3, 1996, he was murdered by a psychopath who'd been featured on America's Most Wanted, who was subsequently blown away in a shootout with La Habra police. Monique recounts the tale in last December's issue of Angry Thoreauean, and it's genuinely touching, even if the photos of the pair, instead of holding hands, show his erection and her spiked heel in proximate company.

Jim Washburn, "You've Been a Bad Boy! Men are different from women, Jim Washburn discovers, as he talks with women working in desire's trenches"

May 2, 1997 Three tanned, pumped-up male go-go dancers sporting nothing but G-strings and black boots stepped through a maze of cocktail glasses as they paraded around the bar top, gyrating their stuff to the heavy thump of disco. Beneath them swirled a festive crowd of about 140 gay men, nine lesbians, two straight couples and a twentysomething TV star who was halfheartedly trying to remain anonymous. Swaying to the beat and sipping drinks, most patrons focused on the dancers, talked animatedly to friends, or watched one of the 18 screens playing music videos. Downstairs, in a darker section of the bar, another throng of assorted gay men—in varying degrees of sobriety and dress—chatted, posed, shot pool or danced. Every few minutes, shrieks of contagious laughter burst through the drone of dozens of simultaneous conversations. Although Orange County is ground zero for the country's most notorious anti-homosexual crusaders, on this Saturday evening in April, gay nightlife was—as it has been on almost every weekend—unrepentantly thriving inside Laguna Beach's historic Boom Boom Room.

R. Scott Moxley, "Boom Boom, Out Go the Lights: Tough times at Orange County's flagship gay nightclub"
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