We Respond

>>>VOLUME ONE
We cannot publicize Richard Wagner because he inspired Adolf Hitler, who caused that annoying Second World War thing. . . . Why, that's a little trick called irony; look it up, and then you'll realize I wasn't calling myself a guy. Nor was I necessarily knocking faux knockers. . . . Humor is in the ear of the beholder, obviously, but I do know one thing: if you don't think a parade of naked boys dancing in seminal fluid ejaculated from Hercules' penis is hilarious, you're one very sick Dane. . . . And yes, along with a sizable monetary kickback from the playwright, I'm also receiving sexual favors—even as I type. . . . Jaimes Palacio is a good poet, but he didn't read the story I wrote—else he'd know I didn't put down Dr. Seuss. . . . The risk in dealing with any disinformation campaign—even one as sloppy as Rohrabachers's—is becoming entangled in nonsense. . . . (Rohrabacher) says he doesn't want to curtail the Times' scandal coverage—a point so disingenuous that it doesn't deserve a response. . . . I certainly intended no offense and am surprised that anyone acquainted with the music scene would be unfamiliar with the pussy-power movement. . . . At least it wasn't another one of those weird dreams that metaphorically reveal I want to fuck a lizard. God, I hate those. . . . I am way too advanced in years to be "punkish," "hip" or indeed "cute," though I entirely agree that it's never too late to whine, mewl or puke. . . . The movie was terrible, and I had fun saying so. . . . I trust you won't mind if, after you die, we use your image to adorn food stamps and wheels of government cheese. . . . Regarding my johnson (will you be my Boswell?), the rigors it and I are undertaking are not without some risk and are being undertaken not for ki power's advertised goals of sexual vigor and prodigious heft but only to enlighten our readers. . . . It is also interesting to discover evidence in this letter that Gregg Smith—an aide to Congressman Robert Dornan—has been secretly reading Gore Vidal. How else to account for his intimate knowledge of Italian boys and gay white writers?

>>>VOLUME TWO
Yes, I get into the clubs for free (I pay for my food and drinks, though, and if you think their food is bad, you never had a Golden Bear burger or ate at the Whisky). I also get into Irvine Meadows for free. I can come watch pay-per-view in your living room for free if I want. The rock-critic life is a perk-filled wonderland. . . . My article had nothing to do with teenage alcoholism or civil liberties and almost nothing to do with the Japanese. . . . Along with my glass being half-empty, I halfway agree with you. . . . I hope you won't mind if the developers build a highway through your bedroom so the rest of us can share your morning sunrise. . . . I'll apologize for one other thing: I only glared when the little Nazis chanted, "Turn on the ovens!" I didn't offer to beat the crap out of them until one of them (accidentally, he said) spat on me. . . . Oh, well, I guess those who can't read write letters like yours. . . . Jeez, Hal, I'm writing about a dead guy. Cut me a little slack, would you? . . . I'll grant you that the '60s sucked in ways that are still sucking. . . . Moments of grace are not so common that any of us can afford to deny them, whenever they occur. . . . We trimmed your letter because our attention was wandering. . . . I've known too many fine military people to ever want to insult them, but I'll make an exception in your case. . . . Oooh, I just hate having to explain sarcasm to people. . . . If I were a racist, do you think I'd want to advertise it in a commie rag like the Weekly? . . . You're the one I've been waiting for. All the mental qualities of a preteen wrapped in a big girl's body. It's kismet, baby. . . . You were, however, livid about the absence of potato salad. . . . Wow, Andreas! Did I run over your dog or something? . . . My comparison parodies the despicable overcommercialization of popular culture. It's no surprise that that point is unappreciated by someone from the record industry. . . . Mea culpa. . . . Most of the trance electronica I've heard is the furthest thing from that live experience; instead, it's a calculated, sequenced construct, created in a tweakhead process that runs counter to the ecstatic state. Rather than seducing listeners to join in the dance with the artist, it commands them while the artist presides aloof. Why not call it fascist trance? Why not call it New Age music with a crank headache? If all that's needed is "pulse and movement," why not amplify a washing machine?

>>>VOLUME THREE
Ah, the sting of an objecting Objectivist. . . . Just shut the fuck up for a minute and listen to the world with closed mouth and eyes to experience reality without categorizing, identifying or naming it. . . . I guess I'll just go back to hating everything. . . . Okay, I admit guilt here. I shouldn't have used "Christian" as an epithet. . . . Let's get this straight: you're his mom, you were scared to see him, and you blame us for calling him frightening? . . . I've listened to so much whining about the Gene Jamarillo pony-tail bungle that I'm ready to buy the guy a hair extension at my own expense. . . . Odd that you think it trite—meaning commonplace—to describe [Supervisor Jim] Silva as an idiot. . . . What a dark, pinched little world you inhabit. . . . You're right, Francisco. Everyone knows that until the Weekly began publishing in September 1995 Dornan was normal. . . . As for homophobia, PUH-LEESE. . . . Who do think bought all the Silly Putty stock? . . . I'm sorry that you're really, really old, but I bet I've read more books and heard more records in my relatively young and still-vital life than you did back in ye olden days, so nyah-nyah. . . . Then he called Roy Bauer a motherfucking shit something-or-other. . . . Though Bond—James Bond—and I disagree on religion, we appear to be in sync when it comes to manipulating one's children through yelling wild threats and the withdrawal of love. But I prefer my family shaken, not stirred. . . . That 'tude don't fly with me. . . . Nasty little toad. . . . This is the best letter we have ever received. . . . Schlessinger is a very bad and dangerous person who beats up and profits off individuals so pathetic that they believe, in their most desperate moments, the only place for them to turn is the smug, accusing voice of a millionaire radio host. As to your wondering if I'm not in fact bitter about having been refused an interview with Dr. Laura, let me assure you that I cannot think of anything as horribly gruesome—testicular cancer? Nah—than sitting down with a person who personifies so much that is arrogant, compassionless, vile and petty. I don't need to interview Schlessinger to know she is all this any more than I need to interview lice to be persuaded that they are a significant nuisance. . . . Sounds like we better spike that cock-fighting cover story we were planning. . . . Finally, the copy editors have asked us to let you know that you almost surely meant to hyphenate Mexican-Ass, not Ass-Kisser. . . . I was being silly when I wrote that, as I sometimes am. . . . You moved to Aliso Viejo!? Haven't you been reading the Weekly?! I'm so sorry.

>>>VOLUME FOUR
Listen, boyfriend, I like Missing Persons, too. But Bozzio was so unbelievably rude and unprofessional it would have been derelict of me not to call a twat a twat. . . . I commend your commendation of me. . . . We made it abundantly clear that [Santa Ana Councilman Ted] Moreno is a standup husband and father, which obviously makes him fit to serve the community, no matter how many counts of extortion, conspiracy, money laundering, mail fraud and election violations he's been charged with. . . . John, you know what? The whole column blew, and thanks for giving me the chance to say I'm sorry. . . . I said it was "rarely" art. Go away. . . . [David] Sanborn's efforts in "re-defining the role of alto sax" has been to release a slew of albums that sound, more or less, like the theme music from Entertainment Tonight. . . . Your knee-jerk screed is mostly sanctimonious claptrap. . . . Ms. Bush has it all wrong: if you're smart, you don't lose street cred; you sell it, as the Weekly did in September 1995—the very month we premiered. In a fabulous IPO arranged for us by Merrill Lynch and CultureTrustInc., our street credibility hit the Credibility Futures Market at $15.50 per share. It has soared since, splitting at $43 per share in October 1997 and splitting again this year when the per-share price hit $69.30 on news that we were beating the mainstream dailies in three Key Alternative Market Coverage Areas: cargo pants, hair removal and body piercing. Citing the Weekly's sale of credibility to the highest bidder, Radical Investor said, "Getting rich on being 'alternative' has never been so lucrative-or so fun!" . . . Sounds to me as if you were a bit closer to Three Mile Island on the day of the disaster than you think. Either way, Richard, you are clearly an expert when it comes to venting gas. . . . For the record, Sugar Ray—with another annoying hit now clogging up the airwaves—is the best band to come down the pike since Kajagoogoo. . . . How the hell did I get dragged into this?

>>>VOLUME FIVE
We attribute the armpit fur to prodigious amounts of hormones in the nation's beef and poultry supplies. . . . Yes, Virginia, we are ashamed of ourselves. Apparently, our article left you with the impression that we are anti-ferret. Nothing could be further from the truth. You see, Virginia, we believe in ferrets. . . . The man in the Spanky's ad is, well, he's choking the chicken, Ms. Ray. That's an expression, see, for, well, spanking the monkey? Corralling the tadpole? Charming the one-eyed snake? Waxing the dolphin? Milking the lizard? . . . We believe in ferrets as certainly as we believe in sunshine and children's laughter. We believe ferrets are our future; we believe that ferrets are all that is good and wonderful. We believe ferrets run Hollywood. We believe Almighty God created ferrets to be our friends, to comfort when we are low and act as intergalactic sentinels in our never-ending battle against the giant hermaphrodite spore mutants of Planet Blync. . . . By the way, Arnold, the next time you see an incompetent, incomprehensible theater production, let me know. That's the type of stuff I pay good money to see. . . . Alas, dear Virginia, what a dreary world it would be without ferrets. Calvin Coolidge was a ferret. Douglas MacArthur was a ferret. Former President George Bush is a ferret, and so is Jenny Jones—as compelling an argument to spay and neuter your ferret if ever there were one. . . . I'm on vacation in the Greek Islands, spending all the cash I made writing this article for the Weekly. Let me be brief so I can get back to the cruise ship's all-you-can-eat-lamb and all-you-can-drink-ouzo buffet spread. . . . Not believe in ferrets? We'd sooner not believe in our robot friend Mitch, who flies high in the sky and writes messages to us in the clouds, messages only we can see, messages that tell us to do things, sometimes bad things. . . . A bad review of a band hardly constitutes a "hate crime." . . . Yes, Virginia, we believe in ferrets, and we thank heaven ferrets live and will live forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia—nay, 10 times 10,000 years from now—they will continue to make glad the heart of childhood. Besides, they're delicious. . . . A blind person responds: We said we enjoyed the bluffs at sunset, not that you should actually stare into the sun. I tried that once while experimenting with LSD, and well . . . We did not include ourselves because we were afraid that when we saw what we had written about ourselves, we would hunt us down and kill us. . . . Your letter offers further evidence that at some point in the not-too-distant future, a race of super apes will overthrow their inferior human oppressors and impose a one-world government. . . . Do Hare Krishnas really use words like "bro" and "dude"? Man, the church has changed. . . . Kurt Cobain replies:I didn't really die. No one does. You just disappear for a while. Take Elvis, who, in this life, has to appear in trailer parks in Arizona being his big, old, fat self. I've chosen to make my return as Scott Presant, publisher of the free magazine Skratch. It's easier this way. Now when people say, "Hey, didn't you used to be someone famous?" I can say, "I still am. I'm Scott Presant." . . . Anally Retentive Employee No. 607 responds: We can't write about Funhole because the name suggests a part of the anatomy that might, under some circumstances, give sexual pleasure, and our employee handbook, Don't Ever Do This or We'll Fire You, states very clearly that we're not allowed to write about sexual pleasure "unless such pleasure clearly occurs within the confines of a legally sanctioned marriage." So if the band were called Happily Married Funhole, Spouse Funhole, or My Husband the Funhole, we could write about Funhole. You can see our problem. . . . Chronic Crotch-Scratching Employee No. 374 responds: . . . Chronic Finger-Sniffing Employee No. 535 responds: . . . When we use the word "poor," we're talking about guys like you. . . . The reason is that "whore" is an example of rhetorical hyperbole in this instance. . . . Joe, it's hardly surprising you misread my review; your script is a masterpiece of illiteracy. . . . You celebrated New Year's by huffing on cans of shaving cream in a 7-Eleven parking lot, right? . . . While delighted to find I was the object of your attention at the performance in question (are you very beautiful?) . . . After all, two years ago, I mistakenly gave your band, Trespassers William, a great review. . . . A drunk in the mail room observes: . . . Dear Joel: Nice to hear from you. I don't know who you're fucking these days, but she must be pretty lame in the sack. Respectfully, Buddy.

 
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