By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
By Charles Lam
Photo by Jack GouldHey! What's up with all these lazy, lollygagging kids we keep having to hear about? Seventeen percent of them live in "poverty"? Oh, waaaah!
Why don't these children who managed to get themselves "poor" stop their bitching —"Oh, I go to bed at night hungry! Oh, I can't concentrate on my schoolwork because 13 of us live in two rooms!"—and remember that poverty is at a 21-year low? Hell, according to the feds, all you have to do to not be poor anymore is make more than $17,000 a year for a family of four—just 14 grand for a family of three. Then voilà! There's nothing to worry about!
And while we're on the subject, why don't these little whippersnappers just get jobs? When asked about unemployment during his trickle-up administration, Ronald Reagan pointed to 16 pages of help-wanted ads in The Washington Post. Why the hell don't all these "poverty-stricken" kids just move to our nation's capital? I hear it's nice there!
Surely a paper route through some of D.C.'s finer ghettos would be sufficient to pay for the fancy little extras—Pokémon cards, Razor scooters, food and rent—that usually burden parents, giving kids the added satisfaction of paying for their own trifles, like the electricity bill. When my grandpa was 12, he worked full-time in a factory in New York City. So he lost three fingers and a thumb in a machine at 13. Big deal!
Suck it up because we're richer than ever before—maybe because in the past decade, typical married, middle-income couples have added 279 hours of work a year (that's seven weeks, the LA Times pointed out) in order to maintain their middle-class status!
But women? You've lost a little ground: you now make 72 cents for every man's dollar, down from 73 cents in 1998. But the good news is, you can make him pay for dinner with a clear conscience. From each according to his ability, to the Cowboy for a nice, aged Angus steak! But don't order anything too expensive, or he'll expect head! Isn't that odd, how one's often expected to pay for the price of a $20 dinner? Gutter whores charge more than that. Men!
Much more interesting than talk of the boring old economy—math is hard!—was the news that District Attorney Tony Rackauckas' 31-year-old son was arrested—in his truck, naked!—on drug charges last week. You did read that, didn't you, instead of lying lump-like on the couch, limiting your "news" intake to a mainlining of NBC's Olympics coverage (go Williams girls!)?
Luckily, Rackauckas fils gets to enter a drug-diversion program, despite the fact that it's his second drug arrest and he reportedly has $31,000 in outstanding tickets (reportedly in drug and traffic charges). The inanities of the war on drugs notwithstanding, Tony Jr., it's a rare event that a convicted defendant gets this kind of break. You are getting a second chance. Don't let yourself or your supporters down. Do not steal my stereo!
And much more interesting even than that was Friday night's Skunk Records (home of those whiny li'l bitches, the Long Beach Dub All-Stars) show at Club Mesa, proud bearer of the stickiest floor this side of a Candy Apples gangbang. Snarly chick band The Applicators—it's been so long since I've seen a good feminine-hygiene reference!—were there from Texas, wearing real tight hip-huggers and screaming. Rock on, punk-rock girls!
Hometown ladies Relish followed, also wearing real tight hip-huggers and screaming. But like Lit and Sugar Ray before them—most of whose songs do not sound poppy and quirky, as the teenage girls who spent their allowance on their albums found out—they occasionally take a break from the noise machine to chirp out an actual melody. "Flesh and Kings" is the kind of ditty noise bands used to have to front with to get on the charts before Korn and Limp Bizkit ushered in this new wave of unashamed Testostarock™. And you can find it on the OC Weekly compilation CD Nothing But Treble! Well, you can if you picked one up when they came out all those months ago. I'm not sure we have any more.
Okay, so none of that was as interesting as Tony Rackauckas' son getting arrested—naked!—in his truck. I was just lying. I'm sorry. Also, The Ziggens were there, in all their doughy glory. Mmmm, Ziggens!
The T2K concert Saturday next to the grand Queen Mary should have been outstanding. With scheduled acts like the legendary Kurtis Blow and the Sugarhill Gang (not to mention The Muffs and L7) and a breezy seaside venue, T2K should have been, hands down, the party of the month. So why were Chesney the Que Sera Barmaid and I forced to spend the day sneaking aboard the Queen Mary (they wanted us to buy a $17 ticket!)? To escape T2K, we loitered in the Art Deco bar, the Thomas Kinkade gallery (where we overheard this actual quote: "Oh! I love Thomas Kinkade!") and the historical exhibits up top, which were fascinating. For instance: Did you know that for a six-day passage, the ship went through 155,000 pounds of meat and poultry? It's true! Plus, they had mannequins behind glass doing things like playing cards next to their bunk (when the Queen served as military transport during World War II) and lying in the infirmary. All the mannequins had really gnarly, puffy wigs. Fabulous!