Diary of a Mad County

MONDAY, Aug. 12 By now, everyone knows OC Weekly will root out the truth even at the risk of pissing off like-minded friends and sacred-cow advertisers. We don't post banners emblazoned with our logo over evil toll-road booths. We don't hype marginally entertaining events just because the Weekly is a sponsor—well, not nine times out of 10 anyway. Indeed, unlike nearly every other media outlet in OC, we simply cannot be bought. So we have to guffaw when six-packs of Sam Adams Light arrive on the desks of editor Will Swaim and your favorite cold-filtered chronometer. PR flacks obviously believe by sending us 12 bottles of ice-cold brew on this butt-hot afternoon and inviting us to lunch tomorrow with Boston Beer Co. founder Jim Koch at a chichi LA restaurant that we'll feel obliged to tell our loyal readers to "see beer in a whole new light"—Sam Adams Light! That we'll detail the new brew's clean, flavorful taste and smooth finish. They're so deluded they think we'll reprint their high-powered ad agency-manufactured slogan: "Taste the Revolution!" Sorry, suds-soaked suckers, Homey don't play that way—unless it means no more free brewskies.

Four days before the 25th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, Wickes Furniture, which has showrooms in Costa Mesa and Cerritos, unveils bedroom furniture "inspired by the life and career of the King of Rock & Roll." The Elvis Presley Collection includes two master-bedroom suites: "Elvis Presley's Hollywood," which features a leather platform bed, and "Elvis Presley's Graceland," which boasts a "Love Me Tender" bed and a hunka-hunka "Burning Love" heart-shaped mirror. Since the "more traditional . . . refined" Graceland furniture symbolizes Elvis' later years, let's hope the beds are reinforced for the added girth of its occupants and include slots in the frame to hold peanut butter-and-banana sandwiches, the remote, barbiturates, lady-wrassler mags, canned hams, etc.

TUESDAY, Aug. 13 The Wall Street Journal reports today on studies that show moderate consumption of beer can protect drinkers from heart attacks, stroke, hypertension, diabetes and dementia. Get this, Frenchy: a mug of beer may contain more health benefits than a glass of red wine. And when considering which beer to put in that frosty mug, know that Sam Adams Light is the only light beer that uses only two-row malt and 100 percent noble hops. Start a revolution in your mouth!

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 14 The Prisoners' Rights Union claims the women's section of Orange County Jail is rat-infested, that inmates are routinely threatened with violence, and that male guards watch the incarcerated chicks shower . . . in slow motion, with hot, steamy water cascading over their every curve while soapy bubbles cling to crevices as the wash cloths are thrust—ahem—where were we? Oh, yes, the allegations by three femme-mates are today added to a larger contempt action the Sacramento-based prisoner-rights group has brought against the OC Sheriff's Department for allegedly violating a prison's laundry list's worth of human degradation. The department's only response is that the truth will come out in a rat-free courtroom.

THURSDAY, Aug. 15 Former Huntington Beach cop and Fountain Valley City Councilman Chuck Conlosh has filed again to regain his council seat, The Orange County Register's Jim Hinch reports today. Conlosh, known for displaying his service revolver on the council dais, gained notoriety in February 2001 for trying unsuccessfully to gain entrance into the San Onofre nuclear-power plant in the middle of the night by claiming he was working for the FBI. He subsequently—abruptly—abandoned his council seat shortly before checking into a Costa Mesa hospital's psych ward. He's got our vote!

FRIDAY, Aug. 16 Opponents go nuts as soon as Republicans announce today that President George Dubya Bush will attend an Aug. 23 fund-raiser for GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon in Dana Point—with tickets starting at $1,000. Activists against Bush-led wars on Iraq, drugs and civil liberties organize protests outside the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort and Spa. Why bother? The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Dubya will make only a dry-hump appearance on behalf of Simon, whose fraudulent business ties embarrass a White House already teeming with fraudulent business ties. How bad are things for the Simonizer? As of Aug. 12, Orange County and the Inland Empire—fertile grounds for Republican campaign contributions—had given more to Simon's opponent, Democratic Governor Gray Davis. New polls show Simon trailing Davis by a whopping 17 percent. If the gap is not closed by the end of September, Dubya is expected to drop Simon like a yacht anchor. That's not wishful thinking by Democrats; it's the view of former state GOP leader Michael Schroeder of Irvine.


Carona

Davis certainly is no peach himself, as his administration-for-rent style of governance has Californians of all political stripes seeking alternatives. Unfortunately, the mainstream intelligentsia refuses to give serious consideration and attention to third-party candidates already entered in the race, such as the Green Party's Peter Camejo or that Druid fellow the Libertarians unrobed. Example: insightful Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. doesn't even mention a minor-party option when he writes a column this week suggesting that spurned GOP gubernatorial candidate and former Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan could beat Simon and Davis as a write-in. The iron is also hot for actor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona, although Republicans reportedly see them as tandem terminators in 2006 state elections.

SATURDAY, Aug. 17 Cabana boy Raoul is manipulating our sweeping second hand as we're sprawled across the massage table at St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort and Spa—enjoying the distinct smell of caramel and subtle citrus notes emanating from our freebie Sam Adam Lights while thumbing through the September issue of Fortune magazine—when we stop on a story titled "The Greedy Bunch." Mark Gimein reports that top executives at Enron, Tyco and Global Crossing were not alone in cashing out before their companies crashed. "The not-so-secret dirty secret of the crash is that even as investors were losing 70 percent, 90 percent, even in some cases all of their holdings, top officials of many companies that have crashed the hardest were getting immensely, extraordinarily, obscenely wealthy," Gimein writes. Fortune charts the 25 companies with the greediest executives, and coming in at No. 2 is Irvine-based Broadcom, whose officers and directors sold $2.08 billion worth of their company stock between January 1999 and May 2002. On an accompanying list of the 25 greediest executives, Broadcom co-chairman Henry Samueli comes in at No. 3 for having cashed out $810 million worth of stock shortly before the crash, immediately followed at No. 4 by his partner, Henry Nicholas, with $799 million. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy while watching your 401k tank, eh?

SUNDAY, Aug. 18 A disappointing turnout of about 100 lesbians take part in the inaugural Orange County Dyke March. Because none of the ladies gathered at Lions Park in Costa Mesa wrassle one another or hawk peanut butter-and-banana sandwiches, no Elvis sightings are reported. But what a great place to kick back with an ice, cold beer packing some of the most expensive hops in the world—Sam Adams Light!

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