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Maybe it's just me, but did anyone else notice bold and probing OC Weekly reporter Gustavo Arellano caving in like a cheap suitcase ("Recall Nativo Lopez?" Jan. 31)? For weeks now, Arellano has been spoon-feeding us gonzo attack pieces on the Nativo Lopez recall thing. Lurid little tales of quasi-payoffs, quasi-extortion, crass cronyism and general low-rent sleaze. Great stuff. Red meat all the way. Lopez was starting to look like Boss Tweed shopping at Gigante. And then? And then Gustavo does the old chokeroo, the Fourth Street fadeout. Tells Santa Anans to vote no on the Natty Lopez recall because: (a) no one else could do better, and (b) Lopez deserves to serve out his term, despite his being an arrogant fuck-up. Sure. Right. So what are we to think of this sudden and unexpected turnaround? Well, maybe our reporter just can't stand the heat. You know how some men are: all hat and no cattle.

Janey Ruth Rimmer
Mission Viejo

The editor responds: We can all agree that Osama bin Lopez is Al Sharpton minus the sense of humor and thick epidermis. Where we disagree, Janey Ruth, is in our assessment of Lopez's opponents. Take Rob Richardson. As we go to press, the recall passed, and Richardson won handily. Who is Richardson? Once head of the county's legendarily bad El Toro planning office, he's a Republican insider. So are Ron Unz, the bazillionaire Silicon Valley businessman who contributed about 87 percent of the recall's funds, and Tim Whitacre, the conservative activist whomThe Orange County Register absent-mindedly praised as the leader of this "grassroots" effort. These three may not represent the average Santa Ana family, but they illustrate perfectly who's running the campaign to oust the most dangerous Democrat in OC.

I am very disappointed that the OC Weekly comes out against the recall of Nativo Lopez. Arellano admits Lopez uses racist speech, but he says Lopez deserves to stay in office. Let's talk about diversity: Santa Ana Unified is one of the least diverse school districts in the state. And unless you go for that hispano-manifest-destiny-Aztlan theories about the past, present and future of Santa Ana, you have to admit there is something unhealthy going on. Many elementary schools in Santa Ana are more than 99 percent Latino. Those kids never get to sit next to kids of another color in class and never get a chance to play with friends who look different than them. Unfortunately, this is Lopez's vision of Santa Ana. If this is what the OC Weekly believes in, please go on record that you oppose diversity and support racist-speaking public servants.

Paul Andersen
Santa Ana

When I go to a Social Distortion show at the Mouse of Blues and wedge myself into a small hole jacked with 12-Steppers dressed like my grandparents and hear someone say "punk rock," I ask myself, "Where's a terrorist when ya need him?" Regarding Mike Ness kicking that Bush supporter in the head (Lowballasschatter, Jan. 31): I'll just say never take political advice from an old fat man who wears make-up.

Huntington Beach

Please start a column for books. I seriously believe that people who read your magazine probably read books, too. Don't you think they would like a column suggesting good books to read? I know I would, and I've been reading this rag for years. Anyways, there's my two cents; do with it what you will.

Lorynn Conklin
via e-mail

The editor responds: Thanks for the heads-up, Lorynn; I'll be sure and pass along your suggestion to Books Editor Cornel Bonca, though he may be slow to respond, what with being as busy as he is writing the numerous book reviews he does in the Arts section in our paper and on our website. Those book reviews by Bonca, Andrew Tonkovich and others should not be confused with the cover stories we've done about books and authors, such as last year's cover stories about author Mike Davis and sci-fi god Phillip K. Dick. I'll also send your message over to our Calendar staff so that they might consider including book information in our weekly Readings listings, which promote local appearances by authors and poets, as well as the Lectures section that features talks by authors and poets, those being authors and poets who have written books. Great idea, Lorynn! Keep reading!


Have you ever heard people say that OC is full of meatheads? Well, that's because it's true.

If you read "A Million Billion Kaufmans: Charlie Kaufman's isolated tower of indecipherable speech" by Greg Stacy (Jan. 24) and "The Thin White Puke: David Bowie has never been good" by Buddy Seigal (Aug. 9, 2002), then you'll know what I'm talking about.

These guys are not only bad writers, but they're also meatheads. Greg, the films went over your head. What's your favorite film? XXX with Vin Diesel? You are an idiot, and you should work in a warehouse. Buddy, your jab at David Bowie is so feeble it's hardly worth mentioning, but what is your fascination with dog penises? Maybe try your hand at being a football coach. Who did you know to get a job there? It couldn't have been on merit. If it was, that person should be fired.

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