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Re: Nick Schou's "A Stupid Thing to Do" (April 11): I've been friends with Raymond Shipley (Lord Morder of the black-metal band Sol Evil) since 1999. While not a Christian, he's definitely not Satanic. He is an upstanding person, always willing to help out, and never caused any problems. His stage persona is not his real-life persona. It's the same as Alice Cooper, who's obviously not in real life the monster he appears to be onstage. It's all an act; you're selling a fantasy. I'd also like to clear up matters about the Plague: it was by no means a cult or anti-Christian terrorist organization; it was a small record label/distribution.

The shooting at the Teen Challenge Christian Ministry in Santa Ana was obviously a crime, but to claim it was a hate crime is totally unwarranted.

Joe Arellano
via e-mail

Like most of your writers, Richard Goldstein suffers from acute tunnel vision ("Get Your Iraqs Off," April 18). He maintains that the experience of testosterone high from war is "hard to find on the left." Not so. Some 30 years ago, a psychiatrist at UCLA gave a series of lectures proposing that President Lyndon B. Johnson was clinically insane. The professor referred, in one of the lectures, to LBJ's inability to bed Lady Bird because she was so ugly (his observation, not mine) and that the president got his rocks off by ordering B-52 carpet bombing of Vietnam. Sounds bizarre, I know, but the professor went into great clinical detail, especially on some of the Strangelovian terms used in speeches from the Oval Office ("early withdrawal" was one). The arguments were quite persuasive and the professor's credentials impeccable. Richard Goldstein should do his homework.

Emil M. Murad
Huntington Beach

Anthony Pignataro is wrong when he takes on toxic waste, Irvine Mayor Larry Agran and Leonard Peikoff of the Ayn Rand Institute in one issue of OC Weekly ("Toxics? What Toxics?" and "This Week in America vs. Americans," April 18). Apparently, Pignataro still thinks a park is a good idea for El Toro, with careful placement of picnic baskets. And he seems to disagree with Peikoff on Objectivism, which [says] triumph can't be stopped. I hope Pignataro gets it right when the flights begin at El Toro and all the people can breath a collective sigh of relief.

Donald Nyre
Newport Beach

Anthony Pignataro responds: "When flights begin at El Toro"?! Someone call Don Rumsfeld—I found the missing Iraqi information minister!


Re: Greg Stacy's "Fighting Ire with Ire" (April 18): Don't know which is more entertaining—Stacy's damning of Oscar winner Michael Moore with faint praise? Or his condescending comment on Moore's "tendency to twist the facts to build a stronger case"? Compared to whom? I thought your banner motto was "I never met a spin I didn't like." Twist is the reason we all read and love the OC Weekly.

Rex Styzens
Long Beach

Re: Steve Lowery's "Aloha, New York" (April 11): In an article about surf culture using the word "aloha" five times, the names "Hawaii" and "Hawaiians" are never mentioned. The aloha spirit comes neither from surfing nor from California, but the everyday life of Hawaiians. And it's not something that suddenly disappeared after surf culture adopted it. Hawaiians still have it and still give it. The great thing about aloha is that it is meant to disseminate widely the way good karma from a gift would proliferate—all the way to midtown Manhattan. That Californians view surfing in symbolic terms as their bailiwick ignores the evolution of the pastime in places such as Florida, Australia, South Africa and South America. Surfing and aloha are Hawaii's gifts to the world. Fashioning the sport of surfing into a culture to be merchandised, however, is California's.

Chicken Snack
via e-mail

What did I do now to deserve the venomous, gratuitous and ultimately vacuous aside from Rich Kane in an otherwise lovely review of our latest release, The Willowz (Locals Only, April 11)? To quote Kane, "What's this about their upcoming single on Posh Boy, the label all the old punkers love to hate? We'll see if it happens." To open Rich's eyes a shade: the U.S. Posh Boy vinyl release coincided with the CD release on the unrelated Wanker label out of Europe. It's a greater shame that Kane did not shine the spotlight on its local producer, that old punker Paul "Ena" Kostabi, and his contribution to what he generously described as "the perfect two-minute rock tune."

Robbie Fields
Owner, Posh Boy Music
Knysna, South Africa

Although Gustavo Arellano claims "the poor have cumbia all to themselves," I beg to differ ("The Cumbia of the Poor," April 4). The crowds I have seen on cumbia nights at El Patio in Anaheim come from a wide variety of socio-economic classes. All seem to enjoy it equally. I invite more OC Weekly readers to join us. But por favor, "no te metas con mi cucu."

Anthony Garcia
Santa Ana
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