Well, local activist Gordon Johnson sent out an e-mail last week—actually, this guy sends his weight in e-mails every week—suggesting several timely boycotts, one of which makes a bunch of sense to me. One suggested boycotting goods from the U.K., Spain and Portugal for supporting the war, which seems a little hypocritical for Americans to participate in, since it's our war. Another is the Brand America Boycott, which suggests boycotting U.S. brand-name products. That's too much of a shotgun approach to me. I mean, Wham-O, Abba-Zabba and Hustler are U.S. brands, and unless wars are fought with Hula-Hoops and whack-off mags, boycotting them won't stop war.
The one that made a poodleful of sense to me, though, was one that targets big corporate contributors to Bush's last—and, one presumes, next—campaign, companies such as Exxon-Mobil-Esso, Phillip Morris and its Kraft Foods division, and United Parcel Service. Those three firms alone contributed more than $6 million in the last presidential election cycle. Amounts like that utterly subvert democracy, and guess where it comes from? People like us who buy their products. So, unless you want to give money to Bush and Co., it makes sense not to give it to the people who give it to him. So don't and let those companies know why. You can check out the boycott info at www.bethecause.org/boycott/index.shtml.
* * * Hey Help! You may have noticed a few changes to the Orange County Fair last year, and even more for this coming one, where, instead of booking One Dog Evening or that mullet on a stick Billy Ray Cyrus, they've got Bob Dylan, Ozomatli, and several other fun and respected folk. One thing else they've done is wholly co-opted me. You simply cannot trust anything I say about the fair from now on because I've been asked to participate in it, helping to assemble an exhibit on rock & roll in OC. (I was trying to hold out for a job making Australian Battered Potatoes, but you have to take what you can get in this economy.)
And this is where I need you. I've only been able to fit so much of the county's history into my garage, and I am hoping to flesh this thing out with submissions from you. If you have photographs, posters, fliers, stolen ashtrays, etc., from old OC music venues or the same, minus the ashtrays, on county bands that you'd be willing to lend to the exhibit, please let me know via e-mail—and attach photos if you're able—at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even particularly neato memories would be nice to hear. We're talking the span of music from Dick Dale and Righteous Brothers up through Social D and the Offspring and venues such as the White Room, Merlin's Music Box, the Golden Bear, Spenger's, the Cuckoo's Nest, Radio City, Safari Sam's, wherever. We'd also like to feature bands that never made it, so if you've got embarrassing photos of your old surf band in matching blazers, let me know.