By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
And that's pretty much the Spectrum Center. It's not a particularly large place. There is an entrance that bears a swirling message that begins: "Legend tells of a powerful wizard who placed this great palace under a spell protecting it from all manners of harm and disaster." If it is to be assumed that Bren is that wizard, what manner of harm and disaster is he protecting people from? Unruly kids? Noisy kids? Kids who do as they want? Kids who won't go away?
Who knows. Maybe all it tells us is that it may not be the greatest thing to have a billionaire for a dad . . . or building and running your county. Apparently it doesn't do much for the billionaire either. Life's funny that way. Ha ha.
* * *1)2)3)4)5)6) I have no idea. The kid, if he lives in Bren's Woodbridge, will have it. Yes, there is the Dave & Buster's uber-arcade, but I once tried to bring my 8-year-old there in the evening and was told to take a powder by the guy at the door. Apparently, after dark, the Skee-Ball gets a little bluuuue. Donald Bren is 71. "Not fair at all," I hear some of you say, "what Donald Bren has done in his private life has nothing to do with the good he does for the public." This is like the cry regarding Bill Bennett, the virtues magnate recently exposed for losing $8 million gambling: "It's nobody's business!" This is convenient, of course. Conservatives—always eager to tell you how to live, who to have sex with and how—morph into libertarians when their gambling habits (Bennett), naked photos (Laura Schlessinger), extramarital affairs (Newt Gingrich) or three neglected children (Bren) come to light. They can't make the argument stick, of course, because it is this same bunch, funded by Bren to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars, that argued most vociferously that a man's private life informs his public actions. The same bunch that spent millions in an attempt to remove a popular president because he received oral sex. And please, don't embarrass both of us by arguing that Donald Bren is not a public person. If you live in Orange County, he plays a bigger part in your life than any politician. You pay him rent or association fees or you vote for the candidates he deems useful. Which is more than the Republicans whom Bren bankrolls were willing to do for Bill Clinton. It didn't matter how well Clinton did his job—remember the days of low crime, a boom economy and a little something called "peace"? All that mattered was his penis. Now, given the revelations about Bren's conduct, isn't it at least sadly laudable that Clinton had enough responsibility to keep his sex acts to those of a nonreproductive nature?