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
ONE GOOD COP
Your list of the 31 scariest police officers includes child molesters, racists and child abusers ["The Thin Boo Line," Oct. 31]. These are people law-abiding citizens should fear. But at No. 28 was Jeff Blair from the Tustin Police Department. I read what you had to say about Jeff and realized you have listed an officer on a list of "bad" cops who is actually doing his job! Let me point something out: law-abiding citizens have nothing to fear. On the other hand, gangbangers have everything to fear. There is a distinction. Good officers do not need to feel shame about what they do every day. What you have done is to put shame into the calling of peace officer.Ciria Perez
The editor responds:Ciria, we realize there's a distinction. In fact, when we put together our annual Scariest lists, there are two categories we use to distinguish the people in them: the likes of the child molesters and racists are called "Bad Scary" while the likes of Officer Blair are called "Good Scary," in that he scares the people he should and/or he's so good at his job it's scary. We think if you read the piece again— in which we say that Blair is "credited with breaking up an entire gang" and "is respected for his knowledge" and "known by fellow officers as the Gang Guru"—this will be abundantly clear.
Matt Coker, thanks for printing my Letter to the Editor ["The Dead," Nov. 7]. I've gotten a lot of positive response and supportive phone calls about it. Thanks! I, too, am upset about all the body bags. Unlike you, though, I'm still upset about the body bags from the bombing of the USS Cole . . . and Clinton did nothing. You're upset we haven't found Osama or Saddam. Well, we never found Hitler either, but that war was certainly won. You have a wonderful journalistic ability to answer a Letter to the Editor and call a regular reader a "douche" at the same time. You are certainly a deep thinker and a great debater.Jack Fowler (that's Mr. Douche to you!)
Matt Coker responds: It's not enough I have to watchThe O.C. each week and call readers "douche"; now I have to teach high school history and logic. So, look, Mr. Douche: we did find Hitler—unless you're one of those conspiracy nuts who thought Boys from Brazil was a documentary, that was Hitler's corpse they pulled from the Berlin bunker. But what's weirder is your take on Clinton. He did nothing? Sept. 11 came after Clinton left office—and after his aides warned incoming Bush administration officials countless times that al-Qaida was intent on attacking the U.S. What was Bush's response: to take the longest presidential vacation in 30 years. So, let's see: seven sailors died in the attack on theUSS Cole—and some 2,795 civilians died in the World Trade Center attack. That makes Bush about 399 times more dangerous to Americans than Clinton. And don't get me started on the 406 Americans who've come home in body bags from a war about which Bush lied—or do get me started, and let me finish by saying that ups the Bush:Clinton Dead Americans Ratio to 457:1.
Was your article "Fieldstoned" [Gustavo Arellano, Oct. 31] written by a staff member or someone from Orange Citizens for Parks and Schools? That was the most one-sided piece of journalism I have ever read. I should have expected it. You see, I am the person in your photograph holding the picket sign. I don't work for Fieldstone. I am not being paid by Fieldstone or anyone else connected to the project. I am a concerned citizen of Orange who believes that ballot-box planning is insane. This project took years to get approved, and every aspect of it was discussed in hearings open to the public. Just because a small group of people disagreed with the outcome doesn't mean we should waste taxpayer money for a ballot initiative. When your writer/photographer encountered me in the parking lot at Stater Brothers, he asked me, "Where are all the other Fieldstone flunkies!" I informed him that I was neither a Fieldstone employee nor was I a "flunkie" (I actually hold an MBA degree). Instead of apologizing, your staff member tried to get me to agree that while I was not a flunkie, the other picketers were! Nice way to come into a situation with an open mind, OC Weekly. Maybe next time you can have a member of the KKK write an article about affirmative action or race relations!C.J.H.
The editor responds: We apologize to flunkies and sidekicks everywhere, everyone from Ed McMahon to Tony Blair, for grouping you with a man who compares Fieldstone (which made profits in excess of $200 million last year) to African-Americans hunted down by hooded terrorists.
JESUS H. FINLAND
Hello from Finland! I'm a molecular biologist but very interested in films as a hobby. I read your excellent article "Mel Gibson's Christ Complex" [Jessica Winter, Nov. 7] on the net. By chance, last night in Finland, one of the TV channels presented the full version of the film The Patriot. My thought while watching it was "This is the Gibson version of the Christ story!" It begins with his son being killed, then over the next three hours, Gibson takes revenge. My thought was "He's playing his distorted version of Christ." Then I saw your article. You are exactly right in every aspect of your understanding.Dr. Joel Glass
While I generally agree with Joel Beers' reviews of the work at my theater—good or bad—how could he have gotten the point of our current show, Faust Is Dead, so utterly wrong ["Bombs, Balls and Broads," Oct. 10]? He praises the Faust mythology but never examines how playwright Mark Ravenhill turns that story on its head: if indeed Faust is dead, then there is no Devil to sell your soul to anymore, and we are responsible for the increasing depersonalization in our individual lives. Far from a half-baked circle-jerk of praise for French philosophers, as Beers suggested, Faust Is Dead is a critique of people such as Baudrillard and Fouçault, who wasted time engaged in cynical postmodern hypotheticals—violent what-if stories about severed eyes and murder—instead of creating a philosophy that offers hope to people at the edges of life. That Beers didn't care about the zombies represented onstage is part of the point. Instead of dismissing the play because he couldn't find someone he could "like"—the lousiest critical requirement I can think of—he would have been smarter to not have taken the story at its face value and tried to think about it a little harder.Dave Barton Artistic Director, Rude Guerrilla Theater Co.
DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS
Due to an editing error, an incorrect date was listed for the upcoming videotaped gangbang rape trial involving the son of Assistant Sheriff Don Haidl. The trial is not scheduled to begin until March.