By Gustavo Arellano
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By Charles Lam
Letters may be edited for clarity and length. E-mail to email@example.com, or send to Letters to the Editor, c/o OC Weekly, 1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701. Or fax to (714) 550-5908.
As one of the organizers of the "Buy Nothing Day" protest on Nov. 26, I accept the Weekly's criticism that our Black Friday "protest" failed to deliver a message of the interconnectedness between consumerism and war [Theo Douglas' "Mild in the Streets," Dec. 3]. Our goal was to point out that with the fires at the Pentagon and World Trade Center still burning, George W. Bush spoke to the nation and told us to "go shopping" while he took care of things. While many Americans were distracted by three and a half years of mindless consumerism, Bush and a spineless Democratic Party managed to enact a devastating agenda that included the Constitution-gutting Patriot Act, rich to no-bid contracts for Halliburton and the doctrine of pre-emptive war. It's too bad that the typically hard-hitting, truth-telling, "voice of dissent" Weeklydidn't pick up the ball where we so clearly dropped it by simply quoting from our literature. Perhaps your staff was simply overworked preparing the next "Top 25 Places to Shop for Xmas in OC" issue.
The editor responds: Thanks for the story idea, Jarret. Turn to page 16 for our "Xmas in OC" coverage.
If we had followed Douglas' suggestion and chained ourselves to Santa, there would have been helicopters, cops and news crews and thousands of people shaking their heads about those leftist crazies ruining Christmas for rich 5-year-olds. Instead, a few dozen people thought about the connection between our economy and our wars and that, rather than fire-bombing Victoria's Secret, a better approach to changing people's minds is to act like a normal person who has given up a few hours of their day to point out to their neighbors that their lives are out of balance.
You should have taken the time to understand the purpose of "Buy Nothing Day"—a kind of virus which, in small ways, is infiltrating this culture of consumption in order to curb it. By handing out fliers and talking to shoppers rather than trying to "freak them out," as you put it, we were engaging them in a non-threatening, non-confrontational way. Call it "mild" if you like. Resistance begins as small seeds planted that later flourish. Che and Emma Goldman saw the long struggle ahead, and, like them, we're in this for the long haul.
I'd like to thank Todd Mathews for reminding us that the Washington Times is to serious print journalism what "Etch-A-Sketch" is to art ["Minimize This," Nov. 26]. If the Times' Audrey Hudson considers the study of a building's floor plan to be all the research needed for a thorough article about the content and intention of a presidential library, I look forward to her review of the Fantasyland that is sure to be Dubya's (I'm certain the "And Iraq Lived Happily Ever After Wing" will be very popular.). As concerns Bill Clinton, we're probably done with him, but Tricky Dick's ghost still haunts Washington. Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz all served the Nixon administration. Like a hand from the grave, they clutch at us today. Mathews asks, "What's worse: blow jobs or Watergate?" Should we even have to ask? Bubba tarnished his legacy and shamed his term in office by cavorting with Monica Lewinsky, bad, but still nowhere near as scary as a president who is out to screw the entire country. That's as true today as it was 32 years ago.
TASTE OF JUSTICE
Just wanted to let you know I sent Steve Lowery's "Diary of a Mad County" entry about Clarence Thomas [Dec. 10], with a special emphasis on the line "Who's a hungry Justice?! Who's a hungry Justice?! Here comes Roe v. Wade—eat it all up!" which had me laughing out loud, to just about everyone on my e-mail list. Don't be surprised if you get fan mail from some far off places.
I'm a Newport Beach native currently studying philosophy in St Andrews, Scotland, with hopes to return to California for law school next fall. This summer when I returned home, I was sickened to find some miserable little punk—Greg Haidl—demonstrating how easy it is for a hopeless, RICH, imbecile to repeatedly flout the law. Anyway, I just got the OC Weekly newsletter with your article on young Mr. Haidl. My flatmates all ran in concerned because when I read the line about him being confined in a 12-by-6 cell I let out a triumphant war whoop, pumping my fist in the air and rising out of my chair. You've made a naive, idealistic man very, very happy.
St. Andrews, Scotland
DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS
Gerry Marshall is mistakenly identified as standing next to Mike Newman in a photo that ran with our Dec. 10 cover story "The Rich vs. the Addicts." Actually, that's not Marshall in the photo, it's Newman's unidentified partner.