Diary of A Mad Year

2004 regurgitated


5Disneyland opens its Tower of Terror thrill ride, the thrill being pretending to plunge to your death in a very tall building. Now that's fun and, you know, has nothing do with, you know, other towers and other people plunging to their deaths in those towers as a result of terror because that would be wrong, you know, like having a pirate ride that has a bit of fun with scenes of rape. But Disney chairman (this week) Michael Eisner can't celebrate much today, as he's trying to explain to the press why his company won't release Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11about the events before and after Sept. 11. Eisner explains that Disney doesn't like to cause waves, calling his company "nonpartisan," a definition vigorously challenged by advocacy groups for evil stepmothers. . . . 6 The Huntington Beach Interfaith Council celebrates National Day of Prayer with a breakfast organized by felon/disgraced ex-councilman Dave Garofalo, who is banned for life from public office but not public cries for attention. The more than 400 in attendance hear keynote speaker Ed Smart, father of Elizabeth Smart, the Utah girl abducted from her home and "miraculously" found, say that he is convinced "prayers brought Elizabeth home." He makes no comment about the unanswered prayers to save Samantha Runnion, Polly Klaas and countless other abducted children who never made it back nor, for that matter, does he have anything to say about felons/disgraced councilmen banned for life from public office. Elizabeth Smart is actually in attendance at the prayer meeting and signs autographs—yes, autographs. That may seem bizarre, but at least it takes the sting out of the disappointing news that due to a routing error, organizers are not able to distribute the Lindberg Baby Amazin' Bobblehead Doll as planned. . . . 12 With a unanimous vote by its City Council, Garden Grove becomes the first U.S. city to officially declare itself a "no-communist zone," and rumors are it may soon take steps against the Grange and Eugene V. Debs. The inane resolution says the city does not welcome "visits, drive-bys or stopovers by members and officials of the Vietnamese communist government," and they hardly need a resolution for that. People have been avoiding visits to Garden Grove ever since they knocked down Belisles. This is so much political grandstanding; most of the city's residents are of Vietnamese descent. And while it may seem pretty harmless, it's silly stuff like this that's really inhibiting many of these residents' growth as Americans. Being a real American means being fluid about who you see as the greatest enemy to your freedom. While the measure's backers are stuck back in the Red Menace days, the rest of us have moved on to fear Libyans and Iraqis and Haitians and Microsoft and Scott Peterson and Iraqis. Being American means never having to say you don't have something to fear. . . . 19 Bruce Krall of Laguna Hills pays $700,000 for Bridgeville, a small town in Humboldt County up for sale on the Internet since 2002. The town's 20 residents say they are excited to have been bought by Krall, whom they will now address as Benevolent Father while averting their eyes. Krall, a financial adviser, says he is impressed by the town's physical beauty and accessibility to contact highs, as well as it being a desirable launching pad for eventual world domination. His immediate plans are to build a small resort, something like Big Weed Ranch or Club Meds. . . . 21 LA Times columnist Dana Parsons writes his fourth column about the Greg Haidl rape trial, and like the other three, his hypothesis seems to be that it's just so unseemly to be talking about things like sticking pool cues and bottles in unconscious people and can't we all just forget any of this happened and give these boys a stern talking to and go back to writing about the cute things kids say at the dinner table, you know, other than "Dad, I'm being arrested for sticking pool cues and bottles in unconscious people?" Parsons, who, along with a set of filing cabinets, is pretty much what remains of the Times Orange County Edition, seems most outraged at the trial's assault on his sense of decorum. Dude, it's a rape trial. Rape. It's horrible, and it's violent, and it's ugly and dehumanizing. That's why they call it rape. . . . 24 Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and a defense attorney for one of the Haidl Three talk about the Haidl rape trial on MSNBC, ensuring no one on the jury—any jury—will see it. The defense attorney starts in with the usual stuff—the woman was promiscuous, she had lots of sex, she enjoyed sex and having lots of sex, you know, sex, she had lots of it, sex, and liked sex, with her body, the sex, having the sex with her body, AND she was an aspiring porn actress—when it hits me: the defense's case is based on a false presumption. If the woman truly did aspire for porn stardom, that wouldn't have led her to lie passively and accept all manner of degradation. Anyone who watches porn knows the current sensibility in the field is for an active, communicative woman who makes her needs and wants clear. By just lying there, the girl wasn't imitating a porn star. The defense would have done better to argue she was an aspiring Mission Viejo housewife of 15 years. . . . 25 Splitting no hairs, Dana Parsons makes clear in a column today that he finds cancer outrageous and is nearly as appalled by dead puppies. . . . 26 Government figures rate Huntington Beach as one of the 10 safest cities in America. Ironically, the government figures don't figure in government crimes because if it had, the H.B. City Council would have pushed the city into East St. Louis territory.

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