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
"If one-tenth of what he's been accused of is half-true," said the Reverend Wiley Drake on Saturday, "then we have an evil sheriff."
That may have been my favorite quote over two hours spent at Drake's Buena Park church Saturday, but it certainly wouldn't be the last, whether Drake was giving a homily about sweeping dog shit from the yard (the dog shit being a clever parable—like Jesus'!—for the machinations of a corrupt local GOP) or inviting his brethren to the pulpit to rant about the lavender menace. I'm pretty sure Wiley Drake is a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty, except maybe for the slutty part.
Drake is mad at the Orange County Republican Party for its somewhat mind-blowing decision last week to take a second vote on an endorsement for Sheriff Mike Carona after he'd failed the vote the first time around; quite a few conservatives of principle and your healthier wackjobs are in a knot about the sexy sheriff's alleged sexing, and the definite cronyism, and the always-popular purported mob ties, and more mob ties, along with, for good measure, some mob ties again, and they didn't care for the sheriff's handlers orchestrating (or strong-arming) a do-over. But only Wiley was mad enough to actually back up his words, hosting at his church a "re-registration drive" for any Republicans as pissed-off as he.
Which would have been swell if anybody'd shown up.
I live for this shit, and Saturday was one of those delightful times of sandwiches and homeless people and dapper Wiley's honeyed drawl telling stories he'd just completely made up. Take, for instance, the following. Here's Wiley: "Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, were at a cocktail party before he ran for governor, and he said, 'I'm going to run as a Republican.' And she stood up and cursed and said, 'Over my dead body!' and took his Hummer and went home. He had to get a ride home from the party. Well, her uncle Teddy Kennedy—Chappaquiddick Teddy Kennedy—called her up and said, 'Shut up, Maria, this is all part of the plan. We cannot get a Democrat elected governor in California, and this is the next best thing.'"
So there you have it. A total-bullshit anecdote suggesting that Maria Shriver would somehow be surprised to learn, after 20 years of marriage, that her husband was a member in okay standing of the GOP, and that a Democratic senator—since 1962—is perplexingly unaware that California's Dems outnumber Republicans by, oh, 1.6 million.
Meanwhile, there was some Hannity-hole named Bobby who, while eating sandwiches with homeless people, said delightful things like, "Voting for George W. Bush was the lesser of two evils; a vote for John Kerry would have been close to treasonous!"—which, as you can imagine, made me mad, and when he sneered that the supposed conservatives were spending like "drunken Democrats," it made me even madder, since Democrats may tax-and-spend but that's at least a sight better than tax-cut-and-spend, and at least when we're taxing we're not spending it on $2 billion in subsidies for Exxon-Mobil after it posted the highest profits in corporate history and kissed off its CEO with $400 million in compensation, and, by the way, it's the GOP that's stripping from the Iraq appropriations billsDem proposals for body armor and not the other way around (a spot of spending I'd say most folks are for), so I call bullshit on that,and while I'm at it, Bobby, please let me invite you to fuck off!
Then, when the time came to leave the sandwiches and adjourn to the pulpit for the press conference—a lonely, OC Weekly-only affair—Bobby said Sheriff Mike Carona is a slutty sleazazoid because of . . . did you guess Bill Clinton? Well, you guessed right! Then Bobby said he didn't expect the president to be honest all the time—"Hell, who is?" he asked—and the lady behind me murmured, "Christians. Christians are honest all the time."
All the time. My word. Even I'm not honest all the time, and I never, ever lie.
While nobody seems to have actually re-registered—out of the GOP and into Drake's recommendation, the even more radically right American Independent Party (he also invited the local Democrats to come down and man a table, but, not surprisingly, they couldn't be bothered to show)—it was a gay old time. Especially for the folks who took to the pulpit to proclaim that "millions of children in the public schools are being attacked with evil, evil principles." Did you guess homosexuality, secular humanism and the attack onChristians? I can't put anything over on you, can I?
Also, I said "Bullshit!" in a church, which was not my finest moment, but it wasn't my worst one either, considering that dapper ol' Reverend Drake began his homily with the sweeping of the dog shit and all.
So what I'm trying to say is: Saturday was a party. Next time, do come!
* * *
If Saturday was a party—and it was, Blanche! It was!—then Saturday night was a beautiful fiasco of the highest degree, and when I'm the friend who's cutting you off at the bar and telling you that the people at the former Four Seasons in whose suite we're after-partying want you and your new friend to stop fucking in their bathroom now and that it's not funny and it's not cute, and you reply, wounded, that you weren't fucking, and I explain all mad that it's immaterial whether there was fucking going on because you were in that bathroom for a fucking hour, so the reality is you were fucking (even if you weren't) because that's what people believed and perception is reality—it's the Kantian Question, after all—and I had to sit there and take all their snipey little comments about what a classy couple you were, and this from a prissy, sour-faced Angeleno blonde and an ugly guy with braces who was talking about some "fat, ugly chick" at the Jimmy Buffett concert who wanted him but she was fat and ugly, and then he managed to slip in the phrase "nigger wine" and I couldn't say anything about it because you were in the bathroom at the time not fucking your new friend, then that's probably a sign that the new Absolut peach vodka isn't for you, and, in fact, it probably isn't for anyone. Aside from the Absolut peach, though, the Newport Beach Film Festival's party at the Orange County Museum of Art (from whose loins our ill-formed after-party eventually sprang) was one of those perfect storms of good-looking men (and Simon Rex), of Bai Ling breakdancing and friendly girls in the bathroom, of the kind of good sodden drunkenness—like just two days before, when It Boy Shepard Fairey of Obey spun old-school for the museum's monthly Orange Crush, and goddamn, that place is kicking it—in which OCMA's been specializing ever since museum director Dennis Szakacs rode his white horse into town. It's the spontaneous after-parties that are the problem, and I think I won't go to them anymore, because if my girlfriend's not not-fucking somebody in the suite bathroom, then my other girlfriend's threatening to kick some crazy chola's culo, and after-parties are always a letdown. I'll stick to the after-funeral-parties. There the crying is only for "Danny Boy," and, usually, there's cake.