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
Q: What do you call a month in which I'm named both to Riviera magazine's Sexy Listand as a finalist in the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies contest for Best Political Column?
A: About right.
* * *
Yes, indeed, it's good to be me. But life isn't all whiskers on kittens and hugs from the sheriff: I also went to Disneyland. And that's where, the Wednesday before his 12th birthday, I may have scarred my small buttercup of a son . . . for life!
Having been far too successful with the FastPasses—they're the best invention since valet parking, but we ran out of rides to go on within just a few hours, taking, as they did, an average of nine minutes each!—we were standing by the Wishing Well, and since it apparently goes to charity, I wasn't trying to figure out the best way to relieve it of its glittering change. (I did, though, give my boy important tips on how to pillage It's A Small World, since he's officially adolescent.) Well, there we were, with our eyes on the prize (a prize of very small denominations) when who should walk out but Snow White's Evil Queen!
I was so full of dorky exultation, I almost accidentally gave her a courtier's bow (and just barely clamped my lips shut on a lusty "Huzzah!"). Can you imagine the lameness people almost beheld?
But then she said the most perfect words I've ever heard spoke. (Okay, second to, "You must be really beautiful if you're skinny and I still want to buy you a drink," uttered in HB some years ago by a snaggle-toothed gentleman who was just a little bit special.) She looked at us. (Evilly.) She smiled. (Evilly.) And in her musing, melodious tones, she said, "Let's throw all the children down the well!" And that's when I clapped and yelled, "Yay!"
How could we help naming her one of Orange County's Sexiest People way back in '99—before Riviera or its Sexy List were even a speck in Modern Luxury Publishing's eye? And I quote from that entry: "The robes that cover her from the top of her evil neck to the soles of her evil feet. Her pale, snow-white evil skin—so smooth, so evil. Her face, beautiful, held just so, like she's been holding back a sneeze since before she was evil, which is a long time because she's always been bad. It's everything you've dreamed: the domination, the disdain, the disrespect, the small punishments. You haven't known a woman this perfect since you left Catholic school." Well-put, that.
All the other parents were looking at me askance, especially when I continued to applaud as the queen suggested, delighted with herself, "We'll start with the babies!" and then stole a little girl's Snow White autograph book, pronounced it "wretched," and threatened to throw it in the scummy green pond. How come nobody was laughing and chortling and snurfling but me?
Yay, Evil Queen!
* * *
I wonder when the last time was that I picked up my home phone and heard a human voice instead of robo-Chuck DeVore asking me to vote for robo-Nancy Padberg.
* * *
Hey, you know how you throw a pool party and barbecue for your kid's 11th birthday, and everyone has so much fun, and the grown-ups drink beer and life is sweet? You might want to rethink it for numero 12. I don't want to get all According to Jim on you, but adolescents, it turns out, can be quite unpleasant! They're rude (to the grown-ups!), and everybody bitches and pisses and shrieks the whole time, and one of them stomps out in a huff when you try to talk him out of shooting people in the face, and you will be ass-tired for a week. You know how you used to be the fun mom who invited the whole class (on top of a passel of your own friends) for the party? You officially don't have to do that anymore. Next year, drop four of them off at the mall with, like, $20. Anything they want after that, they'll just have to lean how to steal.
I'm totally serious: throw the children down the well.
* * *
Hey you guys? Stop with the robo-calls.
* * *
I try not to rag too often on our sister paper LA Weekly (which, though it got six AAN nominations to our two, neglected to pick up any for best political column). But their endorsement of smarmy, puny Steve Westly—Steve Westly!—for the Democratic gubernatorial primary last week had me looking for a throat to punch. "We're tired of message-free campaigning. We're uninspired by empty attack ads. We're sick of consultant-driven politicians who fail to address the state's gravest issues," LA Weekly intoned. "[T]his is a campaign that fell just short of despicable. Hypocrisy replaced leadership months ago on the campaign trail." And that's why they're endorsing the one who started the hypocritical empty attack ads after piously waving around his pledge not to go negative. How about this, from LA Weekly's stupefying endorsement: "We like the way [Westly] told us that he wished he had participated in the May 1 immigration-rights demonstration in Los Angeles. In contrast, [Phil] Angelides says he did not participate in the demonstration because it was for the people—not politicians. We chalk it up to yet another missed opportunity to show true leadership on a key issue facing Californians." So neither of them showed "true leadership on a key issue facing Californians," but somehow Westly, by weaseling after the fact about how he wished he had, showed more true leadership than did Angelides. The fuck, you say! LA Weeklygoes on to say it wholeheartedly endorses Angelides' "one-trick-pony" proposal to raise taxes on the state's richest people—but hears no explanation of "what his backup plan will be" if he can't get it past the Lege, so it'll go with Westly's "somewhat more pragmatic strategy for achieving his goals, [of] getting $3.25 billion—half the amount going unpaid to California—from tax scofflaws," even though—have you already guessed?—he's given no explanation of what his backup plan will be if they don't pay up like they already haven't.
Then they said this was no time for "partisan temper tantrums," and that Westly—the man who went negative first after pledging not to go negative first, as the LA Timesat least has the grace to remind us in each and every article about him—had the courage to "push the greater good of all ahead of his own or partisan interests." Okay, A) That clause reeks. B) Is Steve Westly George W. Bush? Because you just fell for a load of crap against all known evidence like you were Judith Miller faced with the aluminum tubes. And C) Huh?
Seriously, LA Weekly, Westly better not have won last Tuesday, or I will punch you in the box!
* * *
Oh, and for Best Column, Gustavo Arellano got a nomination too. That's cool, 'Stavo. You're a cool guy. Not at all sexy, but totally cool.