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
Wednesday, Dec. 13
Celebrity website TMZ.comreports that actress/video vixen/shoe weaponry expert Tawny Kitaen, arrested for possession of 15 grams of cocaine, struck a deal with Orange County prosecutors today that allows her to avoid prison if she completes a drug treatment program. (TMZ also reports that "Mary Kate Loves Her Witch Shoes" and "Janice [Dickinson] Puts the Hoin Holidays" and we are the richer for it . . . wait.) Kitaen, who was arrested in her San Juan Capistrano apartment with her two daughters present, has struggled with addiction, so getting some help is good news for her and her family, but one has to feel for the young up-and-coming, soon-to-be-forgotten-and-living-in-a-San-Juan-Capistrano-apartment vixens—your Lindsay Lohans, Tara Reids, Britney Spears and Colin Farrells—who've lost a role model. Fear not, self-entitled train wrecks, George Michael lives! As for the 15 grams of cocaine found at Kitaen's residence, I asked around the office if that was a lot and was told by myriad experts here in the office—Chris Ziegler—that "Fifteen ounces? Really? Do you know what they did with it?" They went on to explain that "Seriously, what do they do with that stuff after they seize it? Police auction? Do they sell it at police auction? How do you get into a police auction?"
Thursday, Dec. 14 Laying low.
Friday, Dec. 15
U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel imposes a moratorium on state executions because he believes California's use of a three-drug, lethal injection to kill inmates violates the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Fogel, or "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas," as he is now known, reached his decision after a four-day hearing in September revealed inadequacies in the execution of executions, including drugs improperly mixed and accounted for as well as one member of the state execution team who'd been sanctioned for smuggling drugs into prison. What's more, unused drugs were not returned to the prison's pharmacy, and no—Chris—I don't know where the drugs went, and yes, I suppose you could try eBay. Fogel's ruling moved state officials from Arnold Schwarzenegger on down to promise they would fix the system and come up with a thoroughly acceptable method of killing, because a Yuletide without state-sanctioned death is like Easter without pistol whipping. And, in this, the season of hope, we must have faith that they will find a way. If human history tells us anything it's that the human spirit is indefatigable at coming up with ways to snuff out the human spirit—and the body it rode in on. Bury 'em, burn 'em, boil 'em, we're a creative species. Rack 'em, flay 'em, drown 'em, crush 'em, we will not be limited. We don't just hang people, we have varying degrees for varying desired effects: the long drop snaps the neck, the short drop causes a victim to die by suffocation, which is slower, very unpleasant and hell on collared shirts. We'll draw you, quarter you and burn your entrails as you watch. We'll put you on something called a Spanish Donkey—no, not that Spanish Donkey—which you straddle as we attach weight to your legs that tears you apart (Look for Mel Gibson's Spanish Donkey in theaters, Christmas 2007.)
Saturday, Dec. 16
Local franchiser Disney is a bit red facedtoday as the country learns that one of their franchise locations kicked Santa Claus out of their park. Disney World in Orlando told J.D. Worley to change his clothes and demeanor or be asked to leave. Worley is one of those guys who has a big white beard and ruddy complexion that makes him look like Santa. But he did nothing to make kids in the park think he was Santa, you know, besides dressing the partand telling kids who asked him if he was Santa, "Yes." Still, throwing anyone out of a Disney park for the way they're dressed seems a bit much since the only place you can find more Mickey Mouse/cat/"Single and Loving It!" shirts is at a Weight Watchers meeting.
Sunday, Dec. 17
'Member when there was talk about if Orange County were to get a NFL team, what kind of team would we want? And all those polls said folks wanted a brand spanking new team instead of some re-tread such as the San Diego Chargers? Uh, is it too late to vote for the Chargers, because that would really be OK with me. Like no problem. At all.
Monday, Dec. 18
Well, here we are, just a week away from Christmas, and still no solution to our execution problem. C'mon people, it's Christmas. What is this season about if not the birth of a child who would grow up to teach us that state-run executions are impervious to mistakes or undue influence? Well, since nobody seems interested in solving this problem, I took to the street to see if I couldn't find some answers. And boy did I! I went to the Mainplace mall in Santa Ana and asked people for their preferred method of capital punishment and, interestingly enough, found little support for lethal injection, but for the exact opposite reason why it's been halted. Folks didn't feel it was cruel enough. Bonnie Thomason, shopping for stocking stuffers, said she didn't think injection was "painful enough," likening it to going to the dentist. "Too easy," said Ray Inglas, who said he not only favors allowing the victims' families to determine the method of execution but that they be allowed to carry it out if they wish. But it was Scott (no last name, "I don't want certain people to know I'm shopping,") who came up with the most intriguing method, to wit: "The crook is killed by the same method they used to kill, only more." "More?" "Yeah, so if you like shot someone once, you get shot twice." "How do you make sure the first shot doesn't kill the person?" "Oh, that's easy." The, Double-the-Pain method was greeted with widespread enthusiasm by those I talked to, one woman gushing, "Oh, that sounds like fun!"
Tuesday, Dec. 19
The OC Register reports that there is a massive shortfall in the amount of toys donated for needy kids this Christmas season. Local charities such as Spark for Love, Toys for Tots and Operation Santa Claus had asked for 365,000 toys to distribute to kids but had only received 93,000 as of Monday afternoon. Now, I know some of this may be because of concerns with the economy as well as the usual holiday blues—worse with the complete lack of executions—but if Jesus, the reason for the season, were here I'm certain he would say to everyone, "Stop being such douche bags and give a couple toys. Me H. Christ!"