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
Letters may be edited for clarity and length. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
IF GUSTAVO WRITES IT, THEY WILL READ
The following letter is in response to Gustavo Arellano's April 5 story, "Grove of Dreams."
[Gustavo Arellano's] article regarding Mr. Flores was the best you have ever written. It was brilliant, heartfelt and educated your readers on the bigotry Mexicans suffered in Orange County not too many years ago. Mr. Flores' story reminded me of my father. He too was a professional athlete who was modest and highly knowledgeable and remained unrecognized for a major part of his career. The two men had a lot in common. Congratulations on a fine article.
MAKING AN ASS OF ONESELF
This next letter is in regards to Nick Schou's April 5 open letter to District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, Sheriff Mike Carona, and the police chiefs and mayors of every Orange County city (except Laguna Niguel), "Thanks for the Work!"
As usual with the OC Weekly, this article sucks donkey dick. Keep up the great "investigative" reporting and fighting against liberty and security.
The letters continue to pour in for Nick Schou's March 29 story, "Blind Spot," on the death of OC jail inmate John Chamberlain.
Nice inaccurate cover relating to this article. Why is it that all of the six inmates charged are white and your artist's rendition shows the murderers as Hispanic? Your blatant disregard for the truth is such a shame. Sad, sad shame. Why did you do it?
Editor's note: See last week's acknowledgment of the inaccuracy of the March 29 cover illustration in that issue's Letters column.
Your article was right-on. I can speak from personal experience: the guards beat the shit out of anybody they feel like for real or imagined transgressions. And if a writer has the gall to question it, the conservative ranks of Orange County come blazing out with hatred for the writer. Oh, yes, it's a tough job, they deal with scum, and they put their lives on the line. And I understand the inmates broke the law and jail is supposed to be bad. I got all that. However, as a society, we choose to let certain folks carry guns and badges. Many of them are fine folks—some are not. As long as we let the guards—and all law-enforcement officials—refuse outside investigation, we will continue to have blind spots.
You are doing very important work and a service to society. The lame-stream media cannot be counted on to do their job, but you have shown them up for the miserable failures they are.
SWIFT-Y DOES IT
This next letter pertains to Vickie Chang's April 5 story on Richard Swift, "Secretly Good."
Fantastic piece on Swift. I saw him at SXSW, and it's a wonder why he's not famous.
A RESPONSE TO GREED
Thank you for this article on the OC Board of Supervisors' recent approval of the contract with CNH Inc. [R. Scott Moxley's "Hassle-Free Bankrolling," March 29]. If it wasn't for the OC Weekly, the public would never hear of the incredible irresponsibility of public officials. This is everything that is wrong with elected officials today—I'm thoroughly disgusted! When are people going to wake up and hold these people accountable?
The following letter is in regard to Nick Schou's Jan. 20, 2005, story, "No Justice, No Peace of Mind," in which the parents have dim hopes their son's killer will be brought to trial—even though police know who the murderer is.
First of all, [Peter Gallardo Espinoza] did this in self-defense. Why do you think that family has had so many problems with gangs? Don't you think that maybe he was in the gang life himself? I happen to know that once you start in that lifestyle, things like that will happen. Maybe the parents should have paid more attention to what their 16-year-old is doing, especially at 2:30 in the morning. I think the parents need to be more educated in raising children in that environment. I'm sorry for their loss, but trying to blame someone else for what their child does is wrong.
This next letter pertains to Greg Stacy's March 8 story, "Onward, Christian Soldier," on the widow of legendary televangelist Dr. Gene Scott picking up where he left off.
Just read your article about Dr. Gene and Melissa Scott—a bit light-hearted, but a good read. One thing about Mrs. Scott's teachings is that she is a great linguist. Whether or not she was a porn star in the past . . . well, we all need redemption from something; otherwise, no one would need a preacher at all. The Bible says that God uses the foolish thing to confound the wise; thus, if Pastor Melissa Scott confounds us with foolishness, perhaps we should all pay close attention. . . . It might be God talking.
The Reverend W.W. Westbrook
We're still receiving a slew of letters concerning film critic Scott Foundas' 190-word capsule review ofJourney From the Fall, which appeared in our March 23 New Reviews. A sampling follows; the rest are posted here.
Your review violated one of the important rules in journalism: if you simply don't know the facts or [have the] the experience, don't insult the readers by your shamming. Unless you are seriously culturally challenged, I suggest you try to educate/sensitize yourself thoroughly on specific issues before penning more ethnically related articles, or risk being OC Weekly's habitual jester.
Scott uses the word "phony" in the end—what does it mean? Is the movie's story phony? It is not right to use the word phony; the events in the movie happened in reality. Scott, may I suggest you to do some research about Vietnam during the early part of 1975 and after that. OC Weekly, please ensure you have educated writers in the topics they're writing about, as this is an example of what will cause your your company to have bad reputation.
Scott, obviously you have very little knowledge of what was going on in Vietnam since the fall of South Vietnam. Soldiers were fighting until their armo ran out. Many even chose death over being captured by the Communists. After the fall, South Vietnamese soldiers and officers were sent to the so-called "re-education camp." They were told it would be only 10 days, but the truth is people were sent away for years. My dad was one of those. Next time, do some research before putting your foot in your mouth.
Ham Tran's statement, which you may have read already: "It's not that I mind getting a bad movie review, but to call this film 'phony' is exactly the kind of ignorant mentality we have had to struggle against in the past 30 years. It is the kind of language that has excluded our community's terrible ordeals from historical consciousness. This reviewer needs to know that what the speech in the re-education camp that the communist official lectures to the prisoners is not what he calls 'declamatory political dialogue,' but they are the actual words lectured by the communists to the re-education-camp prisoners. Chu Son, who is the person who plays the communist lecturer, recited that entire speech by heart because it was what the communists forced him to memorize. This speech is by far not 'scripted'; these are the words he was forced to listen to every night for three years, until they were forever burned into his memory."
My wife and I cried through the whole movie because it is so real and brings up painful memories we would rather forget. However, it may serve us better to remember them. Two of my brothers were in the "re-education" camps. After being released from the camp after 10 years, one died a few years later. Both of his kidneys failed. Two others died during the Vietnam war.