Photo by James BunoanCosta Mesa City Council on Sept. 15 votes to accept $652 from the California Office of Homeland Security to foot the bill for city copswho protected South Coast Plazafrom rioting or terrorist attacks on the first night of the most recent Iraq war. Why should state taxpayers compensate for police services on a day when every municipality in the nation was on high alert? Because Costa Mesa's finest had been tipped off that among the 300 or so protesters gathered outside the mall were anarchists. Oh, my! You could tell they were anarchists by their all-black outfits. Either that or they'd just received a clothing makeover inside A|X Armani Exchange.
EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY, DON'T IT? The latest fund-raising pitch from The Center Orange County—the Garden Grove-based gay and lesbian community services center—lands on our desk Sept. 16, and the first thing we get to feast our eyes on is a row of photographs taken a month earlier at the OC Dyke March. But these aren't images of guys and gals reveling in their queerness. Well, to be accurate, there are images like that elsewhere in the pitch letter, but first you must endure photos of guys (and no gals) reveling in their prickness. These douchebags tote signs stating, "Homosexuality is Anti-Family," "Capital Punishment 4 Homosexuals" and the grammatically challenged "The Wages of Sin is Death . . . Romans 6:23." It's a powerful reminder of why the Center and pride events like the Dyke March are so vital around here.
ARE THOSE TEARS FROM THE SHOW OR THE SMOG? To further drag out Riverside's whining over its trailer-trash depiction on The O.C., a billboard-company owner there has erected a sign along the 91 Freeway to promote the city in direct response to Fox's teen soaper, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports on Sept. 17. For those who missed the early episodes on Channel 11, after an ultrarich Newport Beach wifecomplained about the background of a troubled Chino teen, the boy's public defender/ surrogate father let her friends know that she's originally from Riverside. Big whoop. Well, Riversiders were so livid their mayor looked into filing a lawsuit—for a line of a dialogue on a soap opera!The boosteriffic billboard states, "The Best Little City in the World" below a photograph of the Mission Inn's roof. The joke's on Riverside: Mission Inn owner and generous GOP sugar daddy Duane Roberts moved from Riverside to Laguna Beach in 1996, and his administrative offices relocated to Newport Beach shortly thereafter.
IMMINENTLY QUOTABLE "That train is bound for glory, and so is Tom!" Orange County Supervisor Chris Norby, after comments by conservative gubernatorial candidate Tom McClintockwere drowned out by a passing Surfliner train during his Sept. 17 campaign stop at the Irvine Amtrak station. Actually, the train was bound for Placentia.
RADAR LOVE A $4,500 radar gunwas stolen from a locked squad car parked in front of the Laguna Beach Policestation on Forest Avenue, according to an item in the Sept. 19 Coastline Pilotpolice log. And now Clockwork can tell you the rest of the story: due to severe budget cuts, the department can't replace the purloined device. So the traffic copwho left it in his unit will now have to stand alongside roads, point at cars whizzing by with his invisible radar gun and repeat, "One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi . . ."
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GAME OVER Regal Entertainment Group, which owns the Regal, Edwards and United Artistscinemas in Orange County and Long Beach—as well as hundreds more in 39 states—announces Sept. 19 that it will ban all violent arcade games by the end of the year. Clockwork would have checked to see if any of the offending video stations had been removed from the lobby of our local megaplex this past weekend, but we were still reeling from Cabin Fever, Cold Creek Manor, Jeepers Creepers 2, The Medallion, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, SWAT, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machinesand Underworld.
GRATEFUL DEAD While fronting his band TSOLat the Galaxy Concert Theatre in Santa Ana on Sept. 20, California gubernatorial candidate Jack Grishamboldly promises that, if elected, he'll decriminalize necrophilia. He laments the fact the deceased can't vote (this ain't Chicago) but adds that at least they don't complain like undead constituents. If we can ever get their campaign offices to stop hanging up on us, Clockwork will inform voters how the other candidates stand on sex with the dead—although we're fairly certain Larry Flynthas devoted at least one issue of Hustlerto the fetish.
KEEP ON ROCKING IN THE NOT-AS-FREE-AS-IT-USED-TO-BE WORLD Who woulda thunk it? The most radical show Clockwork attends on Sept. 20 is not the TSOL record-release party, but Neil Young and Crazy Horse at Irvine Meadows, which we're not going to call Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre as long as they're charging $10 for a "premium" draft beer. Can you gouge me now? Good! After getting primed by opener Elvis Costello's rousing set-ender "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding" (then punked by a $6.50 Macho Chicken Burrito at the concert venue's Del Taco), we watched in awe as a surprisingly nimble Young and his countryfied bandmates presented a multimedia extravaganza—live music, theater, film and giant-screen video—centering on the mythical little town of Greendale. There was something for everyone. Those on the right could heed the messages promoting the rural, uncomplicated, Leave It to Beaver-like lifestyle. Those on the left could cherish the show's overall theme of banding together to save the planet. And those on the far-off fringes of either side could get off on bashing media and government intrusion. Even though no one in the three-quarters-full amphitheater had heard these songs before (Young did not oblige with hits until the encore), this tick-tocker didn't see anyone leave early nor hear anyone voice displeasure. Those around us in the nosebleeds seemed into it, especially after the giant screen showed a cartoon Clear Channelbillboard with large red letters screaming, "SUPPORT OUR WAR!" When Young mentioned the censor-happy radio and concert conglom in song, the crowd dutifully booed. Clear Channel, of course, sponsored the concert. What was that Elvis sang earlier about wanting to bite the hand that feeds me?
OUT OF JOINT Here's sports columnist Steve Bisheefin the Sept. 21 Orange County Register on Rex Hudler, who was suspended from the Anaheim Angelsbroadcast booth after airport screeners discovered one of his bags contained a small amount of marijuanathat he's been using to get to sleep after suffering a brain hemorrhage a couple of years ago: "For whatever reason, the Hudler case has been a hot-button issue for those who abhor drug use of any sort, as well as for rabid Angels fans who want to forgive the former big-league infielder and get him back on the air as soon as possible." Uh, Steve, aren't you leaving out another huge segment of the population that sees this as a hot-button issue? That would be those who believe our country's prohibition of a harmless, natural substance like marijuana is stupid, outmoded and corrupt? Geez, for a refresher, read the cover story by Rebecca Schoenkopfin this same issue—or any Registereditorial page.