Diary Of A Mad County
Wednesday, July 14 TV personality Gregory Haidl, awaiting a new trial for participating in the alleged gang rape of a 16-year-old girl, gets popped by the cops for having sex with a different 16-year-old girl. Greg and the girl—the second girl—say the sex was consensual, but it's still against the law since he's 19. And, you know, he is about to stand trial again for rape, and he's also had run-ins with the cops regarding trespassing and pot possession. For all those people who thought Haidl's recent mistrial meant he was "getting away with it," it's pretty clear that, barring an Augustinian change of heart, the course of this sad young man's life is pretty set. I think we all can see where this is going; it's just a matter of when and how. The young man seems compulsively drawn to punish himself, his father and most of the girls born after 1988. Even DA Tony Rackauckas, whose emotional range swings wildly from wooden to stiff, looked stunned when describing Haidl's reckless behavior during a press conference, and this is a guy who regularly deals with the dregs of society: murderers, wife beaters and the Republican Central Committee. Rackauckas requested a revocation of Haidl's bail given that his father has a lot of money and Haidl is a flight risk and middle schools are out for summer break and Haidl had reportedly been seen purchasing a large amount of lollipops.
Thursday, July 15 Welcome to the sports world, where, in a completely related development, Kobe Bryant re-signs with the Lakers. What's amazing about all this is that throughout the Lakers' and other teams' (Clippers, Knicks) courtships of the then-free agent, no one seemed the least concerned that Bryant may spend the next several years in prison after he stands trial for rape. Is this because Bryant's prodigious talent makes him worth the risk? Lil' bit; but it's more that people have become so conditioned to the fact that rich people get out of anything for which they are arrested, even—especially?—rape. In a completely related development, Catholics invade Angel Stadium to watch the home team play the Red Sox on Orange Diocesan Night. Imagine that, a team from the most notorious Catholic diocese in terms of harboring pedophiles meets one of the up-and-comers in the field. The only way they could have made this a more grossly ironic meeting would be to have scheduled the Diocesan Night the following evening, where the weekly firework spectacular is known as "Big Bang Friday." In a completely related development, Weekly staff writer Gustavo Arellano, who has been following the local diocesan molestation scandal, and a friend trade insults with two Bean Town fans on the question of whether Boston's David Ortiz is a fat ass. Do you see the beauty that is sports? Two Latinos rip one of their own while two white guys from Boston, traditionally one of the country's most racist towns, argue for the Fat Ass Ortiz. This is the honor of sports. If only we could all judge a person not by the color of their skin, but by the logo on their clothes. Wait, we already do.
Photo courtesy of PETA
Friday, July 16 To protest Ringling Brothers Circus' use and alleged abuse of animals, Christina Cho strips down, paints her body as a tigerand sits in a cage on the corner of Lemon and Center Street in Anaheim. Ringling is coming to the Pond this week, and this is part of an ongoing campaign for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The stunt takes on an especially sad air given that, according to PETA, a young lion named Clydewas discovered dead days before in his Ringling transport cage aboard a train that had just crossed the Mojave Desert, where the heat exceeded 100 degrees. PETA claims a whistleblower told them the lion had received no water for three days while caged in a poorly ventilated boxcar. PETA coordinator Lisa Franzetta said circus protests are one of the least controversial things they do since "even people who wear leather, even people who own fur coats, seem to agree the whole idea of animals performing in a circus is absurd and cruel and outdated. It's crazy, like throwing Christians to lions." (Lisa, have you met Lou Sheldon?) Though PETA has gained a lot of publicity with its nude stunts, Cho is actually wearing a thong and a sign over her chest that reads, "Wild Animals Don't Belong Behind Bars," though she'll probably get an argument from people who followed the Haidl trial.
Saturday, July 17 Starting today, the 909 area codethat served San Bernardino and Riverside counties for years is stripped from most of Riverside, which now answers to a 951 area code. Though residents seem happy to be out from under the onus of an area code that had become a derogatory joke, there are numerous complaints regarding the inconvenience of the switchover from local businessmen, especially parole officers, foxy boxers and guys in trailers who say, "What? I don't smell anything."
Sunday, July 18 Me likey.
Monday, July 19 The most anticlimactic vote in Orange County since Bob "B-1 Baboso" Dornan's humiliating spring primary defeat against Dana Rohrabacher occurs today when the Santa Ana City Council approves the obelisk-esque One Broadway Plaza project by a 4-1 vote. A favorable decision on the proposed 37-story building—which will be the tallest structure in Orange County's history—was a foregone conclusion since March, when that same 4-1 majority was set to endorse it until an outcry by activists forced the council to shelve a vote for 60 days. So why the nearly four-month delay? Call it a stretching of time: as reported three months ago by the Weekly, Santa Ana City Councilwoman Claudia Alvarez violated Santa Ana's city charter on March 15 by voting on a project less than a year after accepting a $3,200 donation from One Broadway Plaza developer and Weekly landlord Michael Harrah [see Arellano's "Notes From the Banana Republic: The War on One Bank Plaza," April 16]. Alvarez's insistence on bucking the charter again was so brazen that the state attorney general's office launched an investigation into the deputy district attorney. They finally determined that Alvarez could participate in any One Broadway Plaza decision since she was "no longer subject to disqualification under the section." And that was true: Alvarez received the $3,200 from Harrah on June 30, 2003, and all the delays meant Alvarez sneaked through the deadline by a couple of weeks. Still, Alvarez found the gumption to tell disbelieving audience members that her mind wasn't made up on her political papi's project until that very July 19, ending her speech with "suckersayswhat?"
Tuesday, July 20 Subjects for later discussion: "Has Ralph Nader lost his frigging mind?" "Kenny Jeopardy: Savior or self-righteous toady?" "60 Minutes IIcommentator Steve Hartman: Dickweed or effeminate dickweed?" "Widening the 22 freeway: Has the OCTA lost its frigging mind?"
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