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HE'S LOVIN' IT
As chronicled in R. Scott Moxley's Nov. 30 article, "Crossing the Thin Blue Line," and his Dec. 15 Navel Gazing blog post, "Jury Declined to Hold Deputy Liable for Killing, Eating at McDonald's Minutes Later," Deputy Joseph William Balicki was found not civilly liable for shooting and killing an unarmed 69-year-old man, and then leaving the scene 10 minutes later to go eat at McDonald's. This letter came in response to the earlier article.
Having just read the article "Crossing the Thin Blue Line," I felt compelled to at least comment on the "so-called" use-of-force expert. Roger Clark may present an impressive résumé when shown in the "best possible light" by a plaintiff's attorney. However, when you examine Mr. Clark's qualifications to speak on most of what he testifies about, you realize that all he is doing is repeating information he has read someplace from someone else's experiences. I, as well as many of my brother officers, take great exception to being "Monday-morning quarterbacked" by cowards such as Clark, who prostitute themselves solely for financial gain at the expense of officers who are out on the streets, risking their lives for the public and their brother officers. Mr. Clark was an administrator, at best, and has no right to comment on anything a police officer ever does in the line of duty. Now, I definitely believe that police officers need to be reviewed, and shootings such as the one examined in this article raise questions as to the tactics involved. However, these reviews and opinions should be rendered by veteran officers who have been involved in such situations and have practical experience in these areas, not by hacks like Clark who have read an article or book about tactics once or twice and deem themselves an expert.
I am familiar with Mr. Clark, and I am aware that most of his career was spent in the prison system as a glorified guard, or in administration ordering supplies and worrying about the vehicle fleet. I am also aware that if paid enough, he will twist the facts to fit the plaintiff's case. Because he did nothing significant in his law-enforcement career except push a pencil, it gave him time to study and go to classes to proclaim himself an expert. Clark and those like him should be ashamed to call themselves police officers. They are the true definition of "bottom feeders."
As I stated earlier, police officers' actions should be reviewed, especially in questionable circumstances. However, these reviews should be conducted by true experts, men and women who have a working knowledge of what they speak and testify about.
Lieutenant John Remaley
Easton Police Department
R. Scott Moxley responds: Perhaps Lieutenant Remaley is right about witness Roger Clark. Or perhaps the laws that allow peace officers to get away with murder need to be revisited. After all, in 2007, another local jury sided with an Irvine cop who'd turned off his patrol car's GPS, tailed a woman out of his jurisdiction late at night, stopped her in a secluded highway area and ejaculated semen onto her chest. In another trial, a jury sided with an LA cop who prosecutors said sexually molested a young girl in OC. In a third case, a Homeland Security officer escaped a felony conviction for using his powers to try to win sexual favors from a Vietnamese immigrant awaiting her citizenship.
The following letter is in regard to Dave Barton's "The Best and Worst of 2007," published Dec. 28.
It's a pretty sad state of affairs when a newspaper hires a theater owner to review theater. It's even sadder when that writer decides to poke fun at other theater companies for doing exactly what he is doing or has done.
Dave Barton wrote in his best/worst of theater column, "It breaks my heart that so many local theaters are dependent on the box-office bonanza of overproduced musicals to keep their doors open." I guess the Rude Guerrilla's 2006 production of Man of La Mancha doesn't qualify as overproduced? And I guess he decided to take A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum off the Rude Guerrilla's schedule before he wrote this article?
Barton goes on in his "worst" column to talk about movie trailers for plays. Maybe he hasn't visited his own web page yet, with its Quicktime trailer of past seasons? Or seen his own window displays, with monitors touting what's coming next at RG? I guess those six videos from Rude Guerrilla on YouTube don't count?
On a completely bitchy note, Barton writes of A New Brain at Grand Central, "You'd think the squashed confines of this small black box, with its leg-cramping seating, limited lighting and so-so sound system, would be the worst possible place to try to watch a show." Has he actually seen a show in his own theater because, quite frankly, he could be describing his own space.
And finally, it seems both Barton and Joel Beers are fond of criticizing theaters for their less-than-"relevant" choices in plays to produce and using the term "community theater" as a slam. Let's see, Mr. Barton: Our Town? On the Rude Guerrilla season? For a minute, I thought I was reading a La Habra Depot or Huntington Beach Playhouse brochure, perhaps even a Newport Theater Arts Center brochure . . . or worse, a Westminster Community Theater Brochure. I suppose if Emily, in a fit of hysterics over realizing she's dead, rips off her blouse and sucks George's dick onstage, it becomes relevant?
When I first saw that Mr. Barton was writing a theater column for the OC Weekly, I thought, "Fine, let's see if he can truly be objective even in the face of a HUGE conflict of interest." Sadly, it doesn't look like he can. Does Barton and the Rude Guerrilla produce great theater? Without question! But so do many other companies in Orange County, each playing to a certain market and with a certain mission. So get over yourself, Barton, and let someone who can at least pretend to be objective give OC Weekly readers theater news.
Dave Barton responds: Cliff, what you take for finger-pointing (or worse, hypocrisy) is anything but!
All small theater companies deal with the same problems-audiences wanting what they're familiar with and turning their noses up at the new; musicals and classics as the only guaranteed box-office successes; small, awkward playing areas; miniscule budgets; the limitations of local talent; a dearth of technical types. Whether it's overdoing box-office golden child Shakespeare (my theater-Rude Guerrilla-has produced Taming of the Shrew), being forced to play the marketing game in ways that don't serve the work (i.e., trailers), or scheduling a musical (we canceled Forum, but another musical will take its place when I receive the confirmation) . . . yes, the theater that I am a part of-I do not "own" it-is just as guilty as anyone else.
Note that in my article, I never mentioned a specific small theater because we're all doing this. My deepest hope is that the community as a whole will rise above where it currently is and, simply, be better. Whether that happens or not, will have to be seen.
As for objectivity and conflicts of interest: Anybody who reads a critic with regularity realizes reviews are very subjective-the individual critic's likes and dislikes become clear fairly quickly. No apologies there-it's what makes critics either readable or birdcage material. As for conflicts of interest, I don't review theater companies one could reasonably assume I'm in economic competition with. That's why I'll review South Coast Rep, but not Stages, Hunger Artists or the Chance.
As for Our Town being community-theater fodder, have you ever seen a production of it? A good one? It's a damn fine play and worth your while if for no other reason than the melancholy of its Third Act. Magical and heart-breaking all at the same time.
I'll put two tickets aside for you when it's playing at RG.
As I sit here listening to [conservative talk-radio host] Mark Levin, I say to you that I know why your magazine is free.
That stupid-ass porn shit that's in the back end of your mag minus Commie Girl's ex-page pays for part of that; the rest is probably paid for by Communists! You're a bunch of fucking retards! If I were any madder, I'd take a flame thrower to the whole fucking lot of ya!
I quote General Slade: If I ever see your stooges out in public, I will make it my goal to give them my foot up their ass! I laugh every time I see a fellow OC person reading your filth.
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Commie rag is what it is! Prove me fucking wrong; write about how bad the illegal invasion is, you one-sided fucktards. Write one truth about the facts. Oh, wait. You're all filthy hippies. Bleach and a haircut is in order. Bite me.
Matthew J. Goodell
You guys and gals at the OC Weekly are exceptional in your hard work and dedication in bringing us the news. Your dedication to digging up the dirt and exposing fallacy is becoming something of legend. I hope that those who are closest to you bring you much love and encouragement this holiday season.