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GUSTAVO ON THE COVER
Overheard in the OC Weeklyeditorial office:
Hey! Gustavo Arellano just dropped off his drop-dead report on the citrus wars of OC ["Gunkist Oranges," June 8]. AndStan Brin sent in an infuriating piece on OC's parking ticket black hole ["The CPC's Hidden Empire," June 8]. Our readers will love this shit! Obviously, this calls for another one of our trusty fetish-themed photos on the cover. That way people will be sure to see our devotion to OC justice right there on the rack.
GUSTAVO ON THE CITRUS STRIKE
Thank you for your story about the Orange County Citrus Strike of 1936. I remember reading about this historic event in one of the dissertations that you mention in your article. A copy of the dissertation was given to the family of my great uncle, Lucas Lucio, and that was how I had access to it. I am very pleased to see an article in the popular press that recounts some of the history of this county. Too many people living here have no appreciation for our past. They seem to think that Orange County started with the building of South Coast Plaza and the naming of the airport for John Wayne.
GUSTAVO IN THE TIMES
I wish very much that Arellano's column were carried in a paper easily available in Los Angeles. After his op-ed appeared in today's LA Times["Raza Isn't Racist," June 15], I checked out the OC Weekly website. We could really use him in this county. We would be infinitely better off if he replaced Jonah Goldberg, Max Boot or the extremely useless Joel Stein. I have no quarrel with anything he said in today's column. But there is something he didn't say: Mexicans are not a race. As someone who has lived in Mexico and who has a large family there, I know that Mexicans are a collection of very diverse ethnicities. There is a large and varied indigenous population that unfortunately occupies the bottom rung of the social and economic ladder. And there are black Mexicans, European Mexicans (Frida Kahlo) and Asian Mexicans. Most people in the U.S. don't know how varied the people of Mexico are and it would not hurt to let people know this. Of course, the bad part of Mexican diversity is that it has given rise to a lot of racism. We all know that the lighter your skin, the higher your status in Mexico and how much Mexican TV looks like Swedish TV. But thinking of Mexicans as one race obscures the divisions within Mexico and keeps them from being addressed. The issues of race and ethnicity are not very well understood in this country, either. For example, the Glendale News Press had a table that showed how many Caucasians lived in Glendale and how many Armenians lived here. And I thought: "Where does this paper think Armenia is located?"
Stanton J. Price
GUSTAVO ON COLBERT
Hi, My Beloved Commie Girl:
How in the world did this happen? Gustavo killed on Colbert tonight. But, how in the world did he rise to the national spotlight before you did? Please don't get me wrong, I read him regularly, but you have held forth for far longer in far more depth and deserve this sort of recognition.
I understand that Gustavo's column is timely in light of the current environment of immigrant bashing, but you have a very unique way of juxtaposing your own little (albeit interesting) life with the big issues of the day that deserves more national play.
To put my opinion in perspective, allow me to describe my OC Weekly experience:
• Look at the cover, scan for provocative headlines and mentally note articles to read later.
• Open the paper and count how many pages before there is an ad for vagina reconstruction, vagina tightening, vaginoplasty or any other reference to vaginas (yay!).
• Check the Contents page for a "Toll Road Rage" entry, and, if found, read.
• Scan the Letters headlines, and read them selectively.
• Read "Troubletown."
• Look for and read (in whatever order they appear) "This Modern World," "Red Meat" and "Hey You!"
• Flip to the last page and read 'Becca (almost saved for dessert, but I just can't wait!).
• Find and read "Ask a Mexican!" (Sorry it's so late, Gustavo.)
• Skim "Mad County."
• Follow up on mentally noted articles.
• Inspect the adult ads.
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That all being said, it is cool that the OC Weekly made it onto a national cable show. Good on ya! In the fullness of time, may you all be on Colbert!
AN AWARD FOR GUSTAVO
The Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN) announced Friday, June 16, that Gustavo Arellano's "Ask a Mexican!" had taken First Place for Best Column in the annual AAN Awards in the more-than-50,000-circulation category (this would be where the big boys play).
Oh, yeah, and "Commie Girl" won First Place for Best Political Column for stories on Social Security, going to Crawford to see the President, and that time she cut herself shaving and thought she had syphilis. The news elicited the following response from Rebecca Schoenkopf's mother.
SERIOUSLY, THIS IS FROM BECCA'S MOM
Becca, you are FAAAAAAAAARRRRR and away the best writer of the lot. I LOVED all three of your articles. You are smart and funny. And have a very cute cooter.