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ASCHES TO ASHES
Andrew Asch's story about the sheriff shutting down the B3Cande rave misses the point entirely ("Rave Off," Aug. 17). The officers were dealing with a group of men working with heavy equipment tearing up property that they did not own and did not have permission to be on. Any closing of a rave was strictly a side effect of putting an end to the damage. What happened in Lancaster had nothing to do with a rave or drugs or anything other than felonious vandalism. Asch could have written a factual story. Instead, he interviewed those responsible for the damage. It's like asking a burglar if he is the one who just broke into your home. You probably will not get a truthful answer
Andrew Asch responds: As much as I hate environmental degradation, the events in Lancaster had everything to do with raves and drugs. My point was that Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies got a two-for-one deal by arresting the contractor—they stopped someone flouting environmental law and killed an event that police departments throughout the world have a history of harassing. That's still my point—and curiously, it's the point of the landowner, who told theLos Angeles Times that raves lead to drug use, and drug use leads to guns. Guns are bad. Would the police have been as vigilant if the gung-ho developers were building tract homes, a factory farm or a gas station? Rave on.
After I finished articles by "investigating reporter" R. Scott Moxley about Dr. Steven Kooshian ("Non-Silent Treatment," Aug. 16; "Say, 'Ah,'" Aug. 9) my head was spinning with yellow-journalism images of William Randolph Hearst. The use of hot-button words and statements when referring to Kooshian—such as his "aristocratic Virginia accent" and "One source said the doctor refers to his vehicles affectionately as 'my toys'"—are implanted only to evoke emotional prejudice. Why is Filipino immigrant Virgil Opinion, who has filed a lawsuit against Dr. Kooshian, referred to as "soft-spoken" without any suggestion that he probably speaks with an accent? Heaven forbid it might paint an unfair image of Opinion being one of the unwashed masses, teeming to be free, and deprive him of appropriate sympathy. Moxley is not so much interested in presenting news as in the adrenalin kick he gets while poring over his list of expletives and verbs while producing fantastic paranoia that went out of style back in the '60s with the closure of the LA Free Press.
R. Scott Moxley responds: Thanks for asking, N.L. As you know, Dr. Kooshian—who was convicted in the early 1990s for illegal steroid sales—faces allegations that he defrauded seriously ill patients by substituting saline or multivitamin injections for life-saving medications. State medical examiners are in Orange County now, checking out those and other allegations. We'll follow the story to its conclusion.
I once read that "The glory of a good man is the testimony of a good conscience." Virgil Opinion is a very good person; he's been a friend for 11 years. His willingness to lose the nursing job he loves most and risk his future so that truth may prevail proves he is a conscientious person who cannot stand wrongdoing by anyone—especially if the victims are as helpless as dying patients.
I am a supporter of Dr. Kooshian's, and I also knew Virgil. I want the truth to come out and trust that it will in the courts. However, I feel Moxley is telling this story in a very one-sided tone. At this point, I am more concerned about the writer's interests than any possible wrongdoing by the doctor!
I howled with laughter while reading Buddy Seigal's trashing of Stevie Nicks and was soooo happy there is at least one other person on this planet who doesn't give a rat's ass about Stevie and her self-absorption ("Nix!" Aug. 17). The fact Buddy had the balls to relate that Palomino story (fact or fiction) further proves why the Weekly is a needed voice "behind the Orange Curtain."
I'd like to thank Buddy Seigal for his trenchant punk rock-flavored article "Nix!" as well as to offer condolence. Whatsamatter, Bud? The residual checks from Dr. Demento stop coming in? Did VH1 sadly point out that a gimmick song about putting someone's guts in a box actually must first chart before being considered as a potential "one-hit wonder" candidate? "Hubba, hubba, hubba, hubba, hubba."
But all seriousness aside, the anecdote recounting Stevie Nicks meeting the Beat Farmers was touching and put me in mind of the legendary fracas at the Coconut Grove when Joan Collins met Shemp Howard. Hoowee, baby! Likewise, the musical history footnote regarding "The Rotters" and their parody song of the Chiffon Queen was well-considered in that all the words were spelled correctly. I was enthralled for as long as it took me to read the paragraph.
Yes, some of us who once owned the Rumours album (if memory serves, I believe ownership of that album was mandatory at the time, was it not?) might look back now in mild shamefaced embarrassment. But I'm glad that you saved some venom for the other nostalgia-laden artists appearing around town. (I'm not a big fan of Depeche Mode, but I'm glad to see that you took the high road in bashing them, dude.) Let us not forget that the music industry is part of the greater entertainment industry so, yeah, there's always the big controversy over hype marketing, artist/label favoritism, and of course the eternal style-over-substance wrangle, but let's not open that can of worms again.
But here's a thought, Buddy: the very fact that the artists you slammed are still touring and getting booked into the venues you listed kinda speaks for itself, now doesn't it? And their overall public appeal—in the past as well as the present—cannot be totally discounted. So please cheer up, Bud. Remember: nobody likes a sore loser.
"Stevie Nicks helped birth punk rock." Hmmm. That's a good one. Food for thought. I guess it's true: punk's really not dead—at least not certain aging ones, right? I got a good one for you: Elvis helped birth reggae. Yeah, that's right; look into it! It makes sense when you think about it.
Oh, yeah, and thanks for proving once again that the best thing about the OC Weekly is its price.
Buddy Seigal responds: (1) Sadly, I can't take credit for writing or singing "Happy Boy." I did, however, play guitar and kazoo, and the checks, in fact, do keep coming in. Thanks for your concern. And thanks, Dr. Demento! (2) You owned theRumours album because you thought it was "mandatory"? Hahahahahahahaha! Wotta bunghole! (3) Elvis, of course, had nothing to do with the birth of reggae. That was German sociologist Max Weber. Elvis shot the TV every time Stevie Nicks came on.
MOTHERS AGAINST DRUNK ON POWER
Re: Steve Lowery's story about Arthur Carmona ("Arrested Development," Aug. 10): Anyone interested in prison justice might want to know about a group called UNION (United for No Injustice, Oppression or Neglect). UNION addresses all kinds of problems for prisoners and ex-prisoners and may be of some help to Mrs. Carmona and her son, Arthur. The address is UNION, P.O. Box 22765, Sacramento, CA 95822-0765, and the e-mail address is Rightor1@aol.com.
To whoever wrote the anonymous letter going on a rail because God will not let him and his woman hook up ("Hey, You!" Aug. 17): Hey, pal, ever stop to think that relationships are built on compromise? Ever consider that since you worship the Father in the same manner and all that maybe one of you should convert? Sometimes you have to look at the role man plays in religion as well. God wants you to be happy no matter what. All he cares about is you. Maybe you would be better off asking him for solutions instead of tearing him up. Your faith will lead you. One more thing: as a Christian, just try to have a relationship without God in it and see how great that works out. Sometimes things are done that we will never understand or comprehend, but you have to move forward. Each time God closes a door, he opens a window. Sometimes you have to look for it, but it's there. Keep the faith.
FUNNIER THAN RIP TAYLOR!
How fortunate we Weekly readers are to have Jeremy Scherer to determine what is and isn't funny (Calendar, Aug. 17). When I submitted a press release to the Weekly's Calendar for the White Liars show Aug. 17 at JC Flanagan's, I didn't realize that I was matching wits with a comic giant on a par with Rip Taylor! You are so right, Jeremy: starting my press release with the greeting "Hey " just isn't very funny or original, especially when you compare it with censoring our band's name and calling us "jerks." That is SOOO funny because it's so true!
Pull your head out of your fecal duct, genius!! The White Liars have been playing locally for eight years, Rich Kane has written very kind words about us, and we appeared on the first Locals Only compilation. You're the sort of people I feel comfortable greeting, "Hey, Fucko!"
What's sad is that Scherer has the power to censor a band from the Calendar. I didn't say anything sexist, homophobic or racist, and I have no affiliation with Bob Dornan. It was just a faux pas.
I noticed, by the way, that the bands slated to play the Nazi show at the Shack didn't get their names censored (Rich Kane's "Take the Skinheads Bowling," Aug. 17).
The White Liars
It's good to know there are writers who know good music. Manu Chao (Nick Schou's "Wander This World," June 22) and Los Amigos Invisibles (Gustavo Arellano's "They Put the 'Sex' in 'Sextet,'" July13) are indeed great unknowns. The fact that radio won't play them because they're not popular is proof of how little commercial radio matters.
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Discover music for yourself, then expose it to those who care. When you look for gold in a shit pile, there's only one kind of nugget you'll find. If you're listening only to radio and MTV, you're letting someone else tell you what's cool. If that's you, enjoy your nugget.
DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS
In his story on censorware buster Danny Silverman ("Fast Times at Foothill High," Aug. 17), Daniel C. Tsang incorrectly identified the school's principal who called Silverman into his office: he is Al Marseille. Also, the federal law that mandates Internet filters in schools and libraries is the Children's Internet Protection Act, not the earlier Child Online Protection Act.