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LOVE THAT BOB
As someone who has spent a number of years writing about music, let me venture a guess: Buddy Seigal couldn't think of anything interesting to say about Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, so he trashed them (Music, June 18). It's an age-old technique, but one that does neither the writer nor the reader any service.
The columnist writes, "Me, I pretty much like everything that's done well and has integrity." He also professes a liking for roots music. I'm not going to get into Simon here; he's not particularly interesting to me, either. But if you are looking for an artist who has plunged into the rich pool of American roots music and emerged with something that shines with high quality and integrity, then that's Bob Dylan. That's as true today as it was in the '60s.
One more tip for Mr. Seigal: readers mostly care about music. As a rule, they don't care where you like to hang out or when you graduated from high school. They really don't care about what bores you.
—Tommy Goldsmith, Nashville, Tennessee
Oh, my God . . . where DID you find this guy? In his preview of the Dylan/Simon concert, Seigal wonders if "I'm being a traitor to my generation when I categorically state that this does not give me wood." What the hell is his generation if he's wondering if a concert will give him "wood"? (What a unique man—thinking with his other head.)
He states he grew up in the '60s. I'm wondering if he ever grew up. And the very best line: "Boring. Go away. Both of you. You make me embarrassed to be old." To you, Mr. Seigal, I'd like to say: JUST GO AWAY. Anyone who uses a "Sam Kinison voice" has no room to be critical of anyone.
Get a life, pal.
—Kate Anschuetz, via e-mail
I read the first sentence or two of Seigal's piece, and I stopped there. After putting Dylan in the category of hero worship from a 10-year-old and limiting it to a space like that, there was no need for me to go further. Here is an artist who continues to perform and produce and give of himself, who has never sold out or compromised his work, and who remains just as vital today as he ever was—a true timeless artist and one of the great writers and people in America in the past century.
Sure, Dylan has good days and bad days, as we all do, and he is probably better appreciated in a smaller venue than a large one. But aside from that, his music and his words are for everyone, whether you're 10 or 100. And I will always sing his songs and be thankful that he passed this way.
—James Coffey, via e-mail Buddy Seigal responds: Tommy, I don't know how music critics handle themselves down in Nashville—that Babylonian anus that destroyed real hillbilly music—but around these parts, we simply do our jobs and speak our minds. If your favored method of journalistic laziness calls for trashing someone because you have nothing valid to say, please don't spread the blame this way. My opinion remains that Dylan has been uninspired and, yes, boring for about 20 years now. And Kate, I apologize if the notion of my erect and glorious manhood offends you, but please don't disparage the late, great Sam Kinison. My marvelously swollen meat and I will now JUST GO AWAY, as requested. Until next week. NO BONES ABOUT IT
I was appalled when reading Rebecca Schoenkopf's column on The Benefit (Club Land, June 18). How she was able to write about such a sensitive subject with such callousness was amazing. She must be quite a journalist! The Benefit was an attempt to help Rick Brun with his $100,000-plus medical bills. The fact that Schoenkopf would try to be humorous here was just plain tacky.
"Some weird thing going on with his leg . . . very bad," she writes. Are you kidding me? That "something weird" is a major bone disease in Brun's femur. Schoenkopf should have been taught before coming to write for such a highly circulated paper not to cover something she is completely ignorant about. "No one's real clear," she continues. Well, I thought the job of a journalist was to make it clear, not add to the confusion. All one had to do was call the number on the flier to get the correct information. Or would that have been too much "research"?
I am a loyal reader of your paper, but after reading this article, I am totally turned-off. Schoenkopf sounded like an eighth grader taking journalism for the first time. Rebecca, believe it or not, no one in Orange County cares about your "love-of-life ex-boyfriend" and who he's dating.
—Rebecca Plunkett, Tustin Rebecca Schoenkopf responds: Funny you should mention my ex-boyfriend, Rebecca! I just ran into him in the grocery store for the first time in, like, a year! And he got that weird hunted look in his eyes and said, "I really don't know what to say," and then he left, and I wasn't even crying or begging him to come back or anything! Boy, was I sad! And as for that other thing, I did phone Rick Brun to get the real skinny on what was going on with his medical condition. How's that for research? But he was in the hospital, getting some kind of operation or something and couldn't call me back. Apparently, there was a problem with his leg. Yuck! COFFEE TALK
Dave Wielenga's "The Starbucks Solution" (Feature, June 11), which was quite interesting and well-done, is about a coffee-shop David who, challenged by a corporate-coffeehouse Goliath, accepts the challenge and does so successfully. So why is it that the Goliath (poor dear) gets the big headline and the big picture? Is it to garner sympathy for the unsuccessful Goliath? Would not responsible editing have headlined the intended victim and shown a picture of the aggrieved intended victim coffee shop, not that of the attacker? After all, the article is not really about Starbucks; it's about Polly's Gourmet Coffee. But it's the Goliath who gets the prominence.
If you carried foreign news, would you write an article sympathetic to the Kosovo Albanians but headline the Serbs, complete with their pictures? Is this a new brand of journalism? Is this sloppy editing? Or is there some weird psychological angle that I missed?
—Harry Y. Snyder, Seal Beach The editors respond: There is some weird psychological angle that you missed. But you wouldn't understand it were we to explain it to you. ANOTHER SATISFIED CUSTOMER
Your pathetic stab at the residents of Newport Beach was as much a waste of paper as your magazine (Nathan Callahan's Suburban Manners, June 11). Let's consider the fact that Newport residents living on the harbor have dealt with the minute inconvenience of noise pollution from the airport for years, with minimal complaining. Why on earth would you find it journalistically relevant to rent a boat and harass George Argyros over a plan that has enormous potential benefits for Orange County?
Does Argyros' wealth make him a reasonable target for the Coastline Community College District dropouts you call journalists? If wealth makes someone a reasonable target for your magazine, perhaps you should take a brief look at the big picture when choosing potential targets. For this purpose, you could do a comparative analysis of one of your targets and, let's say, your magazine. Has this person earned his living ethically, like Argyros? Maybe you could also look at the positive things the person has done for the county, such as the countless contributions Argyros has made to local schools and causes. I guess in that arena, it wouldn't be fair to compare you any longer because your magazine hasn't made a single positive contribution to Orange County, except for providing movie and concert information.
Frankly, I am sick of the hypocritical angle of your magazine. If these noise tests were being used to shut down the Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, you would be up in arms. However, you are all for it if it keeps you from occasionally hearing a commercial jet, which, by the way, is considerably quieter than the military jets that have been flying in and out of that airfield for years.
How about, for a change, recognizing people such as Argyros for their positive contributions and saving the attacks on the rich for the day when you walk the moral high ground and don't have to advertise hookers to make some extra cash. I look forward to the day that your magazine has some value beyond checking show times and lining my bird's cage. I know you won't bother printing this because it doesn't support your magazine's increasingly whacked-out liberal agenda, but maybe it will give you something to think about.
—Dave Slavik, Newport Beach Nobody in particular responds: It's conceivable that Mr. Slavik can't hear the noise emanating from John Wayne Airport—or hear the common-sense arguments of airport opponents—because his ears are squeezed tightly between George Argyros' butt cheeks. So pull your head out and listen, Mr. Slavik. First, we didn't take a pathetic stab at Newport Beach residents; we took a pathetic stab at people who say John Wayne Airport is noisy and polluting—and then want to foist a bigger airport on their neighbors. Second, it would be wonderful if your neighbors didn't complain about airport noise—that would lead to the logical conclusion that expanding John Wayne Airport is the best response to the county's (mythical) rising airline-passenger demand. But the fact is your neighbors do complain—and frequently. On average, the county's Noise-Abatement Office receives 100 calls per month from residents near John Wayne Airport; in the summer, that number rises about 20 percent. We don't blame the callers—airports don't make good neighbors—but we'd point out that the complaints roll in despite severe restrictions on John Wayne Airport's operations. Those same restrictions—the ban on night flights, for example—would be illegal at the proposed El Toro International Airport, which is one reason residents throughout Orange County don't like the idea of building the nation's fifth-largest airport there. Finally, we don't dislike Argyros because of his wealth—we don't dislike him at all. We just dislike the fact that he wants to bankroll construction of a noxious airport among residents who don't want it. And call us crazy, but his incredible wealth doesn't make Argyros immune to criticism, and it certainly doesn't make him king of Orange County, although with you around, he's clearly got a fool.
P.S. Don't wait for the day you find the Weekly worth your time; that's what Veronica's Closet is for today.
I enjoyed Steve Lowery's article concerning the poetry slam in Laguna Beach ("Iambic Pentathlon," June 11). He should have quoted e.e. cummings, who said, "all men lead lives of quiet desperation." The slam poets are being anything but quiet or desperate, and I applaud them for doing their part in keeping the spoken-word tradition alive in Orange County and throughout the nation.
Thank you for the great article. Maybe next time, Victor D. Infante can cover a football game.
—Larry Schulz, Huntington Beach Message to Schulz, winner of "The First (and Probably Last)OC Weekly Poetry Contest!" on March 5: Actually, Henry David Thoreau said, "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation," which may explain why it was probably our last poetry contest.
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