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I was, until this point, an advocate of Buddy Seigal's jazz-musician alter ego Buddy Blue. So he can't pull in enough people to fill Linda's Doll Hut, and he dumped the best drummer he had last summer; at least he plays some pretty slick guitar licks. Well, these few attributes are not enough to make up for the fighting words he chose for his cowardly Royal Crown Revue review ("How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Royal Crown Revue," Feb. 12). Do I detect a little bitterness? Pretty slimy comments from the Mucus Man. It seems to me that someone who sings flat on a couple of songs here and there (Greazy Jass' "Blues in the Night" and "Pray for Rain," etc.) has no place commenting on the vocal talents of Eddie Nichols.
It is a tragedy that the OC Weekly would publish unsubstantiated, biased garbage. This article was clearly a personal attack based on jealousy, maybe because people still dance to Royal Crown Revue, who can still play at the Derby.
I do recall a certain Buddy Seigal performing some Louis Prima covers as well. Royal Crown Revue did give credit where it was deserved; did Seigal? He'd better do his homework the next time he reviews a band because I know he needs to keep his day job.
-Jenna Beck, via e-mail
Buddy Seigal responds: Jenna, Jenna, Jenna. You don't detect "bitterness"; you detect my cheese-o-meter screaming loudly in offense at Royal Crown Revue's shtick. Music critics by nature tend to critique music-that's why they call us critics and not public-relations hacks. Because I am also a musician, there will always be people who believe my critiques are based on professional jealousy when I write something with which they disagree (funny how no one ever complains about my being a musician when I dole out a great review). In fact, I take extra pains to be objective due to these very suspicions. But people are free to form their own judgments about my motivations-I have no control over that. The issue here, though, was Nichols' voice, not my own, although I plead guilty as charged to singing flat on the songs you mention (nice ear, Jenna!). If you'd like to get a job as a music critic somewhere and trash my next album, please feel free. My review was about the fact that Nichols' voice-and Royal Crown Revue's cartoon shtick-bugs me. That's my honest opinion, period. It was not a "personal attack"; I've never met the man. You've conveniently omitted the fact that I also praised the band and said they kick ass. And just to set the record straight: 1) I've tried to get back to the Derby, but I have been unwelcome as I long ago burned my zoot-suit collection, and I think martinis taste like shit (I guess I'm just not money, babe); 2) I do not now nor have I ever sung a Louis Prima cover; and 3) I have every intention of keeping my day job. I wouldn't trade the opportunity to irritate so many people with so little effort for the whole world.
I congratulate Tim Meltreger for exposing more mind control in Orange County via the Scientologists ("Shock Therapy," Feb. 12). I think parents and educators should ignore the literacy statistics and drug labs that the schools have become. Just because the U.S. ranks third from the bottom in world literacy tests-down there with some poverty-stricken African countries-doesn't mean shit! And the fact that teen suicides have tripled in the past 30 years despite the massive increase in psychology/touchy-feely based programs in the schools doesn't mean anything either.
Of course, if the statistics had been presented by anyone other than the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, Meltreger would probably be stomping around saying something has to be done. I liked his last line the best: "[G]iven the public's perception of our failing public schools, it might also be true that desperate parents will listen to just about anyone." Even the OC Weekly, right, Tim?
-John Thomas, Los Angeles
Tim Meltreger responds: Right! And you might do well to do the same, John Thomas (if that is your real name), because in addition to completely missing the point of my story, your rage must have somehow blinded you, preventing you from reading Mike Males' story in the same issue, which cited state teen-suicide figures to be at their lowest point IN MORE THAN 30 YEARS! Apocalypse, how? As for me, I hate to say it, but I agreed with the great godless church: excessive use of psychotropic drugs in our schools is a very serious problem, which, like other problems in our schools, is a direct reflection of ills plaguing our society at large, such as drug abuse, domestic violence and poverty, problems whose solutions require a little more than a dictionary and a copy of Dianetics.
P.S. I don't stomp.
THE REAL DRUG LORDS
Nick Schou's "Criminal Prosecution: Body count grows in war on medical marijuana" is on the mark (The County, Feb. 5). Kudos to you for publishing it. The relentless campaign against users and providers of medicinal marijuana is more than a little bit scary. Even now, the Drug Enforcement Agency is arresting and fining seniors who legally buy their expensive prescription drugs in Mexico. It all has to be about profits for drug companies.
-Gerald M. Sutliff, Emeryville
Who did Marvin Chavez rape, rob or murder? Who did he lie to, cheat or blackmail? It seems to me that ignorant, opportunistic politicians have raped Marvin and the Constitution, robbed him of his civil rights, and caused other sick and dying patients to suffer needlessly by classifying some medicines as illegal narcotics.
It is the district attorneys, judges and other politicians who lie, cheat and blackmail. When Marvin went to court, did the judge tell the jury that, as jurors, they had the right to decide if the law is being justly applied? Of course not. This is what keeps "the people" powerless even when it comes to laws that they voted for and passed.
Jury nullification means POWER TO THE PEOPLE. When you are asked to be a juror, never forget you have the right to judge the law itself, not "just the facts." This is how northern juries acquitted runaway slaves-even though the slaves were clearly guilty of violating the Fugitive Slave Act. This is why so many people were NOT prosecuted during Prohibition-fully informed jurors acquitted their friends and neighbors even though, according to "just the facts," they had clearly violated the 18th Amendment. Prosecutors got tired of losing cases, and Prohibition eventually ended.
This is the answer to ending this insane "war on everything." Be a juror when called, and if the case involves a victimless crime and no one else was hurt, vote to acquit! You cannot be punished for your decision. For more information about the power of the jury, call the Fully Informed Jury Association at 1-800-TELJURY.
-Doug Scribner, Secretary, Libertarian Party of Orange County
LEGGO MY EGO
A heartfelt thank-you to Charles Marowitz for exposing the demagoguery and egomania allowed to rule in the theater department at Cal State Long Beach and in Cal Rep ("Bad Rap for Cal Rep," Feb. 5). Of all the gall: to open a new theater with some overly long, unheard-of work written by an unknown playwright, who just happens to be-ta da!-the guy in charge! And how does he justify himself regarding attendance? By forcing students to attend his works! While this goes on, the rest of us are left wondering why we have to drive to LA to see a play by Ibsen, Chekov or Mamet performed.
Why is this egomaniac allowed to hold a publicly subsidized theater hostage? Fire him and put a non-author in charge, someone who will have the interest of the public in mind.
-Debra Lesslie, Long Beach
THE EYES HAVE IT
Re: Rich Kane's review of the Jan. 29 show at Java Lanes (Locals Only, Feb. 5): In regards to the Violet Burning, Kane writes: "Their singer . . . bugged, with an eyes-closed, mouth-open, jeans-creaming pose of orgasmic ecstasy epoxied on his face." What kind of critic is he? In the same article, he praises Ultrathin for being "phat." What the heck is that? Ultrathin stands there, eyes closed, in the same manner as the Violet Burning singer (see the photo in Commie Girl in the same issue). Singers are usually into it; the passionate ones usually have their eyes closed, lost in the music. Is that orgasmic?
It's funny that Kane tries to make the Violet Burning sound dated with his Cure references. Perhaps he missed Ultrathin's "phat" cover of the Cure's "Fascination Street." It seems to me that Kane has a case of playing favorites.
-Mathew Munoz, Anaheim
Re: Matt Coker's plea to the Libertarian Party in the wake of the Buena Park City Council giving initial approval to an ordinance that would require landlords to evict tenants arrested (but not yet convicted) for narcotics and gang-related offenses (A Clockwork Orange, Feb. 5): Yes, they are doing a great job of forcing conformity on all of us; it really doesn't matter if people are guilty or innocent. Most people who would fall victim to this are probably poor, so many in government and most of the soundbite-fed masses would rather have "those people" in jail, anyway. After all, if you can't be a business major and get a high-paying middle-management job at a paper-pushing office, you must be a criminal. This is Orange County, ya know; nonconformists should stay in LA County.
The Libertarian Party of Orange County is working on a program to keep an eye on local governments, so we can nip all of these "Final Solutions" in the bud. But there is so much to keep an eye on that we need all the help we can get. We have just started the City Representative Program in Orange County, and so far, we have representatives in six cities. Too bad Buena Park is not one of those cities yet. For people who are willing to attend the City Council meetings, we provide business cards, a City Rep Web site (www.lpoc.org/Cities/Cities.html), a City Rep e-mail account, and a forum for them to promote their cities' issues to the whole county party.
DARE to say no-to the Police State. And thanks for the plea.
-Mark Hilgenberg, Vice Chairman, Libertarian Party of Orange County
Matt Coker responds: The Buena Park City Council adopted the ordinance on Feb. 16.
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For my money, Mayor Christina Shea is very sexy (Matt Coker's A Clockwork Orange, Feb. 19). But she probably has a different definition of sexy and therefore would not be receptive. She's a classy lady who would not have voted for "El Toro" as our city name-as I did, and we lost.
Yes, Irvine is cookie-cutter and bland. And in many ways, it is too structured. But sex has many sides: visual, sensual, visceral, emotional, intellectual and-most pronounceable-physical. However, if we men would be more sensitive, we might find that sex is a six-sided pleasure palace. You see, sex is also spiritual. Maybe Coker's epistemology is limited. Too bad-he loses out.
-Thomas M. Whaling, Lake Forest
Matt Coker responds: Whip out your epistemology, I'll whip out mine, and we'll let everyone else judge whose is limited.