Contact us via voice mail at (714) 825-8432, or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or write to Letters to the Editor, OC Weekly, P.O. Box 10788, Costa Mesa, CA 92627. Or fax: (714) 708-8410. Letters may be edited for clarity and length. All correspondence must include your home city or service provider and a daytime phone number.GOOD JON, BAD JONThank you for giving Jon Hall the opportunity to share his story (First Person, July 24). It is important for the community to know that the homeless are real human beings who are suffering great pain and indignity. I am currently doing an article on the homeless for Solutions Television Magazine, and I have learned the realities behind the cardboard "Will work for food" signs.The Orange County Rescue Mission on West Walnut Street in Santa Ana [714-285-2840] provides food as well as showers and clean clothing for men and has referral services for women and children. While overnight shelter is available, men can use the facilities without staying overnight. One point to Jon, however, is that staying in the shelter does allow a homeless person to use the shelter's address on a job application. The mission also provides vocational training.We can't let our bad experiences and assumptions stereotype the poverty-stricken. -Thom Burgert
I have always appreciated your alternative articles and your coverage of the goings-on in town-until now. I cannot begin to tell you how disturbed I became after reading Jon Hall's article "They Kill Cheeseburgers, Don't They?" (Sports, July 31). To have reported on the barbarity of the so-called sport of bullfighting for the purpose of abolishment would have been applauded. However, to describe in detail this fiesta of blood for the purpose of promotion and by providing phone numbers and pricing information is simply inexcusable. This is a sport created from cruelty and violence, not from skill or competition.Hall writes that the managers of the fights should get angrier bulls because "nobody's lining up to pay money to enter a slaughterhouse." Let me point out that whether the bull is angry or not, the odds are stacked against him from the beginning with the infusion of Vaseline into his eyes to the final stabbing of his exhausted body. The result is the same, regardless of the bull's disposition. It is a shame that the only criticism Hall chose to express was that four of the six bulls killed that day were "cheeseburgers."Ideally, we should strive to abolish insensible cruelty such as this, but at the very least, we should refuse to promote it. Perhaps a future article could promote awareness of just one of the countless inhumanities we practice daily. -Tammy Hampikian
GOOD JOEL, BAD JOELCongratulations to Joel Beers for having the honesty to give deserved negative criticism to Rent, not once, but twice (Theater, Aug. 7). Rent is a bad rock concert masquerading as a piece of musical theater. Rent is about whining youngsters who haven't the ability to just get off their lazy butts and do something positive about themselves. How can anyone feel sympathetic for characters who whine about not having enough money for their rent when they nonchalantly find ways to obtain enough money for drugs? Beers was the only critic in the area who honestly said what Rent is: a piece of pretentious crap.-Larry Blake
Joel Beers' reaction to the production of Athol Fugard's latest work, The Captain's Tiger, at the La Jolla Playhouse reminded me of a college-newspaper reporter's attempt to sound "really deep" (Theater, July 24). Beers totally missed the mark as far as I'm concerned. I found Fugard's play subtle, profound and very moving. Beers disdainfully calls The Captain's Tiger "a nice, safe, old man's play." That makes me wonder how old this Beers guy is. I don't think it was so nice and safe or only for old men. It had the honest perspective of age, an element easily lost on less mature minds. Acting his own work onstage at an age when most men retire, Fugard showed such passion about writing and such open admission of the difficulty of resolving his personal past that it felt like a fresh breeze of truth in a land of dumb and dumber movies, plays and music. As someone once said, "It's a pity that youth is wasted on the young." Next time you send a reporter to the theater, don't send one with the mindset of an adolescent to do a mature man's job. Maybe you could start a Radical Geezer Section where views other than those of twentysomethings are discussed. Now that would be truly revolutionary!-J. Grant Wilson
BACK TO THE BEACHI would like to preface my comments by revealing that I am not a conservative Republican (I am actually a member of the Green Party) and that I do not glorify this country's military policy. Second, I think Ella Taylor has written a very articulate, informative review of Steven Spielberg's latest film, Saving Private Ryan (Film, July 24). But I am moved to write this letter by a puzzling historical claim Ms. Taylor makes in her article: namely, that the D-Day invasion "was so bungled by Allied strategists that it transformed Omaha Beach into an abattoir strewn with men burning, drowning or bleeding to death from the onslaught of fire by dug-in German troops." You will excuse me if I suggest that Ms. Taylor is probably not a student of military history. Before D-Day (the largest seaborne invasion in the history of humankind) was undertaken in earnest, thousands of bombers flew literally thousands of missions on a single morning to soften up the German defenses and slow reinforcements. However, the actual occupation of land must be undertaken by an infantry, which, if faced with a capable and determined foe, will suffer injury and death. It's that simple.-Chuck Hammond Jr.
IrvineCOMPETITIVE NATUREWhat a perverse little magazine you have. Are you a homosexual publication? Your front page taunts that these homos could kick my butt in a dozen sports ("Who You Calling Fag?" July 31). Does that include anal sex and sadomasochism? Does your model with a ring through his teat promote what you are all about?What makes you think your advertisers want to promote perversity? Just because you or your staff may like kinky sex doesn't mean that we want our children reading your "free" magazine. I think I'll call your advertisers to see what they think about your promo.P.S. Perverse sex with its inherent diseases (AIDS, gonorrhea, etc.) is not cool.-Bud Terkel
Rich Kane responds: Hey, Bud, thanks for your great letter asking about how Team Orange County did at the Amsterdam Gay Games! It's always great to hear from such open-minded, queer-positive individuals such as yourself. Here's the lowdown for you: the swimming contingent won big, capturing a total of 16 medals, including a gold in the men's 4x50 freestyle relay. Richard Ammon, whom the Weekly chatted up for the Gay Games piece, brought back two golds, a silver and a bronze. The bowling team made off with some serious metal, too-a bronze in the men's 200-and-above class, plus two bowling doubles teams earned a silver and a bronze apiece. Weekly cover boy John Ponce (who you, Bud, seemed to be so aroused by) didn't medal, but he and his pierced teat came damn close, finishing fourth in the bodybuilding competition. And the men's volleyball team made it to the final round. Total medal count: 25. Well done, Team OC! You kicked ass! And, Bud, thanks again for asking!WHAT TIMINGI loved Anthony Pignataro's El Toro Airport Watch No. 73 (News, Aug. 7). He pointed out Dana Reed's inaccessible but seemingly necessary (to Newport Beach) courier business. Pignataro's timing was on the heels of (that other paper) The Orange County Register's declaring Newport Beach's financial shortfall.The Newport Beach City Council feels that promoting an airport at El Toro is worth more than street lighting and aging-sewer replacement. Councilmen John Hedges and John Noyes called for 2 percent to 5 percent cuts, which would necessitate laying off personnel and cutting services in "virtually every department." All the while, the Request for Proposal for $1.5 million in public relations presses ahead.I think all the newly unemployed workers and people soon to be cut off from services should be walking a picket line outside City Hall. Newport Beach politicians are still catering to the wishes of a few instead of the needs of the many.-Gail Reavis
I am a weekly follower of Anthony Pignataro's El Toro Airport Watch articles. I found his "The Big Easement" article-in which Pignataro suggests the possibility that the county will have to pay OC residents for the right to allow commercial airlines to fly over their homes-very interesting (The County, July 31). To me, anyway, this would be a "fatal" flaw in any planning process when the possible legal expenses from a project are more than triple the cost of the project itself!My inquiry is this: In the pile of papers I signed when I bought my house, which one am I looking for? Do I have a leg to stand on when it comes to the Military Installation vs. Commercial Airport issue when I signed this thing, since I signed it knowing that military aircraft would be over our heads but not commercial aircraft? -Chuck Matthews
Anthony Pignataro responds: You moved to Aliso Viejo!? Haven't you been reading the Weekly?! I'm so sorry. . . .LEGEND STATUSAs an intern here at the OC Weekly, I thought I'd chip in a response to (a) Jim Hill, who suggested Rich Kane ought to cover non-ska/punk music such as Legendary Pink Dots in his "Locals Only" column; and (b) Kane's subsequent response that he'd never heard of them (Letters, July 31). I offer this brief rundown: unfortunately, the Pink Dots are not a local band. They're a group of Englishmen living in the Netherlands. However, they did sell out the Roxy last September, have announced tentative plans to play Los Angeles again this fall, and have a devoted cult following throughout Southern California. Singer/lyricist Edward Ka-Spel and keyboardist the Silver Man are the creative forces behind the group's 20-plus official releases over the past 18 years. Their sound recalls that of Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd psychedelia mixed with Joy Division, employing both modern electronics and classical instruments. Lyrics are heavy with psychedelic, mystic and romantic imagery, which explains their popularity among both Goths and hippies-imagine William Blake sharing a hookah with Lewis Carroll in Wonderland. Ka-Spel has also collaborated with cEvin Key of Skinny Puppy in the band the Tear Garden, as well as with Current 93's David Tibet and Nurse With Wound over the years. Those who are interested may want to check out the Pink Dots' albums The Crushed Velvet Apocalypse, Any Day Now and The Maria Dimension as solid introductions to their sound. Their Web site is at www.brainwashed.com/lpd. -Ben Yater
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