Letters From OC Weekly Readers
'THIS IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE SADDEST TRENDS TO HIT CIVILIZATION'
Letters may be edited for clarity and length. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail to Letters to the Editor, c/o OC Weekly, 1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701. Or fax to (714) 550-5908.
Sorry, but I don't feel any sympathy for a man who is harmed after refusing to do something he is told to do by the police [Nick Schou's Feb. 15 feature, "A Bad Break"]. This guy was under probation, and part of the deal is to comply with law enforcement at all times. Cops have the hardest job, and it's easy to play Monday-morning quarterback against them. But they don't know if this guy is a dangerous felon, or on PCP. All of this could have been avoided if he just did what the police asked him to do. And then he shoved the undercover cop and told him to "get the F out of [his] way." He got what he deserved.
The letters keep a-comin' about Vickie Chang's controversial Feb. 8 Trendzilla, "Look, Ma-No Brakes!" In the column, she tackled the rough and rugged world of hipsters and their fixed-gear bicycles.
Much more research would have been prudent on Vickie Chang's part before she actually went to print with her bicycle article. WTF is a picture of a cruiser bike doing fronting this article? Most fixed-gear riders are riding $2K track bikes that are modified only slightly from their racing configuration. There is no doubt that these bikes are dangerous. Unlike the geared road bike, the fixed-gear chain has no mercy on fingers, cuffs or anything else that is caught up in them. There is also the matter of breaking a chain, which effectively hoses your braking system.
Unfortunately, many people may read her article and buy a fixie strictly because it is trendy and end up badly hurt or worse. I would love to see a article in the OC Weekly that was written by someone with a little more knowledge on the subject. Anyone starting out, please Google "fixed-gear 101" or go to sheldonbrown.com to find out the real reason these bikes are so "trendy."
This is probably one of the saddest trends to hit civilization. That is not to say riding bikes shouldn't be cool; I just hate that these fixie elitists scoff at the face of anybody who rides anything less than a neon no-brake $3,000 bicycle. It's admirable to endorse environmentalism, wonderful to unite with other people who share the same interests, understandable to want a better ride and workout—but does this mean you have to criticize everybody who doesn't fully appreciate, obsess, or have the money to buy these things? I'm not talking about everyone who owns a fixie—I'm directing this to the sensitive, defensive and critical folk who are more caught up with being cool, those who buy fixies first, and then research reasons to defend themselves for owning one after the fact. With cool comes uncool, and this fixie obsession is ruining it for all of us with $20 purple mountain bikes. What a way to bring hate and shame to something as beneficial and beautiful as biking! Our goal should be to encourage ALL forms of bike riding; to make only a selected few bicycles cool is tampering with this solution to save our environment.
The OC Weekly really shot themselves in the foot with this one. Why are you even covering this type of article? The people who read this are the most sheltered "30-something hipsters" who leech onto fads in between reconstructive-surgery sessions. As a local Orange County writer, Vickie Chang, stick to things you know about, like the 30- to 60-year-old "OC hipster" pool you follow, conservative ignorance, fast-food chains, a fat ass and your distorted social realities.
As a former road racer and bike messenger from Boston, I feel this trend of fixed gears, or "fixies," is an epidemic of accidents waiting to happen. As a bike messenger, I never understood why someone would compromise their safety by not having brakes. I saw it then, and I see it now as a trendy subculture of poseurs with their pedal-pusher pants trying really hard to be cooler than the next guy. I also live in Long Beach, the epicenter of this trend in SoCal. Although I think there is beauty in the simplicity of a clean-looking minimalist bike, Long Beach is the worst place to have these bikes. Streets are narrow. Everyone comes dangerously close when passing, and there are no bike paths. After my experience as a bike messenger, I have come to the conclusion that cycling in Long Beach is treacherous. Gears are definitely needed to wind up and get by/evade cars. Nobody thinks about cyclists on the road. Never mind half of the people driving are busy talking on their cell phones and not paying attention even to other cars! I'm glad you shed some light on this scene. I just hope these cyclists have a good insurance plan.
THANKS, AND COME HOME SAFE
I recently discovered OC Weekly online, and I wanted to let you know I love it. I am in Iraq, have been in the Army for five years and miss Orange County very much. I love getting updates on my home county. My favorite articles are on that asshole of a sheriff we had (I always knew there was something creepy about him from his pics on ocsd.org), ¡Ask a Mexican! and the columns on food places. Please let Gustavo know that he is my favorite.
Dave Segal is an embarrassment to your magazine. Why do you have someone on staff who is admittedly writing mediocre articles? His recent review of Sleepless Me [Locals Only, Feb. 8] is probably one of the worst musical reviews I've ever seen. I don't think he even listened to this band before writing his sad attempt at a review. What a disappointing, run-of-the-mill writer.
THE HORROR, THE HORROR
I'm sorry, but OC Weekly's horoscopes suck. Everyone knows horoscopes are just a bunch of bullshit anyway, but we still enjoy reading them in hopes that it might give us a little inspiration. I'm sorry, but there's nothing inspiring about "retro Mercury turning direct in forward-thinking Aquarius." What the F does that even mean? Or how about "amenable Venus ruler leaves the tried-and-true pecking order governed by earthly Capricorn for the lofty, egalitarian principles of Aquarius." Give me an F'ing break. Nobody cares. Just tell me if I'm going to meet some hot dude who's great in the sack. I mean, that's the important stuff, right? Rockie Horoscope has gotta go. Trade it in for something with less substance.
WHOLE LOTTA HAIDL
The following letter was sent in response to R. Scott Moxley's Haidl Gang Rape Archives.
When I worked as a correctional counselor with the California Department of Corrections prior to my retirement, one of my colleagues was chosen to write the court-ordered diagnostic referral on Greg Haidl. He found him to be defiant, not remorseful, and arrogant. As such, he recommended prison, which, thankfully, Haidl received. In fact, that whole circle including the "victim" were lowlifes. As fate would have it, Sheriff Mike Corona and his politically appointed "crew" have been dismantled. OC is far better without any of them.
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