Release the Hounds

Illustration by Bob AulIrvine Barclay Theatre's fall preview guide (we're clueless as to how it landed on our uncultured desk, too) touts a production of MacHomer hitting the stage on April 1, 2001. MacHomer apparently combines The Simpsons with Shakespeare's bloody tragedy Macbeth. Noting the date, we figgered it must be an April Fool's hoax. Just in case it's legit, we're taking a pinch or two of that wild oregano right before curtain.

LOOK! UP IN THE SKY! Back in high school, we wouldn't really call it a party until a police helicopter showed up blasting orders to disperse. Ferociously pumping the backyard keg to extract the last drops of Michelob with one hand, we'd raise the other to give the whirlybird an internationally recognized signal while shouting something that rhymes with "Fuck you!" Now that we're older and wiser and drinking imports, we implore all Orange Countians to resurrect this act of uncivil disobedience for the county's flying privacy pirates—coming soon to a back yard very near you. The Board of Supervisors on Sept. 19 hired a private firm to shoot aerial three-dimensional photographs of every square inch of the county. The prospect of having a 3-D database of every warehouse, farmhouse, hen house, outhouse and doghouse gets OC cops harder than their billy clubs. And the county expects to recoup its $180,000 cost by selling copies of the photos to prying code enforcers, other government agencies or anyone else who can pony up the cash. Guess we'd better get to chopping down those wild "oregano" plants growing near the tool shed.

FRANKENFOOD Kraft Foods on Sept. 22 voluntarily recalled all Taco Bell Home Originals taco shells sold in U.S. grocery stores because some contained genetically engineered corn that has not been approved for human consumption. The Taco Bell fast-food chain was not involved in making the shells; Kraft only licenses the Taco Bell name. Still, Irvine-based Taco Bell got to share the bad press, which proves corporate synergy does work. Gene-spliced corn can only be used in animal feed because health officials fear it may trigger allergies in humans. That reasoning tickled one Orange County animal-rights activist, who told us she can't understand why it's bad to eat the corn but okay to eat the cows and pigs that eat the corn. Don't look at us; we ordered the fondue! In a seemingly unrelated story, an Anaheim family is suing KFC because they claim to have found maggots in their 14-piece bucket of chicken. It's unclear whether those were genetically engineered maggots.

BOMBS AWAY With a relatively peaceful world and the United States' now-chummy relationships with our trade bud China and that Superpower Formerly Known As the Evil Empire, you'd suspect that Orange County's peace movement is deader than Jackson Browne's career. Think again. The government's push for National Missile Defense (NMD)—think Star Wars, only on the ground—have OC peaceniks going on the offensive. A new coalition of peace, political and religious groups hosts a discussion of NMD on Sept. 29 at St. Joseph Center in Orange. Bruce G. Blair, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Defense Information, is the speaker. Before you brand him a moccasin-wearing pacifist, know that Blair is a former Air Force launch control officer who opposes NMD for one reason: it won't work. That's been borne out by the first three of 19 scheduled tests, which cost $100 million each. "It surprises people that there are still plans to move forward with this," said longtime activist Tim Carpenter, who was instrumental in bringing Blair to OC. President Bill Clinton recently decided not to decide on NMD's future, leaving the mess for his successor. Al Gore and George W. Bush say they support NMD—although Dubya's more gung-ho. For more information on Blair's appearance, call (714) 633-8121.

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