Oh, Wilbur: MCOKER@OCWEEKLY.COM
Posted Oct. 25, 7:30 p.m.
Back in the saddle again
SHOW OF HORSE
Progressive agitator Duane Roberts of Garden Grove is making hay out of the horses who showed up at an Oct. 22 protest against Santa Ana Police brutality. Actually, what chafes Roberts' chaps is the number of horses — a dozen — and what was on the backs of them — 12 riot-geared Santa Ana cops.
He recounts the whole episode here, but he basically contends that 12 mounted units is an excessive show of force for 22 marchers engaging in their constitutionally guaranteed right to protest. At least, we believe public protesting is still protected; as members of the U.S. media, we haven't been paying much attention to which constitutional rights are in and which are out in these Patriot Act times — so we just ignore all of 'em. Say, maybe our pals at Fox News can clue us in; they seem to have all the answers.
Meanwhile, according to Far-Far-Far-From Fox News' Roberts:
“When one demonstrator asked a Santa Ana Police sergeant why the equestrian unit had been positioned on a public sidewalk, he responded by saying 'they' didn't want anybody walking up the stairs. He did say, however, that people could use what space was available on the sidewalk in front of the horses.”
So, see, that's reasonable. Just walk right between — WHOA, BOY! — that phalanx of equines — EASY THERE, FELLA — adorned with shield-and-helmeted, baton-twirling coppers.
Before you brand Roberts a malcontent, he did sign off with some positive press for Santa Ana's finest:
“Despite the bizarre deployment of a hoof detail, Santa Ana Police appeared to have behaved more professionally and with much greater restraint at this anti-police brutality protest than they did last year.”
Four got popped at that demo. No one wound up in the poky after this latest march.
MEDIA ELITISM? YOU'RE SOAKING IN IT
Our It's News to Us box has pointed you to some recent examples of White House neocons eating their own as Rove blames Libby, Libby blames Rove and everybody blames Cheney for Plamegate. There's also all the Right vs. Right fuss over Harriet Miers and Tom DeLay and even, ever so gently, that little dustup in Iraq. There was even a strange report about Dubnuts being all depressed by the Second Term Blues and blaming everyone around him without think that perhaps someone else might be worthy of scorn.
But it turns out conservative pundits, bloggers and blowhards — that about covers it, no? — have been going at one another lately as well. Eric Alterman has a great piece on the Center for American Progress site about all these voices from the Right, who've harped on and on for years about “media elites,” not batting an eyelash at their own elitism. Within that piece is a passage on a couple commentators going right toe to right toe — and one pugilist just so happens to be Irvine's favorite conservative lawyer/law professor/columnist/right-wing radio henchman:
One of the more entertaining battles has been waged between bloggerHugh Hewitt (pro-Miers) and theNational Review'sJonah Goldberg (anti-Miers), who have taken to comparing resumes to prove that they would recognize a member of the hated “elite” if it snuck up and bit one of them on the behind. As Goldberg wrote of Hewitt onNRO's The Corner, “Ah yes, those Harvard alum, Coif-ordered, presidential library-building, appeals court clerking, Justice Department working, three-time-Emmy-award-winning, NEH-counseling, PBS-hosting men of the people really have us National Review aristocrats dead to rights.” Hewitt's bizarre rejoinder: Goldberg “suggests that I too am an elitist, never realizing that an Ohio-born and raised Cleveland Indians and Browns fan cannot be an elitist. Further, my argument has been with the Bos-Wash Axis of Elitism, and not an argument about snobbery.”
Fellas, fellas, where is the love?
As always, Clockwork's gotta solution: you're both douche bags. How's that? Feel better?
Our current Best of OC issue, on stands now, includes an item under the Best of Lake Forest on the ripping Etnies Skate Park, but that notice was originally followed by another previewing the since-concluded second annual GvR of Skateboarding, which pitted pro skaters with regular stances against those who skate “goofy foot.” Alas, that chuck of text wound up on the virtual cutting-room floor. So we feel ashamed and duty-bound to at least let you know who won, The Skateboard Magazine's Goofy Team or Thrasher Mag's Regular Team . . .
If you missed all the action or caught it and want to see it again, the GvR of Skateboarding will be shown on Fuel TV. Check etnies.com for show times.
ROGER (EBERT) N ME
If you've always wanted to see the latest Hollywood has to offer before the masses — with the added bonus of getting to let the directors, producers and screenwriters know what you thought of their, ahem, art — UC Irvine Extension's popular six-week Sneak Previews with Michael Berlin film series is now taking registrants.
Fall 2004's sneaks included Hotel Rwanda, Kinsey and Les Choristes, while the year before's had The Cooler, In America and Girl with a Pearl Earring. And these were the theatrical-length screenings, no extended trailers or making-of B.S.
But film titles and guest speakers are not revealed until the night of the screenings. The first class will be 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7, and continue every Monday at that time through Dec. 12 at Edwards University, 4245 Campus Dr., Irvine. General admission is $130 for the series, $30 per film. For UCI students, it's $48 for the series or $8 per film.
And, just like the fancy-schmancy film critics, you get a goodie bag!
Register here or call (949) 824-5414.
Posted Oct. 24, 5:45 p.m.
THE BEST ALT. JOURNALISM MONEY CAN BUY
Don't know if you read the news today, oh boy — the New York Times, Associated Press, Reuters, Washington Post's Howard Kurtz and even NewKerala of India got it — but New Yawk City-based Village Voice Media, which owns this here taco stand, has merged with Phoenix-based New Times to create an all-new alt. media juggernaut to be called . . .
Drum roll, please . . .
Village Voice Media!!!
Clockwork's guessing not changing the corp. name was a cost-cutting move as we won't have to redesign our business cards.
Oh, and our pals at the Orange County Business Journal also referenced the sale on their website.
And that's ALL we know. In a stunning affirmation that Clockwork cannot find news that's even right under its own nose rings, we don't know shit about the merger beyond what we just read. In fact, it was a bit embarrassing having to read about the impending merger weeks ago (scroll down to “Are We the New Kids on the Block?”), in a Bay Area paper that competes against a New Times pub up there, that forecast the death of alt.-journalism as a result of this merger and many, many, many more words that are even more who-gives-a-shittish than that.
Funny story: our higher ups, um, shatted all over that San Francisco Bay Guardian coverage, but when you peel away the bullshit (the forecast the death of alt. journalism as a result of this merger and many, many, many more words that are even more who-gives-a-shittish than that), the Guardian actually nailed the story. Unfortunately, the facts they exposed got lost in the box of bombast those stories were delivered in.
Of course, without the bombast, you all never would have known that it was the Village Voice-New Times brass who killed Cal Coolidge.
But who cares about that now? It's over baby. Our greatest fears when we previously drooled onto our keyboard about the possible merger were whether the New Times folks, who have a reputation for neoconnism, will be able to live in peace with the Voice folks, who have a reputation for commie pinko faggism. And, seeing as how the New Times folks will control the majority of the corp.'s new board, and seeing has how OC Weekly staffers are card-carrying commie pinko fags, was does this portend for — gulp — lil ol' us?
No worries, say the Cal Coolidge killers in everything that's trickled down on us like so much piss and Reaganomics. As long as we keep making money, they'll leave us alone.
'Cause fuckin' capitalist pigs rock, that's why!
So, please, if you want to see the Weekly continue in its current demented form, support our advertisers, hire an escort in the back of the book and go to the plastic surgeon's office on page 3 and get that shot of Botox on your ass. Vote soon and vote often — with your pocketbooks — or, uh, the terrorists will win?
And remember: the job you save may be our own.
MR. ROONEY GOES TO UCI
Andy Rooney said something really funny on 60 Minutes last night. Since Clockwork never in a trillion years figured we'd bang those words out in that particular order, let us do that again €” this time with emphasis:
ANDY ROONEY SAID SOMETHING REALLY FUNNY ON60 MINUTES LAST NIGHT!!!
Having obviously not come up with anything better to get all cranky about, Rooney began harping on websites that apparently misquote him, then he responded to viewer mail. He must've figured his buddy Letterman kills 10 minutes a week doing the same thing, so why not? After mentioning and showing a letter from a couple somewhere in Viewerland praising him for a recent segment on wasteful military spending, Rooney said his producers had also received a letter criticizing that report from Roger Crumley, “a professor of head surgery at UC Irvine.” Rooney read this portion of Crumley's letter as it flashed on the screen:
“OK, Morley has not only passed his prime, he's left the mainstream of life. Tonight Morley characterized himself as a typical leftwing newsmonger. Please save and preclude us Morley any more of your presence on the air.”
“I don't mind being confused with Morley Safer,” Rooney deadpanned into the camera, his outta control eyebrows somehow frozen in time, “but if he's an expert on heads, it should be easy for him to get his own examined.”
Okay, so maybe . . .
ANDY ROONEY SAID SOMETHING REALLY FUNNY ON60 MINUTES LAST NIGHT!!!
. . . was stretching it a bit. Maybe we shoulda said “really ironic” or “really bizarre” or “really worth another 400 words of this column so I can file something before I go home, as required under the new Maoist New Times regime.”
How could Crumley fire off a letter about Rooney, who we believe has not moved from that 60 Minutes desk since the very first flicker of TV light came on, but call him “Morley,” who, by the way, is a BIG-TIME commie pinko fag (See VIETNAM WAR, Public-Opinion Changing Television Reporting)? Shouldn't a head doctor have his, um, head screwed on tighter than that?.
That's Crumley in white, in the middle
So we went to UC Irvine's Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery website and, sure enough, there is a Roger L. Crumley who is not just a member of the faculty but the friggin' CHAIRMAN of the whole department. (Hear his welcome here.) Crumley went to medical school at the University of Iowa and his specialties include facial plastic surgery, sleep apnea and laryngology (vocal problems). A Scorpio, he likes long walks on the beach, hot cocoa on his boat, the S.S. Earwig, and firing off dipshit letters to national television news programs.
Remind us to cancel our willed head to the UCI Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Heck, when he comes to remove it, he'll probably get the names all screwed up like he did with “Morley” and take Gordon Dillow's by mistake.
Okay, DON'T cancel our willed head to the UCI Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
That's not the only thing screwy about Dr. Douche. The Rooney segment Crumley referred to, which aired Oct. 2, raised questions about whether the U.S. is getting its bang for the $5.6 billion a month we're spending to fight the war in Iraq. He mentioned that nearly 2,000 Americans have died there even though it's unclear why we went to war in the first place, and “now we have the hurricanes to pay for. One way our government pays for a lot of things is by borrowing from countries like China.”
He continued: “Another way the government is planning to pay for the war and the hurricane damage is by cutting spending for things like Medicare prescriptions, highway construction, farm payments, AMTRAK, National Public Radio and loans to graduate students. Do these sound like the things you'd like to cut back on to pay for Iraq?”
Rooney blamed all this “on our bloated military establishment,” he went on to outline some of that bloatiness, and then he concluded with some words from that great typical leftwing warmonger, Dwight Eisenhower, who upon leaving the White House as president in 1961 said this:
“We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. . . .”
“Well, Ike was right,” Rooney says before the TV electric tech unplugs him for another week. “That's just what's happened.”
Rooney's rant was a something of a follow-up to a segment that was shown this past Aug. 7 but was originally broadcast in October 2004. That one began with him saying, “Our military budget now is $447 billion. A billion is 1,000 million. Sometimes it seems to this old $250-a-month sergeant as if we're buying too many weapons for wars we no longer fight. Maybe our purchasing agent in the Pentagon ought to be replaced.”
The veteran newsman then went on to describe something that even the Pentagon would admit: our current armed forces were designed to fight the Cold War, the real threat now is international terrorism, but we have and are continuing to spend billions on the purchasing and upkeep of ships, planes and weapons system designed to fight the dustbinned Soviet Union.
Rooney also wondered why the Air Force needs 30 different kinds of airplanes, and why the Pentagon ordered 21 Stealth bombers at $1 billion, $1 million apiece. Or why we need 50 nuclear submarines at $1.6 billion each or 8,000 Abrams tanks, which cost $3 million per vehicle but could not be used in sandy Baghdad.
Forget about redirecting these funds to social programs like education — which, in all honesty, is something that radical Rooney threw out there — but he also said the military could use that money for other things, like training desperately needed Arabic translators.
“The most effective weapon we have in war is still that poor dogface crawling forward on his stomach with a rifle in his hand,” Rooney concludes. “The Pentagon might consider spending more money on our soldiers and on better intelligence, and less on billion-dollar weapons that are as out-of-date as the bow and arrow.”
You go, girl!
As for you, Dr. Strangehead, this is what we here at “A Minute with A Clockwork Orange” don't get: How does criticizing excessive military spending make one a “typical leftwing newsmonger.” Perhaps if we were a fancy pantsy UCI medical department chairman, sucking BIG TIME off the teat of state taxpayers, incidentally, we could afford not to care about the government blowing billions every time that 60 Minutes second-hand ticks.
But that's not really it, is it, Crummy? Sure, because if Rooney or whoever else took a hardline stance against wasteful spending for Medi-Care, food stamps and other aid for families — you know: blatant socialism — that would be considered “fair and balanced” reporting. Surely you wouldn't call such a reporter “a typical rightwing newsmonger,” eh Dr. Noggin'?
Oh, and before you contact our producers and complain about what Chris Wallace just wrote: Clockwork gets just as pissed off about excessive military spending as we do for wasteful spending for Medi-Care, food stamps, other aid for families or any other government program.
You know, we hear all this shit from politicians and empty headed know-nothings like Dr. Chubby who want to run government like a business and they do — just like Enron! (See LARGEST MUNICIPAL BANKRUPTCY IN THE PLANET'S HISTORY, Orange County, Calif., USA.)
Anti-war? Guilty as charged, Dr. Killdare! And in all fairness, our opposition stems from more than the amount of money and living, breathing Americans this war is costing us — although those are HUGE to us. Last time we checked, there were all sorts of people protesting this war, from dirty hippies who've never met a war they liked to previously gung-ho's who lost a limb or child in the conflict to hardliners who are against ALL foreign involvement to parochial school students with anti-abortion stickers on their red Nissans.
So, if you want to get us for being a typical leftwing newsmonger, we're sure there's plenty of evidence to support that, but being against excessive military spending and this war ain't it.
Semper fi, mutherfucka!
Posted Oct. 21, 5:05 p.m.
Okay, so that wasn't the REAL Tom DeLay booking photo we pointed you to the other day, something that became obvious when the real one started popping up all over the Internet and was much funnier than the Hannibalized version because of the smarmy used-car salesman smirk on DeLay face in the genuine booking photo, as so astutely pointed out by Jon Stewart the other night.
When it comes to REAL photos, you can't beat this one from Sky News, especially given the spot-on assessment in the on-screen caption.
But, come on, Sky News: Is that really BREAKING news? Should be OLD news by now.
BURYING THE LEDES
Clockwork breezed through the next couple stories we'll mention when they originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times and its localer Tribune mate the Daily Pilot on Oct. 20, but on closer inspection there were some telling comments buried in the bowels of each — that is, if newspaper stories have bowels. (And if they do, they'd be located around the Dear Abby column.)
In the Times story on the Governator vetoing several bills that would make it easier to catch corporations that steal the sales tax they collect, there was this quote from Assemblywoman Mimi Walters (R-Laguna Niguel):
“We need to encourage businesses to come to California. If we start to penalize them for every little thing, we will push them out of the state.”
Every. Little Thing. We knew cheating on your taxes was “every little thing.” Yep, that's the kind of wisdom you want to have coming out of the pouty lips of the vice chairwoman of Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee.
Mimi, doll face, that was stupid, even if you do look like a hotter version of Ashton Kutcher's new, high-mileage wife (or at least Meems did when we lovingly watched the then-mayor helm a Laguna Niguel City Council meeting years ago. Mimi? More like Milfy. Grrrrr).
By the way, do you suppose the vice chairwoman of the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee cares whether native Californians fudge on their state tax returns? Clockwork made a $364 error — swear to Howard Jarvis, it was an innocent mistake — and the state was on our ass like Greg Haidl's new state prison cell mate. Does the vice chairwoman of the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee not care if we up and move to, oh, we dunno, South Dakota, because the mean ol' Franchise Tax Board was picking on us?
Good thing we got a California public education and thereby can't find South Dakota on a map!
So lesseee if we've got this Mimi-Schwarzenegger logic correct: Making businesses pay their fair share in taxes is as unfair as making public employee union members pay their fair share in union dues?
Well, guess they're consistent!
The Daily Plot story that piqued Clockwork's interest on second read — after someone in Readerland informed us we were interested — was S.J. Cahn's column, which made the bold prediction that American Independent Party candidate Jim Gilchrist WILL NOT win former Rep. Chris Cox's House seat.
Whoa, no wonder the Pilot's paying C.J. in Taco Mesa coupons! Bet he's predicting the Angels won't win the Series this year, too.
But that's not what made us go, “Hmmmmm” like Greg Haidl soon will be on his new state prison inmate. It was this, in parens, no less:
(And just so no one misses it, there's a new front on the El Toro fight — using the closed Marine Corps air station as a holding area for illegal immigrants. Is it possible, though, that this idea won't prove popular even among those who are against the Great Park?)
Hadn't heard about that new front, but we can't see how that would NOT be popular. Hell, make it an Illegal Immigrant Zoo or, better yet, Illegal Immigrant Country Safari, like the old Lion Country Safari that used to operate where nearby Irvine Meadows Can You Hear Me Now? Wireless Amphitheatre is now. Put up Great Wall-size walls — you know, like the ones they have in China but not along our southern border. Throw all the illegals/undocumented in there — letting them take some of the spare drywall from their day jobs in there with them; must be humane, after all — and after they have a whole life-sustaining metropolis constructed in, oh, 42 minutes, we can start letting the families stuffed into minivans drive through to see them in their natural man made habitat.
“Keep those windows rolled up, kids. Just like Mommy has you do when I pull into Home Depot!”
Speaking of Home Depot, some folks who know that place, the Pottery Barn and Crate N Barrel like the back of Clockwork's sweeping second hand, our pals over at the plush interiored metroG gay news and events online resource are reporting that Frank Morales, the former Orange County N Long Beach Blade editor, will become publisher of his own newsmagazine, dotnewsmagazine.com. He plans for his first issue to hit the stands in January 2006.
He tells metroG, “dot will not just be able to give the GLBT community the proper representation it needs but it will also bring issues to the forefront that other newsmagazines shy away from in order to avoid controversy.”
(That was me again, not Greg Haidl on his new state prison cell mate.)
Morales gave no public reason for submitting his resignation to the Blade's spineless publisher Bill LaPointe after almost three years at the helm. Morales had replaced Joseph S. Amster, who left to become regional editor of IN Magazine L.A., like Blade a publication that caters to the GLBT crowd.
Clockwork believes LaPointe is now editing the Blade, but dont quote us on that.
You CAN quote IN's article “Reporting The Underbelly Of Our Community,” which shamed the Blade for not informing its readers about advertiser Dr. George Kooshian, who has been indicted for injecting his HIV/AIDS patients with saltwater instead of the expensive medications they thought he was giving them. IN's piece came on the stiletto heels of the Weekly's Dull Blade, which reported that the Blade waited 214 weeks after the Weekly's R. Scott Moxley broke the Kooshian story to publish its first news item on the subject, “Local Doctor Indicted for 'Subdosing' AIDS Patients.” Among those who responded to “Dull Blade” was San Clemente's Robert D. Brown, the Blade's founding editor, who was rightfully disgusted with LaPointe and the rag's silence on Kooshian.
SOMEONE NEEDS A TUTOR
How's your road? According to the UC Irvine Civil and Environmental Engineering Affiliates, whose cocktail parties are the shit, not great. According to its 2005 Orange County Infrastructure Report Card, the county's infrastructure gets a cumulative grade of C+.
School Facilities C+
Solid Waste B+
Urban Runoff/Flood Control C-
If you don't get that urban runoff grade up, mister, you're grounded for a month!
And NO MTV CRIBS!
Actually, what OC needs is an annual investment of $4.8 billion over the next 10 years.
Say, maybe if all the businesses around here paid what they owed in back taxes we could … oh yeah: that might drive them away. Scratch that.
WHEN THE BUBBLE BURSTS, MOMMA YOU GOTTA MOVE
We were just yammering on and on in our lefty slanted way this Clockwork past about rising apartment rents and home prices in Orange County. But according to a Wall Street Journal item we can't navigate you to because you gotta register (fuckin' fascists!), that may all end very soon. At least the high home prices part.
Janet Morrissey writes that the PMI U.S. Market Risk Index report names the Santa Ana market among five in the country (and three in California) facing the biggest risk of a price correction, with a more than 50 percent chance of declining prices in the next two years.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.