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I'm writing about the article in the recent OC Weekly about South America/Italian bistros [“Tango de la Pizza,” Dec. 10, 2004], particularly about Gustavo Arellano's sentence that the chaj dessert is Uruguay's “only other contribution to world culture besides homosexual puns off its name [Ur-a-gay].” I understand you must have written that as a funny thing to say and because you were sure no Uruguayan would read it anyway. But the above-mentioned sentence shows a little bit of your ignorance of anything Latino outside the U.S. or Mexico.

GEOGRAPHY: We are a small country of 3 million people. Mexico City has double that population living in slums!

CULTURE: The tango was invented in Montevideo as an urban music used by pimps to entertain their whores.

SOCCER: Uruguay has two World Cups. How many does Mexico have?

PEOPLE: Architect Carlos Ott designed the Opera of the Bastille in Paris in 1983 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the French revolution. Jorge Gestoso has been principal anchor for CNN Espao for eight years.

I hope this information was of some use to you. By the way, chaj rocks, doesn't it?

Gustavo Sainz de la Pea
via e-mail

Gustavo Arellano responds: Heh-heh. Uruguay.


Thank you for an extraordinary edition of in-your-face, esteemed culture, especially for Cornel Bonca's tour de force [“Imagining Orange County,” Jan. 7]. I have to run to keep up!

Rex Styzens
Long Beach

I am sending copies of “Imagining Orange County” to several friends of mine. Cornel Bonca does for the novels he comments on what Pauline Kael did for the movies she wrote about in the New Yorker. A major talent!

Harleigh Kyson Jr.
Long Beach


Reading “OC's 97 Best American Restaurants” by Gustavo Arellano [Jan. 14], it looks like the Sidestreet Cafe in Costa Mesa was left out. If you haven't eaten there, try it. The squaw bread they have for their sandwiches is AMAZING!

Kate Noble
via e-mail


While Gustavo Arellano's Ask a Mexican never sat well with me, it's now given me a specific reason not to like it: he speaks with the voice of a stereotypical, macho-Mexican man who holds up “mam dearest” as the highest achievable standard of perfection while degrading his Chicana sisters. With his Jan. 14 Ask, he insinuated that Chicanas are lazy and that's why they get fat, but “women raised in Mexico who migrate here maintain their beauty forever.” He then proceeded to compare the latter group to Dolores del Ro. He said, “Get your facts straight.” Well, Gustavo, here are some facts for you, Flaco: hard-working people come in all shapes and sizes, and while I'm sure a lot of Mexican women would be flattered by the comparison to Dolores del Ro, they know they don't look like her. They look tired from the same 18-hour workday you described. All that cooking they do for their maridos and children is done in lard. And when their daughters shy away from the stuff, they only get encouraged to eat more of it. Check out Real Women Have Curves. You'll see what I mean. And tell me, do you really believe Mark M. from Costa Mesa can really tell the difference between a Mexican and Mexican-American girl? I don't. I understand that the purpose of Ask is to respond to stupid questions with stupid answers, but in my opinion, that only makes you look twice as stupid.

Lauren Korduner
via e-mail

Whoever had the question about why Mexican women get fat, well, maybe it's because they have babies. Go ahead, men: have a baby or two, three, four . . . and see how hot you look. Don't blame Latino women for your lack of sex. Latinas are some of the most beautiful women on Earth; they stay so youthful and beautiful because they encourage their men to work hard for tha Kitty!

Cassandra Garza
via e-mail


Just read your story on Gary Webb [Nick Schou's “Kill the Messenger,” Dec. 17]. Gary was a good guy and a great investigative reporter. Too bad he couldn't carry on. He will be missed.

Eric Longabard
TeleMedia News Productions
Los Angeles


So he just wants some love; would he like that “love” served during his daily shower or in the workout area of jail [R. Scott Moxley's “Haidl Wept,” Jan. 14]? Poor wittle Greggy Haidl. It was guaranteed by the judge he would not be sodomized? What is that? He's a criminal, and in jail, there are different rules and lots of big, mean guys who hate snotty, little rich kids whose daddies were sheriffs, though I'm sure he wasn't thinking about that while he shoved a lit cigarette into his victim. Greg Haidl, you deserve every sleepless night; every creepy, sexually demented pervert giving you googly eyes; every invasion of your privacy; every physical mistreatment—and every second of that suffering should be videotaped for our viewing pleasure.

via e-mail

Nine attorneys! Haidl's got nine attorneys, and they couldn't get him out of jail? Talk about having a newfound respect for the justice system!

Name withheld upon request
via e-mail

Dept. of Corrections

An incorrect photo ran with Nick Schou's “No Justice, No Piece of Mind” [Jan. 21]. Victor Manuel Garcia, the man pictured, is suspected of killing a Costa Mesa girl in 2001 before fleeing to Mexico.

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