The Rogue Voice


May 01, 2007

Editor's rant: Mom's and ho's

Moms and ho’s

By Stacey Warde

I don’t know if I’d ever have the balls to step into a cell with a vato like “Sleepy.”
Not the Sleepy of the Seven Dwarfs, but the one who’s earned his respect surviving behind bars year after year after year with inmates trying to cut in on his action.
But Tito David Valdez Jr., author of our monthly “Life in the Cage,” enters the cell and gets an education he won’t forget for as long as he’s in prison.
No one gets over on Sleepy because he’s strong; he’s alert and ready for the unexpected, as David soon learns. Sleepy commands a lot of respect in prison, even after eight months in the hole, where men act and are treated like dogs.
Sleepy’s got it down, and if you’re right, dog, he might set you straight, the way he schools David, so that you don’t ever get chumped in a house that’s full of chumps.
See David’s final installment of the two-part series, “In the hole,” on page 8.
Special thanks go to artist Gene Ellis, whose illustrations accompany each of David’s columns, for creating this month’s fine cover image of Sleepy. Thanks, Gene. We love your art, and the cover is muy bueno.
This month, we think of our mothers and the mothers of prisoners like David everywhere, who do not have the resources to visit their loved ones behind bars, and of the mothers who teach us how to be civil and how to stand up to our fathers.
This month we bring you the lovely strength and resilience of Rose Franklin, for whom the debut issue of The Rogue Voice was dedicated, and who steered young Dell, our publisher, toward literature, fed him books and tutored his literary interests while his dad fought to keep him from turning into a tissyprissel.
Dell nails it—what men love most about their mothers—in his fine loving recollection, “We’re all momma’s boys,” starting on page 17.
Yes, indeed, we are all momma’s boys, which entitles us to a little nepotism now and then, right?
Well, my mother’s brother, Uncle Steve Santmyer, loaned us a painting called “Clammer,” to illustrate Dennis Cutshaw’s sad but hilarious story, “Looking for a job,” on page 21.
If you’ve ever wondered why the hell you had to get a—quote—“real” job, you’ll appreciate Cutshaw’s biting commentary on the tensions between a free-spirited Aquarian and the stifling demands of 9 to 5 drudgery.
And my Uncle Steve understands as well as anybody that 9 to 5 drudgery kills the spirit, so you have to follow your own lead, run against the grain, and agitate, agitate, agitate through your art, poetry and life until something takes shape…. Thanks, Uncle Steve.
Not every job, though, has to be mindless and demeaning, as you’ll discover in our Rogue of the Month: Ilan Funke-Bilu, a defense attorney who loves making sure his clients get a fair trial.
And that’s getting harder to do when our leaders ignore Constitutional guarantees of fair trial as elaborated in the Bill of Rights and until recently has been one of America’s great legacies.
With lawyers like Ilan on our side, we can be confident that fascist elements in our government will never get the upper hand, that common folk in this country will remain free. For a close-up of one of SLO County’s most eminent defense attorneys, turn to page 19.
Not everyone can be a winner, though. Some people just don’t want to work. They’d rather take advantage of others, steal their money, get a free ride in a cab.
Check out the “real winner” in Dell’s Cabby’s Corner on page 12. Sheesh! The guy’s lucky Dell didn’t kill him. He can probably thank Rose for that.
Speaking of life and death, you have to wonder how anyone stays alive these days, what with all the rudeness and degeneracy you see everywhere. The real degenerates are running the country, or sitting in front of a toy store in Texas.
Ben Leroux shows you in his 20th episode of Window Washing Across America [a real milestone, worthy of notice and congratulations], a story about a town “where they used to kill a man every day,” page 14.
Now, they’re killing men, women and children, sometimes hundreds of them, every day in Iraq. Nathaniel Fick, author of the book One Bullet Away, a Marine infantry platoon leader in Afghanistan and a Recon platoon leader in Iraq, offers some ideas on how to restore order and respect for the U.S. overseas in the commentary, “Salvaging Iraq,” page 5.
Next to that is my own idea of how to stop “this recurring nightmare,” beautifully illustrated by Morro Bay’s Dan Berkeland, page 6.
Who says words don’t hurt? Don Imus recently proved they do. Better watch who you call a ho. Don Imus isn’t the first to say it, but saying it got him into a lot of trouble. But is he a racist? Dell explains in his defense of Imus on page 7.
Words fly freely in our wordy world. Check out the web lately? We bring some of the wordiness from our blog page ( to our print readers, and introduce “BLOG SPOT,” page 4. So far, we like what people are saying. Stay cool, friends. We like discourse. At the very least, keep it civil like the couple shown in Bert Silva’s new strip, “Bottoms Up,” also featured on BLOG SPOT.
Marnie L. Parker’s got a word “for the goddesses in the industry” who keep men’s g-strings and a few extra AA batteries on hand in case of emergency, page 23.
In such an emergency, you’ll want to wear our new Rogue Voice Tees (see above).
Finally, remember what mom used to say: “No one’s happy unless mom’s happy.” So, if you want anything good in your life, be nice to your mother. §

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