The Rogue Voice


November 01, 2007

Letters and Comic

‘Backwards tripe’
Dear Editor:
Allow me to give all the reasons your paper falls miserably short of representing the common man, all those ignored by this predominantly white, conservative, hetero-normative community. Why, when I pick up your paper, my stomach coils in disappointment and anger.

You write to and about sexist, homophobic men. Your writers themselves are sexist, homophobic men, so how could the content of your paper be anything else?
Where are the female voices? You can’t argue they don’t exist, given that the other county papers have any number of female writers and the majority of this county’s activism seems to stem from women and women’s groups. Is it, then, that women don’t write with a roguish voice? That any woman probably wouldn’t scream about “faggots cooking for bitches” in a gym? And is this truly the perspective the Rogue Voice endorses?
Are men who cook “faggots” and do you really want to be the narrow-minded, backward, homophobic paper that uses a term like that, and—worse still—in a derogatory manner? Congratulations on upholding homophobia. This is truly a visionary attitude for a visionary paper.
Now let’s talk about your September issue where women who spend their time maintaining their physical well-being are referred to as “goodies,” being taken away from an aging pervert. Don’t get me wrong, a healthy respect for sexuality might make for a great article. But your writer—indeed all of your writers—seem to believe that discourse on sexuality means objectifying women and bashing homosexuals.
Believe it or not, women don’t go to the gym for men to objectify them. They don’t become guards at a prison for men to objectify them (as your delightfully sexist Tito [David] Valdez Jr. seems to believe). They don’t walk down the street for men to objectify them. Yet your supposedly liberal rag (I wish it were!) would have your readers glorify this oppressive attitude and behavior. You would define men as predators, not in the legal sense, but certainly to any woman who wishes to function in public as a normal human being without being on the receiving end of uncomfortable attention and advances. And, though your paper would exclude female voices, you make it painfully clear that women have their place in your world, albeit a limited and passive one as the object of male sexual interest.
Given the scope of your content pertaining to gender, I have taken the liberty of recommending a few headlines for future articles: “Women: People or Chattel?” and “Blondes, Brunettes, and Redheads: Pairing Your Beer with Your Women.”
I would rather read Playboy than the Rogue Voice; at least Playboy doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. It doesn’t lure readers looking for progressive voices and ideas, or disappoint them again and again with the limited perspective that it affords. I realize that a simple letter will not make your sexist rag any less sexist, any less hostile to women and homosexuals. But I also realize that you and your writers enjoy glorying in your role as the supposed voices of the masses, almost as much as they glory in the sight of some luscious young piece of ass to drool over. Stop glorying. And have the decency to acknowledge your paper for the backwards tripe that it is.

Ashley Schwellenbach
San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Editor’s note: Allow me to say thank you and how delighted we are to have received this congratulatory missive from the arts editor of New Times, which Ashley Schwellenbach neglects to mention, a critic who sees straight through our “literary” pretensions and smokescreens, someone who “gets” it and—cutting right to the point—marks us for what we are: a bunch of sexist homophobes publishing “backwards tripe.”
What a treasure the New Times has in its arts editor, who can separate truly visionary from merely imitative, coarse art. SLO County ought to be proud of, and grateful for, its most widely ignored and circulated publication, which has turned from its watchdog tradition of investigative reporting to publishing its own form of narrow, never-offending tripe, and steering its readers clear of landmines in the local arts scene. Bravo! Steve Moss would be proud.
Ashley, you’ve nailed it. Best wishes to you on a successful career as an arts critic.

Talmadge Jarrattee responds:
Ashley Dearest:
Allow me. “Tripe” is a delicacy used in menudo, the most flavorful and effective hangover dish in captivity, and one which we keep, along with barbecue, at our tri-annual Rogue Voice bacchanalian parties, to which you and your fellow hot babes at New Times are invited. I drive all the way from Santa Cruz to attend these melees and commingle with rogue street derelicts, homeless philosophers, Code Pink maniacs and militant lesbians (mostly friends of Duane Hagabee), various rough-hewn characters recruited from the local tavern, past Rogues of the Month, and Harold, a notorious homosexual who twitters, minces and lisps in a fantastic impersonation of Truman Capote. He is a former inmate at Soledad and a friend of (as you say, “delightfully sexist”) Tito David Valdez Jr., and brings an excellent menudo recipe handed down by his mother. Now Ashley, be sure to bring a fifth of George Dickel or Wild Turkey for the cast and crew of our Rogue’s gallery: barfly Forrest, cattle rustlers Charlie and Norman, poets Todd and Harry, and window washer Ben Leroux, plus Rogue starlet and sexpert Allyson Hardman, poet Diane Sousa, illustrator Doris Loiseau and author Sandy Cheek, to name a few, and I promise to share some Belvedere vodka with you and your lady friends.

Yours truly,
Talmadge Jarrattee (pronounced TAM-adge JETTY)

P.S. Publisher Dell Franklin and Editor Stacey Warde reminded me to ask you to bring Glen Starkey along with you. Hi Glen!

Controlling women
Dear Mr. Jarrattee:
While we found some of the language in your story [“Tiger wins again!” October 2007] offensive, we understand that it came from a character, and not you yourself. As a gay couple we could tell through your narrative that you were simply telling a story. And it was such a funny one! Unfortunately, at our gym in San Luis Obispo, we are sometimes confronted with the same overweening, controlling type of women that your character on the bike was. They are always going around and trying to bully people off of their favorite machines or changing the TV or the air conditioning, and they always seem to have husbands of some prominence. We loved your story.

Gary and Bruce
SLO, Calif

Hop on your polo pony
The Rogue has improved dramatically in the last months, culminating with the Henry Miller issue [July 2007], and then the Hagabee cover issue [September 2007].
I laughed long and loud.
As a Santa Barbara resident who picks up your rag in Big Sur, I have noted not only an anti-SLO slant, but also some casual jibes at Santa Barbara. This hurts me deeply since Santa Barbara is the Paramus, New Jersey, of the West Coast, just with more Botox & blondes. Here we are all white and rich, or richer, but we love the little brown men we hire to wipe our asses, then pay in cash so as not to affect our tax brackets. We have all the Spanish tile a person could ever want, and scenic missions abound to remind us of that self-flagellating freak: Father Junipero Serra.
I am like so way into the literary community here and whenever I’m drunk at the James Joyce pub, I’m amazed that JJ was not only a bartender but a writer too! After 9/11, our beloved leader told us to go out shopping, and every day on State Street, residents & tourists walk around like zombies attached to their cell phones, making random credit card purchases to fill up their SUVs, and doing all this hard work in order to support the troops.
Our community is very liberal, as long as we don’t have to actually do anything. And we are very generous with charity causes as long as it’s attached to a big party at a resort hotel where we can show off our latest plastic surgery. We love the sunny beach community and have more dermatologists removing our skin cancers per capita than anywhere else besides Australia. The next time you want to take a swipe at our glorious town, sir, please get on your polo pony, then canter down here and jump one of our gated communities to tell us right to our tight, shiny faces!

Max Talley
Santa Barbara, Calif.

Reform dysfunctional health care
Dr. Steve Sainsbury’s ode to the status quo [“That’s sick,” Commentary, October 2007], didn’t tell the entire story of healthcare in California or America.
It’s true that an emergency room will take anyone who shows up but access isn’t the issue; it’s the cost. Every ER patient is billed, often at exorbitant rates. Here’s a personal story. My wife went to a local emergency room with severe pain. She was admitted, seen by a doctor, given painkillers, had some lab work and stayed overnight. The bill: More than $12,000! We were lucky and had insurance. Imagine a middle-income family having to pay one-third of their annual income for a night in a hospital?
The rich, the old and the poor get health care but everyone else needs to have a job with really good health benefits. Individuals who work for companies who don’t offer comprehensive insurance or are self-employed may be uninsurable, and even with insurance face denial of claims. Insurance premiums are sky-high unless one buys “Junk” policies with huge deductibles and co-pays, few benefits and low caps.
No surprise that unpaid medical bills account for more than half of all bankruptcies in the U.S.
Americans spend twice as much for health care as Canada and Europe, yet are listed as the world’s 37th-healthiest nation; the lowest of any developed country.
Poles consistently show a majority of Canadians (and Europeans) are satisfied with their healthcare and would not switch to a privatized, American-style program. If Canada’s healthcare system is so bad, why don’t Canadians just pass a law and go back (way back) to a for-profit insurance based system? After all, they are a democracy.
It’s not surprising that Dr. Sainsbury demonizes single-payer healthcare and shills for our present dysfunctional system. He’s just carrying on the shameful tradition of the American Medical Association (AMA) who, for the last one-hundred-plus years, has effectively blocked universal, single-payer health care.
Isn’t it time we demand an end to a system that’s run for the financial benefit of insurance and pharmaceutical companies?

Bill Lakin
Cambria, Calif.

peoples from the valley…
i came to the avocado and tequila festivals last week and I brought my familly. we seen the rogues voice and we liked it but it didnt have no movie times or nothing about food. peoples from the valley like movies and food. and how come you dont never have no pictures of the car show or the harbors festival? i am in a cultural studies program at city college. good luck.

Oscar Barajas
Delano, Calif.

Editor’s note:
glad you liked the rogues voice, Oscar. we avoid covering local events because Ashley Schwellenbach and New Times does such a good job of it. peoples from the central coast likes movies and food, too, but they wonts never see them in the rogues voice because we runs nothing but backwards tripe. good luck at city college.

Your numbers don’t crunch
I am a contractor out of Atascadero and I employ six good men. I read Dell Franklin’s article [“Carpenter on the roof,” Personal Worsts, October 2007] and somehow the numbers didn’t crunch. He said they fired him because he cost them more than he was worth. Well, hello? What happened to the money that the contractor was out of? Dell Franklin forgot to tell whether he paid that man back or not and I would like to know if he did. Showing up to a worksite without a tool belt is about as inconsiderate as you can get. I’m glad I run a reference check on my workers now.

Kevin Pitts
Atascadero, Calif.

Dell responds:
I cashed my check at the local tavern and wore my tool belt to fit in with the local construction boys. It took a month to return the belt via Ethan.

Baseball yarns
Hi Dell:
I enjoy your baseball yarns. I wonder if your dad told you any stories of the Mexican League where he played two years, with a really good .300 year in 1946. The league had Americans who declined to play for the pittance the big leagues were paying and ex-Negro Leaguers who were first-rate too. What did dad say?

John McReynolds

Dell responds:
My dad talked of playing in Cuba for two years. He coached Fidel Castro when he was 19. Fidel had a pretty good glove but couldn't hit. He groomed Bobby Avila at second base, a teammate of Minnie Minoso, and he loved Cuba and Mexico.
I have future stories on Cuba and Mexico for The Rogue Voice beginning with the next baseball season. I have pictures but no records of his stint down there but if you’ve got any stats, send them to me.
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    At 2:09 PM, Anonymous Ned von Bundle said...

    No thank you, Max. Those SLO-pokes can direct those ponies past our community gates and straight to the Earl Warren Show Grounds next July/August for Fiesta to help us celebrate "our" rich Spanish/Mexican heritage we are so not un-proud of for a week out of the year. Maybe we'll even let some of those brown-faced folks that keep showing up on our lawns clean up after them -- or even ride them, if their costumes are up to snuff! Well, back to my Independent. I hope Starshine's in this week. She's so edgy!


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