More than a homophobe...
By Stacey Warde
I don’t care what Ashley Schwellenbach says, we’re more than just a bunch of sexist homophobes touting “backwards tripe.”
We’re—what’s the expression?—fun. Unpredictable. Pig-headed. Maladroit. Culturally and politically incorrect. We’re Rogues.
In a nutshell, Ashley doesn’t hold us in very high regard. And, being the arts editor of New Times, she should know what she’s talking about. See Letters, for Ashley’s nuanced and enlightened review of The Rogue Voice.
You might agree with her.
I’m sure Duane Hagabee will. He and Bethany ought to invite her to dinner. Speaking of Duane, he’s back. How could he not respond to all those letters? Yep, Duane’s got a spot in the Rogue Voice now. Turn to page 15 for his “Response” to all the good readers who wrote in with their many opinions of him last month.
The things people say. Jeez, I thought Ashley was hard on us, but Duane really took it in the backside for his “In defense of the SLO life” [September 2007]. And he gives a good answer for himself.
We think you’ll come to like Duane, even though publisher Dell Franklin and I think he can be a real a*#@ole sometimes. But I can say this: He’s a lot more interesting than the Shredder (who died when originator Steve Moss passed on to a higher New Times).
Thankfully, for those of you who are leery of our rougher, sexist, homophobic sides, Duane’s got a lighter—kind of compassionate conservative—touch that Dell and I seem to lack.
For the culturally sensitive (and don’t forget the former Cayucos Breeze) readers who might take offense at some of our content, he’s “Your port of sunlight” in a wilderness of backwards tripe. Come to the Rogue Voice. With Duane on board, it’s safe now.
There’s hope for us all.
And just so you know, Duane’s not as tough as you might think.
Meanwhile, Dell and I are soldiering on.
We believe in this project, enough to put ourselves on the line, with no promise of reward, to risk the ire of the county’s watchdog arts editor, and to press forward with stories that, if she got a few drinks in her, even Ashley might sink her teeth into.
We’d like to enlist your support. Subscribe. Send money. Advertise with us. You do that, and we’ll keep putting it out there, all the stuff Ashley doesn’t like—and more.
We’re warriors, and not ashamed of it. And we respect men and women who believe in what they’re doing, people like the young Noah Charles Pierce, who took his own life after his second tour in Iraq, and like the elder statesman Jack Joyce, founder of a Rogue Nation.
As Noah soldiered in Iraq, he wrote poetry, jotting down images of a war full of unspeakable horrors. He pressed on—and wrote. His poems tell the story. Turn to page 12 for my story on Noah and his “Poems of war.”
Against the wishes of many who loved him, Noah chose his own path, joined the Army to become a soldier and came home with a burden too heavy to bear.
It’s no light task, as Jack Joyce, the top man at Rogue Ales will tell you, to blaze your own trail. But there’s really no other way for those wish to live with integrity. You go where your heart and ethics lead you.
Find out more about how Jack built one of the finest microbreweries in the world in this edition’s Rogue of the Month, beginning on page 10. (You might even learn something about editorial associate Amber Hudson, who in my sexist opinion, is a real “goody.”)
Soldiering, as you may know, has been in the news a lot lately. Including hired guns, hit men. Private armies. Mercenaries who earn in two days what a regular grunt does in a month.
Imagine the soldiers of fortune who work for inner city gangs. Imagine what they earn for making a simple delivery. Thousands in a matter of minutes. You might have to whack someone now and then.
But the money’s good.
Antonio C. de Baca concludes his fictional story about Carlos, recently released from prison, and drawn to the street once more after a chance encounter with his old homies. We emphasize “fictional” for Duane and his friends, who might not know the difference between make-believe and real time.
Remember folks, Antonio’s story and the soldiers who run with Boxer are make-believe. Turn to page 18 for the concluding episode of “Getting out.”
Maybe you’re one of those old farts who reads The Rogue Voice in the safe quiet of his small pensioner’s apartment in an old part of town, drinking whiskey, having a few laughs, choking down a tear or two, remembering the good old days, and those that weren’t so good.
You’re feeling OK. Then there’s a knock on the door. And the walls start to feel like they’re about to cave in on you. It’s the wrecker. Or, it’s the person who comes before the wrecker to sit with you for a while, to get you ready.
It feels like Russia all over again.
Peter Brown Hoffmeister brings us the fictional story of Fedya, from the old country, in “The interview,” starting on page 23. We emphasize “fictional” because we all know such things as Hoffmeister writes never happen.
When there’s nothing left, what are you going to do?
I’ll tell you what you do. You soldier on. You become a “Noble hacker” like window washer Ben Leroux, who gives away a few trade secrets, starting on page 7. You go to small towns and pick up alternative newspapers like New Times. You get your bearings, and make your pitch.
When you’re done, you press on again, gaze fixed firmly ahead, and watch for drunken spoiled Cal Poly students (see Cabby’s Corner, page 6), stay out of the hospital (see Dr. Steve Pittelli’s Commentary on page 5) and leave the backwards tripe to me and Dell. §
Editor Stacey Warde can be reached at email@example.com.