A Week in the Life of Gustavo

"Seems to think that if he fails to write, la migra will find him."--OC Weekly More merriment available at ronmaydon@yahoo.com

quarta-feira, janeiro 22, 2003

A letter from my dear friend Ryan Gattis regarding my article skewering the Orange County Register for not knowing its South Korean history...

Damn G!

"Guard our borders from the Mexican hordes!?" That made me laugh out loud! Fuck'n Buchanan. When is that guy gonna drive off a bridge on his way to a Klan rally?

Beyond that, I found your article enlightening and disturbing. Which is the true converse of your sadly predictable target Dillow. I thought you showed him up nicely with your writing as well as your style, which was neither predictable (unless unpredictability can be so) nor unfairly biased or excessively rooted in "the past is sacred" rhetoric.

I do not know Dillow, but I think I know his type. Folks like him
predictably remythologize the past to suit themselves. So it is all
sweetness and white (if you'll forgive my play on words...truly, it matters not the color of one's skin, but the dominant and unrepentant viewpoint from which they choose to view things), no depression, no civil rights riots that stemmed from injustices, no monopolies, no Sinclair's Jungle, no killing of innocents on death row, no invading of countries for purely monetary reasons, and by the way, the dropping of not one but two atomic bombs was not only necessary but deserved retribution. Because in his world, everyone "gets what they deserve," just like a John Wayne western, no? Hindsight being 20/20, "Unforgiven" is more like it...

Well done as always, your writing makes me think, and that is the highest one can attain with words

My response...

Thank you as always for the overflowing praise for my articles. Buchanan is such a weirdo. But in a weird way, I respect the guy. I completely agree with him regarding opposition to imperialism, even though we're against it for wildly different reasons (I think it's morally abhorrent to impose your power on another nation, Buchanan wants our army to fend off all the Mexican savages). Yet he sticks to his anti-imperialist screed at a time when all conservatives are falling behind Bush. Gotta give him credit for something, even if he thinks Islam is a threat worse than Mexicans.

I'm surprised you never came across Dillow's wild columns during your time in OC. Dillow is a county institution, the worst possible type of American: smug, proudly ignorant, and foolish as fuck. Dillow-bashing is a treasured sport at the Weekly, so I'm glad I was able to both bash him and allow our readers to learn something about the world. Hell, even I was disturbed after I researched this.

I agree with your argument regarding the remythologizing of the past by Dillow's ilk. However, I don't think they pretend things didn't happened so much as they twist the past to their convenience. Now, the Civil War becomes a battle over state rights. The depression was really because of Roosevelt's New Deal. Robber barons were simply visionary businessmen. And the A-bomb was absolutely necessary--Japan would have never surrendered! I'm not against a reinterpretation of history, per se. But the shaping of history for the use of advancing certain arguments--that's where methodology mixes with ideology. And that's where the fascist state comes into play.

And your play on words was great.

Nothing better to go to sleep to than lively discussion. God bless America--and I mean it with all sincerity.