Feedback: Readers react to changes at KCRW, the loss of Tom Hatten and R. Kelly’s rant
KCRW? All things considered ...
How could you write about the changes and the dip in membership at KCRW [“A Time of Change for KCRW,” March 17, by Randall Roberts] without once mentioning KCSN-FM (88.5)? As a radio junkie, it is obvious to me that what has really sucked the wind from the sails of the mighty “Morning Becomes Eclectic” is the loss of host Nic Harcourt to KCSN, which is now the best radio station in the country, maybe on the planet.
Thanks for explaining why I never miss Henry Rollins’ KCRW show and why I never listen to anything else on KCRW.
Finger-pointing on eugenics
Regarding “California’s History of Healing,” Sharon Mizota’s review of the book “Sun Seekers: The Cure of California” [March 17]: This review gives a false impression that the nightmares of eugenics and forced sterilization were concepts imported from Germany in the 1930s.
The eugenics movement started in England and the U.S., not in Germany. Rufus B. von KleinSmid, president of USC from 1921 to 1947, wrote in 1913: “We must all agree that those who, in the nature of the case, can do little else than pass on to their offsprings the defects which make themselves burdens to society, have no ethical right to parenthood.”
In his 1925 book “Mein Kampf,” Adolf Hitler referred to the ongoing eugenics efforts in the U.S. as an inspirational model to be emulated in Germany.
In the terrifying 1927 case of Buck vs. Bell (1927), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a Virginia law allowing forced sterilization of the “unfit,” including the “feeble minded,” “for the protection and health of the state,” did not violate the due process clause of the 14th Amendment. That decision, written by the legendary Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, has never been overruled.
R. Kelly’s rant all in a day’s work
Regarding “Surprise Superhero” [March 12, by Mary McNamara]: Gayle King a superhero? She was a person doing her job, and R. Kelly was a person having a meltdown. Making it about male-female control and stereotypes is ridiculous.
Accessibility issue at MOCA
Regarding “Shining New Light on MOCA” [March 17, by Carolina A. Miranda]: Allow me to describe what happens when you visit the prize-winning MOCA with someone in a wheelchair.
There is a small sidewalk-level disabled lift by the sidewalk box office, but it’s not manned or equipped with a buzzer or intercom. So you leave your person in a wheelchair alone while you find someone to operate it. (What if you arrive by yourself in a wheelchair? Maybe call the museum on your cellphone?)
After someone arrives to operate the lift to the reception area, the gallery is right there, but there are steps down to it. So your escort takes you around the entire building past storage areas and an elevator to reach an accessible entry on the other side. When you’re ready to leave, you do the entire process in reverse.
It’s stunning that a “visionary” architect like Arata Isozaki would be so completely unconcerned with this issue. God forbid that dramatic sweep of steps would be spoiled by a subtle bordering ramp. For a woke city like Los Angeles, it’s embarrassing. How is this Prtizker prize-winning architecture?
Oldies acts? Not these legends
In his article about the iHeartRadio Music Awards [“Did Anybody Want to Be at This Ceremony?” March 16], pop music critic Mikael Wood referred to Alicia Keys and John Legend as now being oldies-radio acts. That is both inaccurate and disrespectful. Both artists are still making beautiful creations that are relevant, important and worthy of appreciation, not dismissal. Their newer material might not be getting the radio play it deserves, but this should never be the basis of someone’s relevance.
Keys and Legend are still very much thriving, especially within black communities. I’d recommend listening to “Holy War” by Keys and “Marching Into the Dark” by Legend. If after doing so, you still find it appropriate to refer to these two as oldies-radio acts, then we are of two very different minds.
It all began with warped ‘Wedge’
A very nice tribute by Randall Roberts of guitarist Dick Dale [“Surf Guitar Icon Sent Waves Across World,” March 18]. I’ve been obsessed with him since I bought a warped 45 of “The Wedge” at the Capitol Records swap meet in the 1970s. He was playing in relative obscurity at the time, doing one-nighters up and down California. During breaks, he would sit onstage and kibbutz. His guitar, a Stratocaster, had serial number 001. I can only imagine what this will fetch one day at auction. I last saw him at the Santa Monica Pier when he was 80, with about 100 people. He gave his best show I’d ever seen.
Marina del Rey
Hatten truly was their best friend
Regarding “Tom Hatten, an L.A. Kid’s Best Pal” [March 18, by Robert Lloyd]: I too embody your fandom for Hatten. When we got our first TV, there he was, my new best friend. When I had grown up and attended my first Hollywood gathering at Paramount, I was standing by a refreshment table next to Barbara Steele and Hatten and I knew I had arrived.
I appreciate your thoughtful tribute to Hatten. I too remember him fondly, watching “The Popeye Show” regularly and making “art” out of his squiggles. I sent in my name and was chosen to appear on the show as a 9-year-old. I received his squiggle in advance and spent all week working on my drawing. What a thrill and pleasure it was for me to appear with him. My competitor and I drew feverishly within the time limit, and when Hatten could not decide between our two drawings, he dubbed us the “first tie in history.” Among the prizes I received was a 3-foot-tall black and pink stuffed panda bear that has traveled with me throughout my life.
Oh, how I remember Hatten from when I was a kid. I was always amazed at how he could take a simple squiggle and make a face or body from it with just a few easy strokes.
Thank you for reminding me of those times when things seemed so easy. When a child would address an adult as Mr., Mrs. or Miss. When you knew your neighbors and they knew your parents. When you could be gone all day, but knew to be home by dark.
What a wonderful memory. My dad was at KTLA in the late ’50s and early ’60s and directed the “Popeye” program. Hatten was a very good guy. A true pro.
Vacay needed from the slang
In her article about the movie “Us” [“Staring Back,” March 17], Jen Yamato uses the words “Santa Cruz vacay.”
It is inappropriate to use social media slang in a newspaper article by a professional journalist.
Otherwise, luved ur article!
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