So, he objects to the characters because they look like toys?
It seems to me Mr. Shepherd must have missed the point of the movie. I would have thought the title was a dead giveaway, but…alas…
Way Off The Mark
I don’t know whom to accredit for choosing “Do You Live Close to Snoop Dogg?” as a cover story (July 30), so I’ll address both Victor Rice and the brilliant visionary who finalized this article for solidifying the negative projected stereotypes of minorities in San Diego. As if the lax, slang-riddled style wasn’t enough of an indication that the writer was a barrio native, there were numerous insinuations that made it apparent Rice was hip to his local guidelines of survival via ignorant urban perpetualism (i.e., references to preprogrammed rivalries based on educational districts/individual alma maters and cultural innateness to harbor hostile opposition towards authorities).
This exposé had me, a 23-year-old Hispanic San Diego native, perplexed on two fronts. One: as a journalistic voyeur based on highlighting San Diego (focusing on local culture and tourism) and as a writer who explores our current economic situation as a catalyst for illegal activities, how would shedding the negative light this article spotlighted benefit our community? In fact, one would think it would have an adverse effect, resulting in less business and more “thuggish-victims” running amuck with no other choice at survival. The second conundrum that Rice’s piece spawns is the age-old urban chicken-egg debate; which came first — the victim or the thug? Is the thug a victim of new-age societal laissez-faireism, or is society the victim of an affluence of misguided individuals trying to get rich quickly at the expense of those who have attained legitimately? I’m going to put my money on the latter.
I have grown up in this city, and the truths you failed to shed light on are that the majority of the people involved in these activities choose to take this path knowing and/or having already experienced firsthand the brutal consequences at stake. I’m not ignorant or desensitized to the tragic realities of my surroundings but rather infuriated that in print it seems as if Rice seeks sympathy for choosing a lifestyle that the majority of America not only deems morally unacceptable but also avoids any affiliation with. Furthermore, Rice attempts to blame societal disposition on one’s residential location — another unsubstantiated argument since each American has free will to reside in any U.S. zip code they desire. Yet even without the means to move, no one has a predestined limit of potential simply because their surrounding community has a rap sheet of post-statistical irrelevancies on record. It’s quite apparent that it is not our leisure-seeking visitors that are out of touch with San Diego, it’s Rice that is out of touch with reality. The bigger picture is simple: your state of existence is a cumulative product of past decisions made. Thus no one is a victim of circumstance, just a product of their chosen chance.
I suppose my biggest disappointment in this whole blunder is the blatant exploitation of what may be a promising influential voice for a cultural group that makes up a significant portion of our local population yet rarely has an opportunity to be heard by a demographic as diverse and influential as yours. It almost seems as if Rice’s opportunity to offer a fresh take on our local currents was intercepted and diverted into a cliché pigeonholed street testimony of a helpless, misunderstood, unprivileged inner-city youth preprogrammed for failure. Even more shocking is that after (assumed) proofreading, it seems as if no one redirected Rice on track to a more relevant piece of contribution. To add fuel to the fire, the Reader then selected this noncohesive rant to be the feature piece of a literary publication that serves the whole community and is distributed for free at a plethora of local, high-traffic businesses. A front-page invitation for anyone of toddler height to marinate his or her inquiring mind with a rich nonfiction short executed eloquently with treats like “hell yeah, nigga,” “clean-ass,” and “smoke a blunt right before school.” BRAVO! I commend your attempt to add flavor to your publication; unfortunately, I must inform you it seemed to lack any sense of taste.
PS: I’ve traveled at least annually out of state, and I’ve never been asked how close I live to Snoop Dogg. Ever.
I’m in San Diego visiting family. I see on page 36 (October 15) you have the Reader ranked as number one in the average number of pages, which is impressive to a point. But when you look at your paper, you realize that probably 70 percent of your content is ads, so it’s a little much ado about nothing. Actually, whenever I read your publication I’m always impressed by the number of ads, especially the superficial ones for all this cosmetic surgery and that kind of nonsense. So to keep it in perspective, there are much better alternative weeklies around than you guys, as much as I do rely on you somewhat for reviews and things when I’m in my hometown of San Diego. But just keep it in perspective. You’re not that great.