Apart from being obnoxious, the “SD on the QT” column called “High School Musical Opera” (June 24) is an example of unethical journalistic behavior.
William Reed’s musical, Affair of Honour, performed at the La Jolla Country Day School several weeks ago, is a serious and moving piece of work about important events in American history. If the “SD on the QT” author didn’t like it, why didn’t he just say so or parody it himself? But no, he put his opinions into the mouth of Courtney Flanagan, who teaches drama at the Bishop’s School and is the city’s greatest high school drama teacher, peerless as both an educator and a director and the inspiration to generations of students. Where is the humor in these lies?
Flanagan’s actual comments on the musical were highly approving and, where critical, were astute and contributory. It is an outrageous insult to her to imply that she would even think of making the comments ascribed to her in the column.
Moreover, it is perplexing that the author and editor of “SD on the QT” could possibly find it funny or entertaining to assert pointless lies about private individuals in pseudo-factual language, ascribing to them statements that they never made. I repeat, where is the humor in it?
The Reader justifies this kind of writing by calling it in one place “Almost factual news” and in another “parody.” But parody, to be effective and funny, must be recognized to be parody and take its liberties in order to make some kind of critical point. What was the critical point in falsely accusing Flanagan of wanting to make a musical about a serial killer? And “almost factual” leads readers to gather that some truth may lie amidst innuendos that are in reality all false.
There is no parody in the column on high school musicals. There is only a pathetic attempt to get a little frisson from the mention of a dead serial killer by telling lies about one of the most dedicated and contributory members of the community. Does the column exist just so that the author may laugh at the gullibility of readers who are not in on the joke?
Previous letters to the editor have asserted similar complaints about previous “SD on the QT” columns, among them one from members of the North County Transit District and another from the chief of the Coronado Police Department. Isn’t it about time that the Reader reconsider the intent, style, and value of this pointlessly offensive column? Must one or more innocent victims of these poor excuses for parody actually go to law and sue for libel before journalistic ethics is rediscovered at the Reader?
Wanted: One Slacker, Full Time
John Reese (Letters, June 24) apparently missed the point on finding a job. Employers are interested in educated, ambitious, dedicated employees with a good attitude. Unfortunately, San Diego is known for surfers, potheads, and slackers. Tattoos don’t help much. Remember the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High? That was based on Clairemont High, and I don’t think things have gotten better.
I’ve lived in Eastern cities and San Diego. The work ethic back East is generally head and shoulders above that in our land of perfect weather. Maybe those students study during bad weather and prepare for the future.
Name Withheld By Request
I had to laugh when I read about “Bob” being lifted from a restaurant in Temecula by some kids as a school prank (“Kids Steal Bob,” “Stringers,” June 24). Reading this story brought back some fond memories from high school for me. I attended Upland High School in Upland, California, from 1979 to 1983. Some 28 years ago, the same thing happened where I grew up. The seniors involved pulled this prank before graduation. The parties involved did this in the middle of the night and these kids didn’t get caught and no charges were filed. It was hard to actually ascertain who the culprits were (I’ll never tell!), and if the school administration knew, they wouldn’t have outed these students anyway.
Bob spent a day on the administration building of the school and was returned to the restaurant at the end of the day. After the trauma of this incident, Bob was moved inside the restaurant.
That Bob’s Big Boy restaurant has since closed, and Bob is gone forever but not forgotten. Reading the story about the kids in Temecula made me smile and laugh and recall some fun from my past. Thanks for the story.
Kelly O’Neil Donivan
Stinky, Big Time
By allowing South Bay Community Services’ Kathie Lembo, a person with a financial relationship with David Bejarano, to help select him as police chief, Chula Vista’s process seems hopelessly tainted (“I Don’t Work Here. Just Send Me Checks,” “City Lights,” July 1). I can’t imagine why city management would allow this had Lembo disclosed her $97,000 contract with Bejarano. I find it interesting that this contract was not disclosed to the IRS by Lembo as well. Meanwhile, state law on self-dealing contracts is just ignored on the same issue? This stinks all over, and I don’t see how the troops can follow a chief chosen under such circumstances and how discipline can be fairly maintained when the City seems to allow the chief to violate what is clearly a zero-tolerance rule.
Barry John Johnson
Given all of the obvious successes that Orchestra Nova has had during the past season, we were shocked to read the article about one of our May concerts (which, incidentally, was packed with enthusiastic guests) that completely distorted comments, taken out of context, made by our musicians and others (“Beethovenus Interruptus,” Classical Music, June 24). Obviously, the goal of the interviews and subsequent article was to dig for dirt and present a negative feeling about the concert and Orchestra Nova, even when there was no dirt to find. The reporter even told the interviewees that what they were saying was “too rosy — my editor wants the dark, seamy side.” They responded that there wasn’t a “dark, seamy side” and proceeded to explain why this orchestra is unique with the obvious positive connection between the musicians, the conductor, and the guests.