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…

Ellen Smock
via email

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.

Andre Trujillo
via email


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.

Michael Cuevaf

More from SDReader


PistolPete Oct. 21, 2009 @ 3:04 p.m.

The Reader may be 70% fluff,Mr.Cuevaf but it's better than any daily newspaper I've yet to read out here. City Beat is a junior edition of the Reader and as great as GLT is,it only caters to one section of the populace. It's pretty sad when a voracious reader as myself eschews the SD-UT,L.A.Times and NCTimes to wait patiently once a week for the Reader,warts and all.


nan shartel Oct. 21, 2009 @ 3:24 p.m.

the READER is a gastronomic delight!!!


nan shartel Oct. 21, 2009 @ 3:30 p.m.


there now I've had my superficial and non-substanciated angry protest at READER unappreciators...and i feel so much better i get the grammer and speel all that right???


magicsfive Oct. 23, 2009 @ 11:32 p.m.

so when michael finally goes back to wherever it is he came from, he won't be forced to read the reader. i suspect that he's not all that great either. so just run along, michael, and pick up a reader's digest on your way out. I LOVE THE READER. must be a reason it's been around 30+ years.


magicsfive Oct. 23, 2009 @ 11:35 p.m.

oh, and "shame on the reader..." for allowing someone to choose not to have his face shown in a picture? um what? BAD, BAD reader for allowing someone anonymity....i have changed my mind. i shall never read again....NOT.


David Dodd Oct. 23, 2009 @ 11:59 p.m.

I actually thought the guy putting his dog up rhere was amusing. I swear, sometimes I think there is someone with a sense of humor similar to my own editing the "Letter's" section.

I remember in high school, I was an avid reader of National Lampoon magazine. Their "Letters FROM The Editors" column was ridiculously funny.

Like John Kitchin's story about the Tijuana morgue. I mean, I think that's a serious letter, but having lived here so long (and, unfortunately, having taken trips to the morgue myself), it's a scream from my angle! It's sort of like if I wrote to the New York Times and demanded that they reinstate George Bush because I witnessed hundreds of people beaten and stabbed by Obama supporters. (Dude, seriously, stay out of here, visit Canada or something, we don't need any more sensationalistic lies.)

And to Michael Cuevaf, if you do some reasearch, the San Diego Reader is historically one of the most profitable weeklies in the last twenty years, even through this screwed up economy we find ourselves in. They must be doing something right.

Reader, I recommend that your staff gets rewarded by having them make up letters. Let them make the letters amazingly ridiculous. Promote office morale!


SurfPuppy619 Oct. 28, 2009 @ 9 a.m.

If Alan C. didn’t want his picture in the paper, you should not have used him in “Off the Cuff.” Hiding his face with a dog shows stupidity. Shame on the Reader!

Bill Bartkus

You must admit though-that is one good lookign dog!


SDaniels Oct. 29, 2009 @ 9:25 a.m.

You must admit though-that is one good lookign dog!

By SurfPuppy619


That dog is adorable! What brand of terrier?


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