• Barbarella
  • Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

The world does not always understand that those within a subculture are merely people, and that when people are targeted for being different, humanity suffers a loss of itself. — Gothic Volunteer Alliance

In nightclubs from Hollywood to Manhattan, I’ve seen my fair share of characters. San Diego’s typically tame, but the longer I stared at the man dancing in Kava Lounge one recent Saturday, the more certain I became that he would make it into my top five.

He was Asian, older — I’d guess 50-something, though his hair was all pepper and no salt. He wore large, ’80s-style wire-rimmed glasses and sported a slender mustache and goatee. He was adorned all in black, save for the blue-and-purple design emblazoned on his button-down shirt, which he’d tucked into his slacks. A gold pendant in the shape of a coffin dangled from the gold chain around his neck, and his hands were in fingerless gloves. But the pièce de résistance was the sizable Chinese fan made of purple silk, on which two white dragons were painted on either side of a yin yang symbol. It wasn’t the prop alone I found impressive, but how he twirled, flipped, and flared it open as he danced in the mist of the fog machine.

I leaned closer to my friend Robin so she could hear me over the music and said, “That guy is rad. I just want to scoop him up and take him home. What’s his deal?”

“Who, Leigh? He’s been a fixture of the goth scene for years.” Robin whipped out her camera to join me in capturing Leigh’s awesomeness. “He doesn’t get on the dance floor without his fan,” she explained as we clicked away. “It’s an extension of his personality. You should hear the noise that thing makes when he opens it — it’s so freakin’ loud, it’s like a whip!” Like any seasoned celeb, Leigh was impervious to the strobe-y flashes of light illuminating his moves.

Beside Leigh was a man wearing sunglasses who was “sweeping the floor” with his trench coat while his female companion (dressed in a purple, Victorian-style, lace-up shirt) combined other goth moves such as “kicking the Smurf” and “grabbing the bat.” The moves were new to me — my dancing tends to look something like an ecstasy-driven seizure. These people were slower, more methodical in their movements, like spiders swimming.

It had been a while since I stood on a dance floor. When I was a single woman, I had been an avid clubber. The blend of friends and music, combined with hours of dancing, were exhilarating. My favorite haunts were gay clubs such as Montage and Rich’s — where not only was my unrestrained application of glitter appreciated, but I didn’t have to worry about pushy dudes interpreting a woman’s dancing as an invitation to grind up against her.

During our first year together, David and I hit up Club Sabbat, which gave us an excuse to dress up in some of our hotter closet items (my corsets, his custom knee-high boots). But David wasn’t into dancing the way I was, and when it came to choosing whether to go dancing with friends or do anything else with my boyfriend, the “anything else” prevailed.

Robin and I met and became fast friends on a recent Wednesday night at the Tractor Room, during a party put on by Legit Radio, the internet radio station on which Robin (a professional mixtress of music) currently hosts a show each week. It was after the party, when we were noshing on a burger at Starlite, that Robin handed me a flier for Ascension at Kava Lounge, one of the five clubs she DJs in town.

“I’ve never been good at dancing to anything slower than techno,” I warned Robin as we stood outside the club, absorbing some of the cool night air before she had to go in and start her set. “Not that I consider myself ‘good’ at dancing to any beat,” I clarified.

Robin rolled her eyes — cornflower-blue orbs ringed in black liner — and dismissed my attempt at self-deprecation with a laugh. Her black hair was slicked back into a low ponytail, revealing ten small silver hoops up each earlobe. Her scarlet lips seemed fixed in a playful smirk. Now that I could see her entire ensemble in the streetlight, I realized the extent of how underdressed I was in my cashmere hoodie and pants adorned with silver rings and buckles. Robin wore black ruffled boy shorts over tights with crisscross cutouts on the outer leg and Doc Marten–style lace-up, buckled boots. Her inky button-down coat — cropped to the waist in front but reaching her knees in back — was simultaneously feminine and militaristic. The coat sleeves laced from her shoulders to her wrists, and her hands were covered in fingerless lace gloves. I made a mental note not to return to one of Robin’s clubs without first busting out my rubber collar, the one that makes me look like Maleficent in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.

One of the three major tenets of the gothic subculture is fashion (the others being music and art). Unfortunately, those in the mainstream assign negative connotations to gothic fashion. Robin told me about a horrible incident that occurred in Old Town four years ago. She, her husband, and friends were walking to dinner when two men, one a Navy SEAL, assaulted them. What began as taunting with slurs like “goth faggot” ended in Robin’s husband being so brutally beaten he required reconstructive surgery.

Being targeted for their appearance is one of the reasons Robin and her friends founded the Gothic Volunteer Alliance. Volunteers, most of them dressed in snazzy black, participate in beach and neighborhood cleanups, put on fundraisers for suicide-prevention and animal-protection organizations, and maintain the Old Town Native Plant Garden, among other things. When they’re not volunteering around town, they’re getting together for recreational events such as karaoke, ice-skating, and bowling.

Though I have a deep appreciation for the dark trinity forming the label, I wouldn’t classify myself as “goth,” just as I wouldn’t call myself a “burner” simply because I’ve been to Burning Man. Appreciation for (or occasional participation in) a lifestyle isn’t the same as living it. When it comes to music (on which many subcultures are based), I’m more eclectic than anything. I dug dancing to the dark, industrial tunes Robin spun, but I’m also keen on everything from Enya to Eminem, Andrew Lloyd Webber to the White Stripes, and Postal Service to Propellerheads. If I were to file myself, I’d have to cross-reference raver, rockabilly, goth, hipster, fetish, and, perhaps the most accurate, geek.

David sidled up to me on the dance floor. As I watched him gyrate with a goofy smile on his face, it struck me that he was actually having fun in a club. “Hey, beh-beh!” I shouted into his ear. “Do you know where my Maleficent collar is?” David’s enthusiastic nod signaled that he had grokked the reason for my asking.

  • Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

More from SDReader


PistolPete March 4, 2010 @ 4:30 p.m.

Not into the Goth scene myself but being a supporter of "alternative lifestyles", great blog nonetheless, Barb. :-D


Robert Hagen March 4, 2010 @ 7:27 p.m.

Its not a blog, pp. Its a column. You're reading it here on whats called the internet, but that doesn't make it a blog. Its an electronic reproduction of a hard copy alternative news weekly COLUMN.

Now then, whats smashing about this piece is the attention to detail, which is just pro forma for Diva, because thats how she rolls. She has this fantastic thing about remembering details, then recounting them, and thats one of the things that makes her writing so panoramic. I would even go so far as to say that its one of her signature moves- her signature signature being of course, her dreamy lips.

What I noticed about this piece was her dalliance into hard politics- well for Diva, anyway. Okay, first of all, the goth in Old Town brought it to the young Navy SEAL. The SEAL hit the s*** talker, which got him kicked out of the Navy, and placed under investigation. How do I know this is the actual turn of events? Because the Navy dragged its feet on the matter. That speaks volumes.

My step brother, Rocco, got kicked out of the Navy for hitting an officer, who totally asked for it. He was the most kick ass submariner, and a credit to the Constitution of the United States of America, but yet, he was provoked out of the Navy. So there you are. Probably better for him.

My step uncle, Bob Wilson, died young from a heart attack after devoting his life to law enforcement, as an ARMY man, as a Vegas Metro cop, and doing security for a Pentagon away team, and the Atomic Energy Commission.

So, Pistol Pete, which do you prefer? To get others kicked out, or to have poor unfortunates go out young, if not die die young, biting whatever bullet of bulls*** you feel is convenient to throw at us?

I'm interested to hear, and share with the BLOGOSPHERE your unvarnished credentials, bona fides, and true position.

Enlighten me further, PISTOL Pete, because I'm really interested in hearing about your views on how people should react to harassment from the general public, or even on the internet. I mean, after resorting to double entendre calumnies that are as delicious as they are craven. If they are to be believed.


David Dodd March 4, 2010 @ 8:14 p.m.

No, diego, it's a blog. It's a blog that's published in a weekly. That's what it is. I'm really interested in hearing how you came to be such an effing expert in such matters, diego. What happened, the sports-car crap you were writing didn't pan out? You know what I dislike, diego? Anyone who decides that they're above it all, able to come in and tell it like it is. Doesn't that piss you off, diego? Doesn't it?


CuddleFish March 4, 2010 @ 8:58 p.m.

Actually, it is a column, a weekly column, published in a weekly alternative publication. That it happens to be published on the weekly's website does not make it a blog.


David Dodd March 4, 2010 @ 9:09 p.m.

Barb's is a blog. Newspapers publish blogs. Weeklies publish blogs. That it happens to be published on whatever format you wish does not make it NOT a blog. Blogs are personal and true accounts of daily life that are not considered editorial nor categorically topical. Stop following me around, CF, get a different hobby. Troll.


CuddleFish March 4, 2010 @ 9:14 p.m.

A blog is different from a column. Note the word column in the Reader's description of the column. Wonder if that means the Reader knows the difference too.

"Barbarella was discovered in 2004 when Reader elves happened along her blog, Barbarella’s Pillow Talk. She has been writing her column, Diary of a Diva and Your Week and Welcome To It every week ever since. She also contributes cover features of her adventures and discoveries, and cohosts the weekly KOGO Reader Radio program.

"Why the name diva? It’s the best thing we could come up with for a dominant woman, control-freak, and socialite who loves to tell it like it is, even though we all know she’s overcompensating for her inherent nerdiness. Barb continues to blog and posts pics on her personal web site, She lives in Hillcrest with the man of her dreams, David"


Jay Allen Sanford March 4, 2010 @ 9:22 p.m.

Excellent column! Additional Reader coverage of the assault incident in Old Town, and how the case against the assailant ended up going --


David Dodd March 4, 2010 @ 9:28 p.m.

  1. It's a blog. A column has a central theme, a blog is random. You defined it, live with your own definition.

  2. Barb hasn't co-hosted on KOGO for ages. She is on local television at times. Obviously, expert, you don't stay tuned.

  3. The Reader can define Barb's weekly piece however they wish. They define me as "staff", yet I'm not staff. Go figure. Again, you are trolling, and quite unsuccessfully. Nice try, though.


David Dodd March 4, 2010 @ 9:32 p.m.

And, for the record, if you get blog entries published weekly, it's a huge win. Ultimately, probably better than a column. But please, can we not redefine the entire English language?


CuddleFish March 4, 2010 @ 9:36 p.m.

Ooops, jayallen thinks its a column, too. :)

I'm afraid diego is quite correct here:

"Its not a blog, pp. Its a column. You're reading it here on whats called the internet, but that doesn't make it a blog. Its an electronic reproduction of a hard copy alternative news weekly COLUMN."

As to the information re the radio show, I simply pinched that from the Reader's website. Someone may want to direct their expert opinions in that direction. I do not control Reader content. I wish I did. :)


CuddleFish March 4, 2010 @ 9:43 p.m.

A blog (a contraction of the term "web log")[1] is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

In defining a column, provides a breakdown of a few popular subjects covered by columnists:

A regular feature or series of articles in a newspaper, magazine, or the like, usually having a readily identifiable heading and the byline of the writer or editor, that reports or comments upon a particular field of interest, as politics, theater or etiquette, or which may contain letters from readers, answers to readers' queries, etc

A columnist is a journalist who writes for publication in a series, creating copy that can sometimes be strongly opinionated. Columns appear in newspapers, magazines and other publications, including blogs on the Internet.

Readers often open a publication with an expectation of reading a new essay by a specific writer who offers a personal point of view. In some instances, a column has been written by a composite or a team, appearing under a pseudonym, or in effect, a brand name.


David Dodd March 4, 2010 @ 9:53 p.m.

"Ooops, jayallen thinks its a column, too. :)"

I realize that this makes your little nipples quite erect, CF, but Jay isn't exactly some sort of a judge here. After all, you are the one following me around, trying like hell to find a way to negate anything I comment on. Do you not see how pathetic you are? Seriously? You want me to post a track record of where you've posted behind me? Better yet, you want me to post a nice collection of messages I've received from people here who have asked me to ignore your obvious attempts at bringing me down somehow?

I wouldn't do it, because I respect them much more than I respect you. Troll.


David Dodd March 4, 2010 @ 9:56 p.m.

Oh, and Jay? You did that on purpose. At least Seth takes you on honestly. You're a coward.


CuddleFish March 4, 2010 @ 9:59 p.m.

LOLOLOLOL!!!! I'm guessing the same people who are writing the Forum God about me are the same people who hide their true identities on this and other websites to express their true feelings about certain posters, among others. Indeed, people who are quite well respected. :)

BTW, pssssst, the truth is the truth, it doesn't matter who says it. :)


CuddleFish March 4, 2010 @ 10:04 p.m.

BTW, much as I dislike the content of jay's blog, I doubt he did it on purpose. Sorry Forum God, you just ain't that important to him. :)


David Dodd March 4, 2010 @ 10:05 p.m.

"Indeed, people who are quite well respected."

I can't say, but I can certainly quote where you've respected them.


David Dodd March 4, 2010 @ 10:07 p.m.

Jay did it on purpose.

And CF, you may call me God as much as you wish, but as a supposedly Christian person, you probably shouldn't.


CuddleFish March 4, 2010 @ 10:17 p.m.

Ah, no, I don't confuse the issue. It seems to me, Forum God, that you are a tool of others' machinations? But, everybody thinks they are the special friend of somebody. :)


David Dodd March 4, 2010 @ 10:21 p.m.

No, CF, you simply don't know how many others also think that you're full of crap. No "special friends". I have no idea what that means. I'm just another moron on the internet, and on this website, but you, apparently, think that you own it. Think again.


Jay Allen Sanford March 4, 2010 @ 10:30 p.m.

?? It took me a few minutes to figure out WHAT I supposedly did on purpose! I posted my comment (#7) after reading what Barbarella wrote - I hadn't even read the preceding comments RE "Blog" VS "Column," so nothing I said was "on purpose" related to the apparent debate I'm just now reading about--

I automatically used the word "column" because that's how weekly print features are referred to among Reader staffers. Since Barbarella was pretty much drafted into Reader service after the publisher took a liking to her earlier online blog and wanted her to do something similar for the paper, her contemporary Diva Diary would seem to qualify as both column (in the print edition) and blog (online).


CuddleFish March 4, 2010 @ 10:33 p.m.

Actually, my dear refriedgringo, you are not a moron and you know you are not, but you are sometimes foolish and unwise. I admit my sorrow in observing your follies; they are quite avoidable. But after all, we each lead our lives as we choose.


CuddleFish March 4, 2010 @ 10:55 p.m.

jayallen, let's please not redefine the entire English language. A blog (a contraction of the term "web log")[1] is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order.

Diary of a Diva is not a type of website. Barbarella does not add other content/threads at other times than besides the column published weekly. It is a weekly column, published in a weekly print edition of a weekly publication.


David Dodd March 4, 2010 @ 10:57 p.m.

Jay, I call BS. I like your blog, I like what you write, but dude, you're smarter than you want me to believe and I'm not as dumb as I look. No one gets that lucky.

And CF, you are often foolish and unwise, and very much a hypocrite. Your nick comes from a reference by gay men toward girls who like them. Yes, I know, I knew it when you came here. I said nothing, I am no one's judge, Yet, you pretend to come unhinged at comments here. You decided I was a piece of crap when I disagreed with you on something. You decide others are pieces of crap when they disagree with you on something. And you will decide that anyone is a piece of crap if they agree with me and those who don't are your instant friends. Kool-aid. Drink it slow, and drink it thoroughly.

You don't even know me, stop sucking up.


PistolPete March 4, 2010 @ 10:58 p.m.

Who dropped a duece in diego's cornflakes? O_o I was simply telling Barb I thought this week's blog was written great. I could seriously give a f*** about some Navy squid.


PistolPete March 4, 2010 @ 11 p.m.

There is WAY too much slang nowdays. I'm bisexual and I never knew what CuddleFish meant. I'll have to mosey on over to Urban Dictionary more often.


David Dodd March 4, 2010 @ 11:07 p.m.

"Fish", or more to the point, "Pet Fish", is a reference to a girl who hangs with gay men. I really don't have an issue with them, I've befriended many, and they are awesome. Well, mostly, unless they are judgemental, hypocritical jerks that troll the internet.


CuddleFish March 4, 2010 @ 11:12 p.m.

Bless your heart, I don't want your respect and I would never suck up, refriedgringo, to you or anyone, I thought that was pretty obvious. You are an intelligent man, but you are not always smart. That's the plain truth. I never said you were a piece of crap, never thought it. I meant what I said. And I don't judge others as to whose friends they are; I am not in the third grade anymore. :) I don't pretend to come unhinged at certain comments. I say what I think, and then I move on.

But I am curious about this thing with the nickname? My nickname? I'm afraid I've only ever had two nicks since coming on the Interwebs, Mz_perfect, and Fish. Fish, as you no doubt know, refers to the Christian faith. Mz_perfect is a sort of laughing reference to myself as missed perfection. But do go on, I admit I am curious. What is it that you knew about my nick? :)


CuddleFish March 4, 2010 @ 11:14 p.m.

Ah, we crossed posts! Sorry, wrong again. :)


PistolPete March 4, 2010 @ 11:16 p.m. The above link is WAY too intelligent to come out of our CF's peanut of a brain... I highly doubt our CF is this musically inclined... I don't see our CF as being a Roller Derby fan... YUP! There's our CF!


PistolPete March 4, 2010 @ 11:18 p.m.

Laughing my balls off @ Christian! That slays me!


David Dodd March 4, 2010 @ 11:20 p.m.

No, fish in your "faith" is an acronym, in GREEK no less. Nice try. CF, I don't want to dislike you, but you BEG ME TO dislike you. Fish. Right. A reference to your faith. Do you really know where that came from, CF (I could write for about two hours on that, a very interesting topic)? Or do you simply post pictures and vids of men kissing because Jesus wanted us to see that sort of thing? Just curious.

What was it I know I about your nick?


David Dodd March 4, 2010 @ 11:25 p.m.

Oh, hell, one too many "I" in there. Note to self: during internet warz, take it easy on the tequila.


CuddleFish March 4, 2010 @ 11:34 p.m.

Oh, I beg to differ, you want to dislike me, if you didn't want to, you wouldn't. As for the nick, you will give me leave to insist that I know what I meant when I posted it, and that I had never heard of the term "pet fish" until you referenced it in this thread.
Now, I don't believe I have ever posted a video of gay men kissing. I did post the Adam Lambert pic after AG posted it, as a sort of protest, and I have tried to change that avatar, but can't figure out how. But, there, now I suppose you will also call me a liar. :)

Among your other faults, refriend, you can't admit when you are wrong. That is the true pity, but ah well, ...


David Dodd March 4, 2010 @ 11:43 p.m.

Oh, I can admit when I'm wrong, and when that day comes, I'll own up to it.

And, CF, I'm not going to call you a liar, I'm simply going to call you out. No one else, apparently, has the balls. I do. And I'm not your judge. And guess what? You're not mine. Stop chasing me around. I don't hunt you down, I don't care one way or another where you comment or what you say. On the other hand, you seem obsessed. Talk about pity...


CuddleFish March 4, 2010 @ 11:44 p.m.

I beg your pardon, *refried, not refriend. :) And I don't drink, so I have no excuses. Just a poor speller, always have been. My English stinks. :)


CuddleFish March 4, 2010 @ 11:48 p.m.

Refried! Do you really think I follow you around? Really???

Well I give you leave to call me a liar, or anything else you please. And to believe your little friends who tell you that I am trying to cut you down. :)

How's your novel coming along? Wait, ... I don't really want to know. :)


PistolPete March 4, 2010 @ 11:50 p.m.

I call CF out all the time, refried. :-D CF reminds me of the drama queen in high school who would do ANYTHING to be one of the cool kids. got clique, CF?

CF is the only poster on here that I don't respect. I might get into idealogical arguments with posters on here but if you bring your A game and present your argument, I have to respect that. I've yet to see ole Cuddles post a comment where I've thought to myself, "touche". Hasn't happened and I seriously doubt it will. CF is like that swarm of eye gnats you see flying over the block of sidewalk you're just about to traverse-you ditch to the street at the last second yet, there she is ready to try and invade your eyes and nostrils...


CuddleFish March 4, 2010 @ 11:50 p.m.

By the way, I could say the same about you, you know, that you are obsessed with my comments, since you reference them all the time in your comments. Most of the time I ignore you, but tonight I felt like being amused. :)


David Dodd March 5, 2010 @ 12:01 a.m.


CF, I can go back and find your comments behind mine. They are many. They are obvious. They are pointed. They are there for a reason. They aren't accidental. And the sorry part is I'm not the one that notices, it's been brought to my attention by others. But, since you're supposedly a Christian, I'll forgive you because that's what Jesus would do.

Aaand, since tonight I also want to be amused, I'll imagine that when I tell you to go screw yourself, I'll get some sort of a visual about it, maybe like that one time I went to the zoo and saw the monkeys... or maybe not, ew.


CuddleFish March 5, 2010 @ 12:11 a.m.

bigger sigh

You are a tool! Poor poor man!

Well, I leave you to your sad little illusions and beliefs. I'm glad we had this chat. It confirmed what I already suspected, and I hope you are a bit wiser for it, though I very much doubt that. None so blind as those who will not see. :)

By the way, if I need screwing, there's no shortage of men waiting and willing. ;)


David Dodd March 5, 2010 @ 12:23 a.m.

Heh, you keep threatening to knock off yet come back for more. No CF, I don't see the error of my ways. Poor me. I'm a tool and a poor, poor man. Apparently.

"By the way, if I need screwing, there's no shortage of men waiting and willing. ;)"

Which is, you know, what I've always wanted one of my daughters to write in a public forum. Well, maybe not. And thankfully, they haven't.


David Dodd March 5, 2010 @ 12:33 a.m.

"How's your novel coming along? Wait, ... I don't really want to know. :)"

Oh I missed this one! It's fine, CF, and the second one is coming along. How is yours?


CuddleFish March 5, 2010 @ 12:39 a.m.

Oh, I have no grand illusions about my talents as a novelist. I have had a few short stories and poems published, and you know, that sad little esssay here, but no novel.

Sorry to hear that you don't wish your daughter to acknowledge that she is a desirable commodity. I am forced to admit that I have never lacked admirers, though with one foolish exception, they have all been disappointed. :)


CuddleFish March 5, 2010 @ 12:45 a.m.

Now, refried, you must allow me to stop indulging myself at your expense. A little fun is fun, but now I am bored, and have other things to do.

So here's what I suggest: Just give it a minute, and I will go away. You can even say it was your idea! Isn't that grand?

Don't thank me! LOLOLOLOLOLOL


David Dodd March 5, 2010 @ 12:47 a.m.

CF, again, it's all personal with you, and my relationship with my daughter is really none of your business. You don't have the right to speculate on it, and I should probably complain to the Reader, shouldn't I? I think I will.


CuddleFish March 5, 2010 @ 12:54 a.m.

My dear gringo, it is not at all personal! You brought your daughter into the conversation! I don't know her personally, and I certainly meant no offense! Oh, wait, maybe you think I was being offensive toward her, because you were trying to be offensive toward me? By the way, which daughter are we even talking about? Sorry, I haven't kept track of your family.


David Dodd March 5, 2010 @ 1:10 a.m.

I guess I'll have to pull all of my blog entires here. Please don't call me "dear". Please don't follow me around. Leave me alone. Don't ask me about which daughter I'm talking about. You're stalking me. Stop.


CuddleFish March 5, 2010 @ 1:19 a.m.

Oh my dear refried, you are copying me! I was intending to pull all of my blog entries myself! Watch, I will do it right this minute!

Now, be nice. You know you have so many admirers here, and it would really break their hearts if you stormed off in a pet over a troll like me. Please don't wait for their tears to roll and their posts to beg you to stay. You like it here. I can take it or leave it.

And oh by the way, I have never stalked you. You. Are. Not. That. Interesting. At least to me. Sorry.

Anyway, as I said, I have other things to do. I was quite bored with this a while back, it has taken more energy that I wished to waste to keep up this effort.


PistolPete March 5, 2010 @ 1:20 a.m.

For my dearest, bestest friend in the whole wide blogosphere....


David Dodd March 5, 2010 @ 1:45 a.m.

No, CF, you dropped a couple of clues, don't mind if I keep them close to the vest, as insurance. You've researched me and my family (at least, you've tried, and that's enough). I could go over there to your country and get a court order, or I can get the hell out of here. I think I'll get the hell out of here, it's quicker. I'll still read the Reader, I love it, but I don't think anyone will miss me here any more than I would niss my family if you offed them.

Maybe you're not the killing type, but I really don't want to stick around to find out. You can tell me all damned day that I don't matter, and I'll wish I didn't, because obviously I do.


David Dodd March 5, 2010 @ 2:10 a.m.

I'll miss you too, Pete. Be who you are, and be true to yourself, and be humble when you can. All three are important.


Robert Hagen March 5, 2010 @ 6:52 a.m.

Refried Gringo,

Blog is short for 'web log.' You may have a blog, but Barbarella has a column in the Reader. The transcript of it above is an electronic reproduction. Its called electronic publication. The physical publication is a totally different type of publication than a blog. Make the distinction, please.

As far as my writing about cars, it depends what you mean by panning out. I started 'Condo' to write a story about cars and car people. My step dad worked on the Mile of Cars for over a decade, and I sold Chevys as a young man. Made great money, and GM always treated its people right. I figured since GM was so instrumental in helping my family when I was growing up, it would be cool to write about it.

I'm running out of gas on the thing because of the so called terrorist attack on Detroit and the Toyota fiasco. Heres my take:

Its not possible that Toyotas are accelerating out of control because of floor mats or stuck gas pedals, and I simply can't believe that Toyotas electronics are so inferior to other products. The whole thing is unfathomable, so much so that I can only conclude that now car sales have come under the same sort of insanity as the rest of our politics.

I wanted to help move the Hummer division, and the deal closed, which was good for GM and good for China. Then the president visited with the Dalai Lama, and the deal unwound. The plain truth is that now GM is owned by the government, so I guess we can look forward to more and more stories about Toyotas accelerating out of control.

Which story do you like better, Refried Gringo? My fiction or the fiction in what now passes for a newspaper in San Diego?


Barbarella Fokos March 5, 2010 @ 8:57 a.m.

Let me jump in here, haven't read all the comments yet, but I see there's a misunderstanding on refried's part. Diary of a Diva is a COLUMN. It was a column in the paper before it EVER had a presence on the internet. I have a weekly deadline, editors, and copy-editors, and a fixed wordcount for print. It is a COLUMN. Capiche? Now, I do keep a BLOG, on my personal WEB site, an unedited, self-contained web log of varying length and updated randomly. And thanks to Cuddle, I now realize I also have to update my "about me" section, for you are correct, Refried, I no longer host the show on KOGO.


antigeekess March 5, 2010 @ 9:21 a.m.


Thanks for posting that, Barb. I thought that was probably the case.

Don't ya just love posting stuff you've created on the internet? It's kind of like watching the fall of Western Civilization, encapsulated on a web page. It all starts out well and good, but then things go horribly wrong, very quickly.

  1. Idea/Inspiration.
  2. Implementation/Building phase.
  3. Editing/Refinement.
  4. Presentation to general public.
  5. Initial, brief acknowledgement of your Dandy New Thingy.
  6. As the crowd gathers around it, fights break out and pissing contests ensue.
  7. After entire area around your creation has been turned into one big toilet and grafitti has been applied, crowd gets bored with its ego-driven SELF and goes home.

That IS why you became a writer, right? The respect?


Barbarella Fokos March 5, 2010 @ 9:30 a.m.

Haha! Oh, Antigeekess, that was a fun read. :)


Robert Hagen March 5, 2010 @ 11:55 a.m.

Refried Gringo:

I've reviewed your initial post on this thread, and noticed that you are "really interested in how I became an expert in such matters."

Answer: I was a columnist for the Montgomery Aztec high school newspaper in South San Diego, aka Otay Mesa, but a neighborhood that the people who live in call 'Del Sol', and then a columnist for the Southwestern Sun at Southwestern College, in Chula Vista. In short, I studied journalism and practiced it. I still do.

Additionally, I was a producer for the nationally syndicated talk radio program 'Weissbach' in 1996. Peter Weissbach is about the greatest talk radio man west of the Pecos, although we all defer to the 'Art of Talk' Art Bell himself. He is, perhaps, the greatest American journalist since Edward R. Murrow.

RG, you've been decent and supportive of me on this site, but Pistol Pete strikes me as a bully and a self server. I'm not trying to bag on you at all, but if you ask me, I should respond. For, as we both know, we do each live in Tijuana, which has a highly dynamic and engaged media- there are three daily newspapers to choose from in TJ, and journalists here sometimes risk their lives to report the story. I never treat TJ political issues on this site because I don't have the appropriate credentials in Mexico. I do enjoy the freedom of Tijuana to blog on the web.

Its been said that the pen is mightier than the sword, and I want to live in a place where that's true. Communication is what life is all about, it builds relationships. The sword may protect, it may intimidate or it may do violence. The pen is different. The bottom line is this- no free media, no free country.

Finally, speaking of free media, I want to say something to Aaryn Belfer. (I can't get through on

My mom was from Argentina, and Argentina was known as a famously racist country. Its a long story. Anyway, today the coach of the Argentine national soccer team is Diego Maradona. Hes widely regarded as the greatest soccer player in history. But when he played soccer, the upper crust of Argentine society would not accept him, and called him 'Little Black Hair.' Some believe that Maradona got hooked on coke because of this, though thats not at all the point of the story. The point is that Argentina doesn't call Maradona that anymore, and when the Argentine national team was struggling, Argentina didn't can him, even though everyone was predicting it. When the Argentine select take the field for this years World Cup, Maradona will be our Director Technico.

The thing about Argentine soccer is this: Win, lose or draw, we love our team just the same. No Argentine takes the field worried about whether or not they'll be excoriated if they don't deliver. Not ever. If there is a problem at UCSD, thats their problem. Bigotry is a form of ignorance.


Robert Hagen March 6, 2010 @ 9:25 p.m.

I don´t ramble, even when I´m drunk, at least not on the web.

I speculate you chose the phrase in keeping with your Yosemite Sam stylings, which you revert to when your idiotic NeoCon bullying fails to yield results.


PistolPete March 6, 2010 @ 9:59 p.m.

NeoCon? O_o Yup. There ya go ramblin' again...


Robert Hagen March 7, 2010 @ 9:38 a.m.

And the Oscar nomination for fastest morphing Neo-Con provocateur on Diva's web site goes to........

(SE - envelope being ripped open)

Pistol Pete doing his Foghorn Leghorn!

(SE - Thunderous applause)


PistolPete March 7, 2010 @ 7:21 p.m.

You might want to look up the definition of the word Neo-Con, diego...I hate Republicans(Conservatives) & Demomcrats(Liberals)...


vicedevice March 8, 2010 @ 8:26 a.m.

I don't think any of you know anything about goth music which is more important than fashion. Some people like the music but don't like to look like the herd. I will give props to Barb for sparking a lively debate ,but pistolpete, refried, diegonomics and cuddlefish get a f-ing life. And if I see you at a "goth" show watch your back cause we don't back down...not even from seals.


Robert Hagen March 9, 2010 @ 1:25 a.m.

Ask an Argentino! - Special Edition

Q: Argentino, whats up with bloggers in bandanas claiming they're going to take on seals?

A: Oh, thats a San Diego thing. It has nothing to do with reality whatsoever. Pay no attention. Duck your head and go about your business. Save money and leave the country. Do anything but confuse it with reality.

Q: But this post is real! It's on the Reader web site.

A: Have you been reading the San Diego Union?

Q: Yes.

A: First mistake. Detaches you from reality.

Q: But what about the seals?

A: Harbor seals are very gentle, loving creatures. I've swam with them at the Childrens Pool in La Jolla. Larger seals are called 'sea wolves' in Spanish. I've never swam with them. U.S. Navy SEALs are not as gentle and loving as harbor seals, but if you're a woman, they're very good in bed.

Q: Egads, do you think a fight will break out between the Goths and the SEALs? ViceDevice appears quite threatening.

A: You mean the Navy SEAL posing as a Goth? Oops. Scratch that. Oh, look. The soccer games on. Go River Plate! Vamos a ganar!

Q: What about Cuddle Fish?


Q: What about Pistol Pete?

A: Doubtless a Rick Roberts drone. He chafes my balls.

Q: What about Edwin Decker?

A: He's been too busy recruiting for Satan to bother me lately.

Q: What about Refried Gringo?

A: Hmmm, thats a good question. He's probably pissed off and not posting. Good dude.

Q: What about Eric?

A: He's going to make Admiral!

Q: What about Barbarella?

A: She's chill. She hangs out with Goths though, so you know, she's high risk.


Robert Hagen March 9, 2010 @ 10 a.m.

Ask an Argentino! P.S. Edition

Q: How do you know ViceDevice isn't a real goth?

A: Because hes not wearing all black.

Q: You shouldn't stereotype and be such a dick, Argentino. You don't know.

A: Okay, well why dont you show me how?

Q: How come you make fun of the Old Town incident? You think its so funny?

A: No, of course not.

Q: What do you know about Goth music?

A: Oh, Bono is the greatest! Es el mejor! Es de otra planeta El Bono!

Q: How do you figure U2 is Goth?

A: Because Bono wears all black, and hes European. Europeans are Goth chic. Heres a U2 video that I'm throwing out to all the Goths and artists out there today, alright?


Robert Hagen March 9, 2010 @ 10:14 a.m.

Q: Encore! Cela le encore!

A: U2 live in Dublin, 'One Tree Hill' here it is:


Sign in to comment

Win a $25 Gift Card to
The Broken Yolk Cafe

Join our newsletter list

Each newsletter subscription means another chance to win!