Letters: ‘Jesus Revolution’, JK Rowling, ‘Dilbert’ and drag

‘Revolution’ soft pedals

Katie Walsh is so right in her review of ‘The Jesus Revolution!’ [“They Know Not What They Do,” Feb. 23]. I was there on the Orange County coast 50 years ago and was very involved in the movement.

I saw the film on February 24th and to its credit it is beautifully shot with great Newport Beach shoreline scenery, the actors are great and it portrays both the positives and some of the internal conflicts of the movement.

The movie doesn’t go far enough. He fails to mention that Chuck Smith condemned gays and lesbians. I well remember a Sunday morning sermon in which he declared, “They’re called queers because that’s what they are — queers!” This was long before the acronym “LGBTQ” was formed.

The film does not mention that Smith embraced Hal Lindsay’s book, “The Late Great Planet Earth” and preached that Henry Kissinger’s last name matched the mark of the Beast and was “weary to watch” as the possible Antichrist.

The film does not mention that Smith preached the imminent rapture of Christians and the return of Jesus from Nazareth to planet Earth. And with such passion that he ordered the message “Jesus is coming soon…” on the outer wall of his new sanctuary. Several years later the message was removed because none of this ever happened.

Sure, the Jesus Revolution helped thousands of hippies get off drugs. But only by getting hooked on a different drug – Jesus as preached by Smith and his trainees. And this drug has not worked for everyone.

False faith and beliefs can be deceptive and sometimes dangerous.

David William Salvaggio


Deep dive into attraction

Thanks to Christopher Knight for the brilliantly well-written comment on drag [“Don’t Be a Drag, Just Be a Queen,” Feb. 23]. It was great to read about how drag purposely confounds sexist definitions of what a desirable woman or real man looks like. And how drag, even for non-performers young and old, can be a courageous act of standing up for their own sense of self.

Mom and Dad took me to a drag show in San Francisco in the 60s when I was an impressionable pre-teen. The jokes mostly went over my head, but the sense of full blast being who you are was invigorating at a time when being a girl was not to be considered and most of the options offered to young girls were buttoned up . -below housewife, nurse, teacher or mother.

I love the way being a woman is both celebrated and criticized by drag at the same time.

Suvan Gir

Santa Ana

Where have all the people gone?

Mary McNamara’s column describing the exodus of half a million Californians to other states [“Despite Exodus, State’s Still in a Jam,” Feb. 20] it was an eye opener.

As a transplant to Maryland many years ago, I was particularly impressed with her astute observation that “the absence of anything approaching a decent crab cake” is one of the many reasons given. I’ve been looking for one in SoCal for 55 years with no success, so I feel her pain.

I hope she rewards her readers if she ever finds one.

Paul Updegrove

Sherman Oaks

It’s not that easy to ignore

I was disappointed that Mary McNamara, whose columns I usually enjoy, decided to use her platform to oppose JK Rowling and Rowling’s defense of women-only spaces [“It’s Time to Just Ignore J.K. Rowling,” Feb. 21].

Instead of empathizing with women who have been physically abused by men (like Rowling by her ex-husband) or women who have been raped, McNamara’s mysterious column seemed to empathize only with trans women who still have men genitalia and want you to use female-only spaces.

McNamara writes: “Rowling’s own trauma is terrible and undeniable. It does not, however, give her much insight into the transgender community.”

What does the word McNamara mean? Rowling does not claim to have insight into the transgender community. She claims to have knowledge from her own experience in the community of women who have experienced abuse at the hands of men (or “penis people”) or who fear they could be victims of male sexual violence.

Rowling defends these women, but McNamara does not.

It is not transphobic to state that women continue to suffer sexual violence and abuse at the hands of men and deserve women-only safe spaces. It may be unfortunate that to protect this relatively large community of women, some trans women who would never harm a woman may not be able to use certain women-only bathrooms, spas, or other spaces.

Speaking out about protecting women from being challenged or potentially abused is not transphobic, and it does not mean that all trans women are abusers, just as it does not mean that all men are abusers.

Joanne Parent

Los Angeles


Do I agree with Rowling? I do not know. But the only arguments I’ve seen on the matter don’t support her point. they just accuse her of transphobia.

Accusing Rowling of being transphobic is no doubt fine, but it in no way addresses her argument.

Barry Carlton

El Cajon


We live in a horribly male-dominated society. Women are raped and abused by men every second, minute, hour, day, life. Yet we demand that women welcome our bullies and abusers into our locker rooms, with their genitalia fully exposed.

Perhaps one could argue this point if women were completely equal to men and valued and loved, but that is not reality. So, until women have equality and value, no male genitalia are allowed in the women’s locker room.

Kathryn Cosmeya-Dodge

Santa Monica


Thanks to McNamara for saying what she said about JK Rowling. It just had to be said.

Marie Mulligan

Manhattan Beach

Difference in “Dilbert”

I was glad to see that the LA Times joined many other papers around the country in properly discontinuing the cartoon ‘Dilbert’, as much as I’ve enjoyed it over the years [“Comics Change,” Feb. 27].

I am appalled that Scott Adams would damage his career in such a reckless manner by clearly expressing racist and cruel views. This has nothing to do with “political correctness” or “vigilante”. It is about decency and good manners, which he should have learned from his parents.

Doug Weiskopf



Why in the name of vigilance did you make the decision to cancel ‘Dilbert’? It’s by far the best of your comics.

I can only guess that the pointy boss must have been behind it.

Wally would be proud of you.

Chris Bisgard

Eagle, Idaho


Anyone who has followed “Dilbert” for many years must admit that the strip went from a boring commentary on the corporate workplace to a barely veiled right-wing attack on any corporate effort to increase diversity, inclusivity or environmental awareness.

But even worse, it’s just not funny anymore.

It probably should have been dropped a long time ago, but now that Adams has revealed his true nature as a racist, it should be dropped.

And to Elon Musk and other Adams defenders: This has nothing to do with free speech. The right to free speech applies to governments, not what newspapers choose to print (or what distributors choose to distribute).

Racism is not acceptable and should be banished from the public sphere whenever possible.

David Weber



Thank you for removing his strip. Although very funny and true many times, Scott Adams is clearly racist.

The Times Needs Its Own Cartoonist: Bring Back Michael Ramirez! It is sharp and would make readers engage with a different point of view.

The late, great Paul Conrad did just that when the Times was conservative and it wasn’t!

Mary Dickinson

Alta Loma

Alternative bookstores

The story of Melissa Gomez [“‘Queen of Pasadena’ Inspires a Dream Move,” Feb. 19] says Nikki High’s bookstore wasn’t the first in Los Angeles to be owned by a woman of color, but you only go back to 2019 to list potential candidates for who could be first.

I believe my wife, Julie Swayze, was the first. In 2006 he opened Metropolis Books on Main Street in the heart of DTLA. Scott Timberg did a story on our opening and Nita Lelyveld covered our closing on the front page of the Sunday, September 18, 2011, edition of the Los Angeles Times.

Steve Bowie



Congratulations to Nikki High and Octavia’s Bookshelf, a necessary addition to the Altadena/Pasadena Black and Latino communities.

It is also important to recognize Rita Dyson, owner of Altadena/Pasadena Black and Latino Multicultural Bookstore, which opened in 1989 [“Altadena Store Offers Books on Minorities,” Dec. 27] and closed in 1993 [“A Common Cause: Rita Dyson Is Struggling to Save Her Most Uncommon Bookstore,” Sept. 13] after financial challenges; a flood that destroyed the bookstore, causing it to move to a different location. and local disputes over national identity and labels that continue to this day [“My Black Ancestors Were Erased From My Family’s Memory,” Feb. 13; “I Don’t Call Myself Latinx, but the Conservative War Against it Is Ludicrous,” Feb. 15].

My family, former students, and colleagues and neighbors in Altadena and Pasadena have fond memories of Rita’s warm greeting at the door, lively displays, and wonderful books from Children’s Book Press, Aunt Lute, Latin Publishers America, Africana studies and other books that describe the diversity of experiences of non-white people.

My young children and students enjoyed seeing themselves pictured in the children’s books Rita had in her store. To this day they are avid readers and I believe in her efforts and courage to open her bookstore, the first in our Pasadena/Altadena communities.

And for Nikki High, this community is the place for you.

Suzette Vidal


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