Friday, December 30, 2005
More "Your Neighbor" and Byron de Arakal
First, I note with some amusement that an activist who resembles my character "Your Neighbor" has, once again, found
a forum for his denials. He somehow convinced the editors of the Orange County Register's Current - the weekly supplement
covering Newport Beach and Costa Mesa - to print much of what he published in his "little newsletter" a few days
earlier. As I said before, denial is not truth, it's only denial.
11:35 pm pst
And, to add to the fun, the publisher of the Daily Pilot, Tom Johnson, announced today that he will begin writing a weekly
column in that fine newspaper. It seems he has opinions to present in opposition to some within our community and he specifically
mentioned someone he called "Mensa Marty". Gee, I wonder who that might be?
Let's wrap up this year with some more good news. My friend, Byron de Arakal, has joined the blogosphere! A couple days
ago he announced to me and the rest of the world that he's created his very own web log - Itchingpost.com - which can be reached
by clicking on the new link on my "Useful Links" page. From the look of his first couple entries, it seems my muse
has some pent-up thoughts to be presented to the world - unedited. I hope you will mark his link for frequent viewing because
he's a talented guy with much to say and a very special way of saying it.
On that especially cheerful note let me wish you all a very Happy New Year. This is a time for contemplation of new beginnings,
so please join me in resolving to do a better job of paying attention to what's happening in our town - and to try to make
a difference. As we've found out lately, one voice can make a difference, so I invite you to grab a song book and add yours
to the chorus.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
An Unexpected Christmas Gift
Well, Christmas is behind us and we're looking forward to the end of this year and the beginning 2006. You know, that time
of the year when we gorge ourselves with football and holiday meals, make unattainable resolutions and are disappointed when
we fall short of keeping them.
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My Christmas was terrific, and involved lots of shared love with family and friends. Parties were hosted, cookies exchanged,
neighbors re-introduced and the spirit of the season spread far and wide. There were even some gifts exchanged, which brought
smiles to many faces.
The biggest surprise I received on Christmas Day, though, was the publication in the Daily Pilot of yet another masterful
commentary by my muse, Byron de Arakal. Some may know that it was a piece penned by de Arakal when he was an influential
and highly paid columnist for the Daily Pilot a few years ago that provoked me to write my very first letter to the editor.
That letter was published by the Daily Pilot editors, so I just kept writing. The editors spoiled me by publishing most of
what I sent them, sometimes once a week for many months. Over the intervening years I've teased de Arakal for his part in
this folly, accusing him of creating a monster. There are more than a few in our community that would agree with that description.
Byron de Arakal left his "big bucks" role as columnist for awhile, then returned to share the Watchdog banner with
another author from Newport Beach - de Arakal typically covers Costa Mesa items. He's not lost a step, though, as witnessed
by his commentary Sunday.
In that commentary, the theme of which was his first annual "Costa Mesa Watchdog Awards", he skewered our young
jailer/mayor, Allan Mansoor; his buddy, mayor pro tem Eric Bever; the entire Costa Mesa City Council plus local "activist"
Martin Millard and your humble correspondent. The following is an excerpt from that commentary that addresses Millard and
"The Blood and Guts Blog Wars Award goes to Costa Mesa scribes Geoff West and Martin Millard. West and Millard have been
trading pointed adjectives for most of 2005.
In his abubblingcauldron.com blog, West is often lampooning Millard's tirades against illegal immigrants and the soon-defunct
Costa Mesa Job Center in a running narrative called 'Your Neighbor.'
In it, West dismisses Millard's "improvement" mantra as a thinly veiled campaign to drive Latinos out of Costa Mesa.
West often cites Millard's prolific essay writing (lengthy treatises advocating gene purity as a universal truth) for New
Nation News to buttress the point.
In his electronic newsletter Millard paints a characterization of West as a 'Lonely Old Man' sitting around his rented home
in his dirty Fruit-of-the-Looms with tuna cans over his ears. It's brutal stuff, but great reading."
As I said, Byron de Arakal hasn't missed a step.
First, to set the record straight, I have never, specifically, said that Martin Millard is my theoretical character "Your
Neighbor", although I must admit that he certainly does bear an uncanny resemblance to him. I'll just leave that to
the speculation of my readers.
I had to chuckle when I originally read the quote in Millard's "newsletter" mentioned by de Arakal. I do admit
to being an "Old Man", but that's not necessarily bad when you consider the alternative. As far as being "Lonely"
- Hah! Not likely!
The "rented home" comment made me snicker, since my lovely and patient wife and I have not written a rent check
since 1971. Of course, that's just old Martin's version of accuracy.
I want to thank some of my friends and neighbors for their kind responses to de Arakal's piece. One close friend tells me
that his sweet wife is busily washing out used tuna cans for me, and when finished, she will be dispatched to Costco to buy
a few cases for future contributions. I was disappointed, though, that my friend didn't volunteer some of his "Fruit-of-the-Looms",
So, as we make our way through the remainder of this holiday season, it looks like old Martin - whose scowling countenance
on the New Nation News web site very much resembles The Grinch - and I will continue to spar. From my side, as long as "Your
Neighbor" continues to publish his racist venom, I'll continue to point it out. As long as he continues to attempt to
infect our community with his putrid philosophy, I'll continue to comment on it. As long as he continues to pull the strings
for local politicians I'll continue pull the curtain back so you can see the man manipulating the dummies.
For a little recent history, please refer to the archive below dated 12/21/05 at the link below coded 2005.12.18 - it will
give you some perspective.
On that happy note, I'll close this posting by encouraging you to give those New Year's resolutions some serious contemplation.
Here's an easy one for you - resolve to read this blog several times each week. You never know - you just might decide
to get more involved in community activities as a result.