Monday, June 22, 2009

A bizarre reminder that people do still read

I write a lot. I write about all kinds of different things. Among my journalistic beats is the constantly evolving world of L.A. bars and clubs.

It’s a very far-reaching landscape, especially considering that I’m writing about them for the L.A. Times.

Anyway, last week I profiled a new Santa Monica bar. The piece can be seen here.

Pretty innocuous, if you ask me.

But then, I receive this response in my email box:

Sent: Friday, June 19, 2009 6:47 PM To: Sterling, Scott Subject: LANYC question to you boyo are you a native of LA? No? Huh? If you are why do you ever let some smart ass naw yawker dictate the conversation i.e. "We're very much against the whole flash-in-the-pan phenomenon that seems to rule out here," Lieberman says. "Places seem to change every couple of years in L.A. We're New Yorkers, where bars have been there for 50 or 60 years. There are only a few I can think of like that out here in L.A." What the hell does that mean? Why not fire back 'What happened? You couldn't make it in NOLA or 'naw yawk'? No instead you roll over like countless others have to these braying self-centered ego maniacs because you declined to 'connect the dots'. Nothing has changed since 1958 when O'Malley came here with his thieving eyes on Chavez Ravine. If you want to truly be a great writer ask what most reporters won't ask i.e. become a writer instead of a flunkey for those who have nothing but contempt for the greatest city in the world - Los Angeles. Considering where those two located their 'bar' (Santa Monica) all they're going to attract is more like themselves - ex clowns from anywhere but Los Angeles.

OK, I get it. The L.A. native has taken offense at what the bar owner said about his hometown. But seriously? Now I’m supposed to attack bar owners with the ferocity of Woodward and Bernstein uncovering the Watergate scandal? Um, I think not.

Ultimately, I’m kind of impressed with myself. I have to take pride in the fact that this basic piece about a guy opening a bar has a reader all twisted up to the point that he’s spending precious time ranting at me over email instead of, oh, I don’t know, having an ice cream cone or taking a walk on a lovely L.A. day.

But still. I just have to laugh. The power of the pen is no joke, y’all. Even when it is. Like Ice-T so eloquently said back in the day, “Freedom of Speech…just watch what you say.”