I’m sorry to break it to you, Matthew Singer, but we Boomers won’t be shutting up anytime soon. Why should we? We still have plenty to say! Though I am one of only two actors in the Ojai Art Center’s production of The Heidi Chronicles (reviewed in Singer’s article “Sixties Overload,” 5/24/07) that classify ourselves as Late Boomers, I think I can safely speak for the entire cast and our full-fledged Boomer director, Steve Grumette, when I assert that everyone could learn from a steady look back at the seminal period and ideas explored in this play.

Though I’m gratified that you enjoyed the show, you wrote that playwright Wendy Wasserstein and her contemporaries should “get over it.” That is disrespectful towards the generation that brought you women’s rights, ecological consciousness, the vote for 18 year olds and the birth control pill.

We all need to be reminded — yes, even ad nauseum — of a time when causes were celebrated, protest was cool, and old paradigms were turned on their heads. A little ’60s outrage would be welcome in light of today’s Vietnam-redux in the Middle East. Instead, the heartland is glued to American Idol — and no one is going to confuse Sanjaya with John Lennon!

Thank goodness there’s a place like Ojai, where aging hippies and young bohemians celebrate ’60s ideals, and local theater embraces nostalgia with both wistfulness and mildly self-deprecating whimsy. Pardon me, but maybe your generation should shut up and hold your Bic lighters aloft in honor of the contributions of Boomers.

Jolene Rae Harrington


A tall tale

Frantic, I got on the hot-line, emailed, telegrammed and finally called George Walker Bush, our hit man, I mean the president, urging him repeatedly to declare Ventura County \”a national disaster area.” To my surprise, it was the president himself who picked up the phone.

He said, “Hey, hey, hey, what\’s the deal? I hear things are pretty calm in Ventura. Isn\’t Gallegly still there? Isn\’t he staying the course and keeping an …”

“That\’s the problem!\” I blurted in, my complete frustration surprising me again. \”He is staying the course, and still, Hurricane Gallegly has just stormed through our peaceful community leaving 65,000 surging child soldiers in the wake and over half our county\’s representation completely wiped off the map!”

“Well, it goes to show, your urge is nothin\’ like a surge. Heh, heh, heh. That\’s a good one! But hey, the problem sounds serious,\” the President said. \”As soon as I get done with \’Goat-Boy,\’ I\’ll work on it.”

In light of Katrina, Kansas, and now Ventura, I knew I was in some kind of disastrous path, and choosing not to wait, or head directly into the eye-of-the storm, I quickly tried to find shelter. When I got there, the writing was on the wall. The last time the National

Guard was ever able to be in two places at once was when Bush himself was one of its members.

Besides, how could we possibly expect anything from someone whose only medal of honor is the silver spoon in his mouth? Meanwhile, Hurricane Mini-Bush, I mean, Hurricane Gallegly has not broken up. It\’s still blowin\’ hard off our coast, looming and threatening, with a likelihood of more violent storms up ahead. But as far as the eye can see, Gallegly is Ventura County\’s only national disaster. And the good news is, he\’s a hurricane ordinary people can do something about.

Grant Marcus


Oil on the brain

Apparently the cause of the problem in Darfur, Sudan, is oil. Read F. William Engdahl’s article on www.globalresearch.ca. It is most enlightening. China has more than $1.3 trillion in mainly US dollar reserves. It is replacing the IMF and the World Bank for loans to African nations that are rich in oil. China lends money for schools, roads and hospitals with no interest and no strings attached. The US is furious that China is succeeding with these many African nations. (Sudan is capable of producing 500,000 barrels of oil a day!)

So, who supplied the rebels in Sudan with arms through Chad in 2004? The US, of course. Bush does not care about the genocide in Iraq. He is only interested in oil. The US is trying to blame Sudan for the mayhem in Darfur, calling it genocide, but it is actually the US that has instigated the covert operations not only in Sudan but in all the African nations with oil. The next war will be with China.

There are so many new energy technologies waiting to be funded, but this administration is only focused on oil.

Marguerite Peterson

Santa Paula

Save baby cows

This week my thoughts turned to dairy cows, worldwide symbols of motherhood, who never even get to see their babies.

The newborn calves are torn from their mothers at birth and chained by the neck in tiny wood crates. They are denied mother\’s milk and love as well as natural food and water, fresh air and sunshine, straw bedding or any movement. They suffer from chronic anemia, diarrhea and respiratory disorders.

The sick product of this misery, laced with saturated fat, cholesterol, antibiotics, and hormones, is sold in gourmet restaurants as veal.

Because of consumers\’ revulsion at these abuses, the infamous veal crates have been banned by the European Union. Yet the U.S. dairy and veal industries have resisted similar reforms.

If we truly believe in motherhood, we should drop veal, milk, and other dairy products from our diet.

Vince Helferich