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Don Bauder didn’t contact enough people before writing his diatribe about the “Wolverine” network (“Smear Machine,” “City Lights,” October 30).

Had he done what a journalist should have done (and Don used to be a journalist, before the Colorado cold froze his brain), he might have gotten a response — assuming a response is what he wanted — I have some doubt about that.

I’d just like Don to know that I have never once used anything I read on the “Wolverine Network” as a basis for a story involving Mike Aguirre. This is the first time any such comment by Mike has reached me, and I just wanted to assure Mike that anything I have said about him in my many stories regarding him has been based on my own personal observations of and about Mike Aguirre.

I don’t need John Kaheny to feed me information — the facts are there in plain sight for anyone to see, if they will only look.

Doug Curlee

Don Bauder replies: I contacted almost 20 people for the column. Few responded.

Crasher Basher

Despite his consistent exploitation of the English language in a manner that is altogether deplorable, Josh Board has been allowed to write his “Crasher” columns and daily blogs for the Reader for what seems an inexcusable amount of time. The very idea of a “party crasher’s diary” begs to be interesting, if not hilarious, when done well, and I find it hard to believe that week after week Mr. Board is permitted by the Reader to print (and unfortunately get paid for) his work. It is an insult to those who read your publication (which I happen to enjoy doing) and to the writers in San Diego who bothered to learn correct grammar and would jump at the opportunity that Josh Board manages to squander week after week.

Memorable “Crasher” Quotes (MCQ) #1:

— “I went to Disneyland today.” (End paragraph)

— “I was expecting the worst. It’s a Saturday. Great weather, the place would be packed.” (Hemingway rolls over in his grave.)

— “And, loved that there was only a 15 minute wait.” (I think most of us learned not to start sentences with conjunctions in the third grade. Or, possibly earlier.)

First of all, I understand that the “Crasher” is just a guy going to parties he’s invited to, usually accompanied by his girlfriend or a friend who he makes pay for parking. Said crasher then writes about them in your publication to let the general public know what a grand old time he had. I also know he normally leaves out the names of the people to preserve their identities when necessary (unless he’s misspelling or misquoting them) and keeps the specifics to a minimum (which is either admirable or incredibly lazy).

Smattering of MCQ #2:

— “An example being this story from a few weeks back.” (I wonder if he knows what that long, green dotted line underneath all his incorrect grammar in Microsoft Word means?)

— “As would many of their parents.” (Parents that didn’t teach them what an incomplete sentence was.)

— “Gillian Anderson, who stared [sic] in the X-Files, was probably getting sick of her costar David Duchoveny [sic] making all the news with his sex addiction and divorce” (“Daily Crasher,” “Blogs,” October 22). (We all know Agent Scully stares intently through season 873.)

I have had the opportunity to meet Josh on two occasions during the past three or four months. We first met at Thanksgiving in July, a party for which his column somehow ended up titled “Sumo Follies” (August 7). I believe it is only fair to mention that I was peripherally involved in the planning of this event, as well as more directly involved in organizing the Intense Individual Party featured in the October 23 “Crasher.” Disclosure seems to be a tactful journalistic endeavor that Mr. Board doesn’t quite understand.

While appalled at his ability to reduce Thanksgiving in July to a pathetic description of how great he was at “horse” and spit incomplete sentences such as “And there was a blow-up ‘Moon Bounce’ for kids,” I’ll limit my discussion to his latest column, “Ignore the Joker” (October 23).

As Josh so kindly mentions in “Ignore the Joker,” the Intense Individual Party was a charity event for ARTS, an incredible organization that provides art and music therapy and instruction to homeless and disadvantaged children in San Diego. I strongly resent his slanderous mention that the event probably lost money for the charity, when in fact we made over $10,000. He didn’t bother to ask, despite many emails after the event demanding we provide him with all the photos for his article, complete with captions, because his camera conveniently wasn’t working correctly — a stunt he pulled for the Thanksgiving in July article, despite taking several pictures at both events. I think it goes without saying that he was being paid for us to assemble the photos for him by midnight, as he asked several times, or the article wouldn’t run. Well, Josh, you shouldn’t have waited until the day your horribly written article was due to ask someone else to do your job for you.

I was also confounded when I read that Josh and his girlfriend somehow felt bad for not paying the $20 cover for the event, yet weeks beforehand he felt the need to send us an email making sure he didn’t have to “drop $40 to get in,” because if so, he had a few other parties he’d rather go to. So apparently it’s okay to ask to get in free to a charity event (which he was well aware of at the time), yet write about how guilty you felt that you weren’t given the chance to donate to such a great charity because the organizers put you on the list. This is exactly the kind of tactful disclosure that Josh conveniently doesn’t apply to his poor excuse for humor. I’m sorry, Josh, but there was a donation box right on the table where you read all the literature about the charity, and you could have easily slipped at least a dollar bill in there if you wanted.

MCQ #3:

“I logged onto this, not sure what I would even write about. And, I noticed for the last few days, the advertisement for the Oliver Stone movie W.” (“Daily Crasher,” “Blogs,” October 16). (Absolutely my favorite. Perfect evidence that verbal diarrhea does in fact exist.)

The only reason we had Mr. Board write about the party in the first place was to shed a little light on the people at ARTS doing great things for this community, and we were willing to put aside the fact that it would probably be poorly written. I am asking the editors of the Reader to allow someone to write a positive story about the Intense Individual Party and ARTS and to discontinue their promotion of Josh Board’s continuous drivel, because it tarnishes the reputation of an otherwise excellent publication.

I will leave you with some words of wisdom:

“Google’s free Gmail service is putting ‘Mail Goggles’ on their computers.

“It’s funny. We all know about ‘beer goggles.’ Well… this, too, involves beer. You see, if you’ve downed too much, and send your boss an email telling him his toupee looks like crap, or that you peed in the coffee pot…well, it could cost you your job. So, inebriated e-mailers would have to correctly answer five math questions before they can send an email.” — Josh Board (“Daily Crasher,” “Blogs,” October 15).

If you continue to allow Mr. Board to write your party column, will you please package a pair of “Crasher Goggles” with each Reader so that we might all be able to understand what the hell he is talking about?

Robert Lowth
via email

Josh Board replies: I get invited to many charity events (some charge $500 a person). I occasionally say that if I’m comped, I might attend.

My digital camera wasn’t working the night of the Intense Individual Party. When Lisa told me she’d provide photos the next day, I was thrilled. I didn’t receive them. The following day, I asked again. I was told I’d have them by noon. At noon, no photos. I was working on deadline, so I let her know that if I didn’t receive the photos that night, the story wouldn’t run.

I did have photos for the Thanksgiving in July party, but I mentioned that I wasn’t happy with them. She offered up their photos, and I thanked her and asked if she could give me the names of the people in them to provide captions.

Why Didn’t We Think Of That?

I’m an avid reader of your magazine and have been picking up issues for about a year now, mainly because it’s free. I guess that’s one reason I shouldn’t complain. However, does everything in it have to be sexually suggestive and all your ads pertain to mental-disorder trials, plastic surgery, or laser hair removal? Is that essential to keep your publication running?

Then there are the columns, Barbarella, for example. The picture she uses is a big turnoff, first of all. I get this trendy goth feeling. I guess it fits the mood of the magazine, but I think she should lose all the facial work, including makeup, and just have a nice picture of herself. I also think one of your pages should have a dedicated page to crossword, chess problem, comic strip, and a brief political write-up like on page five or six.

I realize you’re not a newspaper, but if you start thinking along those lines, your magazine may gain more popularity and you’ll gain bigger sponsors, and then you can ditch the garbage. Thanks.

via email

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BFD. Get over it, already. Your little party write-up wasn't to your specifications. Why the character assassination? Rico, your 15 minutes is up.

Is that the "Conjunction junction, what's your function" character in the T-shirts photo above?

Um, no "facial work," only red lipstick. Guess I must be naturally gothy. ;)

But I start sentences with conjunctions.

And sometimes I see sentences begun with conjunctions in publications like the Economist.

Or maybe we're all just bad writers?

And I'd have to give back all that money I've earned over the years as a professional writer.

But that would suck...

Fred Williams

I suppose we are all terrible writers at some point. But, readers still get the point even though some writers are consistently writing badly written writing. If that is the case then I would have to assume that those particular writers are at least consistant.

My damn girlfriend thinks Ollie is a funnier writer than I am! It irks me. I try to say "Baby, that cat can write about anything regarding those TV shows. I have to write ONLY what I witness at these parties, and I may not witness anything funny."

If she starts shouting out his name in bed, we're thru!

Tsk,tsk,tsk...You should have crashed Golden Hall on election night. There was plenty to work with.

When Josh arrived, his girlfriend was already nagging him. "Why aren't you as good a writer as Ollie? And Robert Lowth says you start sentences with conjunctions."

"Leave me alone. I just want to get some free drinks from the Republicans."

"Something's happening. What are those people doing?"

Where the world's ugliest water sculpture spills foamy chlorinated brine over what looks like prison walls into a septic pool, two groups of campaign supporters were shouting and waving signs.

"We want Richard Head!"

"We want Rection"

The two mobs moved closer, shouting their candidate's names."

"Dick Head! Dick Head! Dick Head!"

"Hugh G. Rection! Hugh G. Rection!"

A Head supporter swung first. In a moment fists were flying, blood was spurting from broken noses, and Josh Board was smacked upside the head by a sign-wielding granny.

"You little..." The old lady bolted. Josh followed.

"You, hold it right there or I'll shoot!" A steroid pumped police man held his .45 colt straight out, covering Josh.

"I'm innocent!"

Josh's hands shot up.

"This one's for Sarah Palin, you liberal!"

"No!" Josh slumped to the concrete.

The campaigners scattered. Police, security, and secret service agents converged on Josh, guns drawn.

"Watch it. I think he's a socialist."

"Stay down, scum bag!"

"We're members of the Police Officers Association, so we better not find out you voted!"

Josh tried to pull off his "I Voted" sticker, missing a large chunk of his upper arm.

"Stop moving!"

"Stop resisting!"

"I'll shoot again!"

Josh's girlfriend returned to the scene arm in arm with Ollie.

"Dude," said Ollie, "you only get arrested if the cops have a good reason. Hey, babe. Let's go back to my place and watch some T.V."

Josh was cuffed and carried to the back of a squad car, where he banged his head on the glass until he was finally subdued with pepper spray and Taser shocks.

As the cruiser pulled away, Obama supporters let out a mighty roar. Cars honked. The cops looked grim, seething in anticipation of the revenge beating they would give to the punk in custody, while Josh groaned in the back seat.

It took the the Reader almost two days to get Josh released, so the Golden Hall crasher story may be a little late.

But be sure, when it comes out, it will be a helluva story.

And Ollie, who never starts sentences with conjunctions, and Josh's former girlfriend, lived happily ever after.

The End

It's because Ollie was wearing the funnier "I Farted" sticker that was pooh-poohed by Josh as infantile fart humor....

Beautiful! Post #10 is definitly creative. I give it a 10 out of 10. I just hope the advocates from Teaching Writer's Accepted Tagmemics Singly or (T.W.A.T.S.) Will not disect and come out with their RED inked correction pens scribbling away at your stories Fred. ;)

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