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

‘Revolution’ soft pedals

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

I saw the film on February 24th and gave it credit for being beautifully shot with a great backdrop of the Newport Beach shoreline, the actors are great and portraying both the positives and some of the internal conflicts of the movement.

The film doesn’t go far enough. There is no mention of Chuck Smith condemning gays and lesbians. I remember one Sunday morning sermon in which he declared, “They are called gays because they are – gays!” This was long before the acronym “LGBTQ” came into being.

The film fails to mention that Smith accepted Hal Lindsey’s book The Late Great Planet Earth and preached that Henry Kissinger’s surname was the mark of the beast and was “boringly watched” as a possible antichrist.

The film does not mention that Smith preached about the imminent rapture of Christians and the return of Jesus from Nazareth to planet Earth. And so passionately that he ordered the message “Jesus is coming soon…” on the outside wall of his new sanctuary. A few years later, the message was removed because none of that ever happened.

Sure, the Jesus Revolution helped thousands of hippies get off drugs. But only by becoming addicted to another drug – Jesus as preached by Smith and his trainees. And this drug hasn’t worked for everyone.

Misguided beliefs and beliefs can be illusory and sometimes dangerous.

David William Salvaggio


Dive deep into drag

Many thanks to Christopher Knight for the brilliantly written commentary on drag [“Don’t Be a Drag, Just Be a Queen,” Feb. 23]. It was great to read how drag deliberately messes up the definitions of sexism about what a desirable woman or real man looks like. And how drag can be a courageous act for underperforming young and old to defend their own self-esteem.

Mom and Dad took me to a drag show in San Francisco in the ’60s when I was an impressionable teenager. The jokes were mostly over my head, but feeling the full exhilaration of who you are was a pick-me-up at a time when being a girl meant fewer than and most opportunities offered to young girls , were buttoned-down housewife, nurse, teacher or mother.

I love how womanhood is celebrated and criticized at the same time.

Suvan Geer

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] was an eye opener.

As a Maryland transplant recipient many years ago, I was particularly struck by her astute observation that “lacking anything resembling a decent crab cake” is one of several reasons given. I’ve been looking for one in SoCal for 55 years with no luck, so I feel her pain.

I hope she will reward her readers if she ever finds one.

Paul Updegrove

Sherman Oaks

Not so easy to ignore

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

Rather than having empathy for women who have been physically abused by men (like Rowling was by her ex-husband) or women who have been raped, McNamara’s scathing column appeared to only have empathy for trans women who still have male genitalia and wish to use it Women only areas.

McNamara writes, “Rowling’s own trauma is terrible and undeniable. However, it doesn’t give her any particular insight into the transgender community.”

What does McNamara mean? Rowling does not claim to have insight into the transgender community. She claims to have first-hand insight into the community of women who have experienced abuse at the hands of men (or “people with penises”) or who fear being victims of sexual violence at the hands of men.

Rowling champions these women, but McNamara does not.

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

Advocating to protect women from arousal or potential abuse is not transphobic and does not mean that all trans women are abusers, any more than it means that all men are abusers.

Joanna parents

Los Angeles


Do I agree with Rowling? I don’t know. But the only arguments I’ve seen on the subject don’t really get to their point; they only accuse her of transphobia.

Accusing Rowling of transphobia undoubtedly feels good, but it in no way addresses her argument.


El Cajon


We live in a terribly male-dominated society. Women are being raped and abused by men every second, minute, hour, day, life. Yet we demand that women accept our dominators and abusers in our dressing rooms with their genitals fully exposed.

Perhaps this point could be argued if women were fully equal to men and valued and loved, but that is not the reality. So until women are equal and valued, male genitals are not allowed in women’s dressing rooms.

Kathryn Kosmeya-Dodge

santa monica


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

Marie Mulligan

Manhattan Beach

Deviating on ‘Dilbert’

I was pleased to see that the LA Times, like many other newspapers across the country, had the right to shut down the “Dilbert” cartoon strip, much as I’ve enjoyed it over the years [“Comics Change,” Feb. 27].

I am amazed that Scott Adams would so recklessly damage his career by voicing openly racist and cruel views. This has nothing to do with “political correctness” or “wokeism”. It’s about decency and good manners, which he is said to have learned from his parents.

Doug Weisskopf



Why on earth did you make the decision to cancel the “Dilbert” comic? It’s by far the best of your comics.

I can only assume that the boss with the sharp head must be behind it.

Wally would be proud of you.

Chris Bisgaard

Eagle, Idaho


Anyone who’s followed “Dilbert” for many years must admit that the flick has evolved from a scathing comment on the corporate workplace into a thinly-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 had to be dropped.

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

Racism is unacceptable and should be banned from public view if possible.

David Weber



Thanks for removing his stripe. While often very funny and true, Scott Adams is clearly a racist.

The Times Needs Its Own Editorial Cartoonist: Bring Michael Ramirez Back! He is perceptive and would engage readers with a different perspective.

The late great Paul Conrad did just that when The Times was conservative. And it wasn’t him!

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 name possible candidates for who might be first.

I believe my wife, Julie Swayze, was the first. In 2006 she opened Metropolis Books on Main Street, in the heart of DTLA. Scott Timberg wrote an article about our opening and Nita Lelyveld covered our closure on the front page of the Sunday September 18, 2011 Los Angeles Times.

steve bowie



Kudos to Nikki High and Octavia’s Bookshelf, a much needed addition to the Altadena/Pasadena Black and Latino communities.

It’s also important to give credit to Rita Dyson, owner of the 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 and forced them to move elsewhere; and local squabbles over ethnic 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, my former students, and my colleagues and neighbors in Altadena and Pasadena have fond memories of Rita’s warm welcome at the door, lively exhibitions, and amazing books from Children’s Book Press, Aunt Lute, Latin American Publishers, Africana Studies, and other books that described have the diversity of experiences of non-white people.

My young children and students loved seeing herself represented in the children’s books Rita carried around her shop. To this day they are avid readers and I appreciate their effort and courage in opening their bookstore, a first in our Pasadena/Altadena communities.

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

Suzette Vidal


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