When I want to get an eyeful of nudity I can check out, well, Playboy. There’s late-night viewing of Cinemax’s (a.k.a. Skinemax) After Dark programming (Co-Ed Confidential! Can I get a whut-whut!). And don’t even get me started on the fertile soil of pervirtuosity that the Internet provides. What I don’t do to get my rocks off is gawk or leer at modern art at a city-run venue. However, the moral watchdogs of Temecula aren’t taking any chances (sorry, Andy Dick) and have taken steps to make sure that “family values” are kept intact by forcing local artist Jeff Hebron to remove his portrait of a nude woman—that just so happens to show some T-and-A (OK, OK, abstractionist T-and-A)—from The Merc. Come on, Jeff, where’d you get the balls (wait, can’t show those either!) to foist your Van Gogh vice on the community. For shame! Temecula’s got standards, buddy, and they’re not about to tolerate any chiaroscuro nipples or Cubist nickel slots in a public forum. Call it what you like, culture (residents complained in 2008 over a one-night performance of The Vagina Monologues—the horror, the horror!), literature (Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak—school board members got in a tizzy over this Catcher in the Rye-esque novel) or art, but if it shows skin, anything above the knee or even thinks about a wardrobe malfunction, Temecula’s on top of that s— (can’t say this word either). Cuz that’s what family values are all about. Keeping sex outta of the bedroom, outta of our classrooms, outta our galleries—and outta of our lives. Someone’s gotta keep an eye out for dangerous nudity. God knows, I try. “It was a little bold, but it wasn’t a porno or anything,” says Carol Landry, president of the Temecula Valley Art League. See, that’s the problem, Carol. Hebron’s painted obscenity might not have been a porno. But in the wrong hands—I shudder to think.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17
And speaking of gratuitous nudity, it would appear that Riverside Police Chief Russ Leach was watching something a little more interesting than, ahem, pigskin during Super Bowl Sunday last week, as breathlessly reported by The Press-Enterprise’s Paul LaRocco and Alicia Robinson. Leach, if you recall, was test-driving his city-owned Chrysler by driving on its rims in a “confused” state of mind before he was pulled over by his own black-and-whites. So where was the ol‘ chief coming from, you ask? Why, Club 215 in Colton, a (cough-cough) clothing-optional establishment that isn’t as fancy-pants as the Hustler Club—but it’s right off the freeway and that’s something for the areola-hungry. According to club attorney Roger Diamond (gotta love the name!), Leach spent more than three hours and had “maybe” three drinks (rumor mills say it was Scotch) at 215 before going on his merry way. “The chief was a perfect gentleman and conducted himself properly,” Diamond beams. But of course! That’s why they call them “gentlemen’s clubs.” But the mystery is that not all of Leach’s time on that fateful night is accounted for, specifically a roughly one-hour period between the chief’s departure from Club 215 and the time he was pulled over for impersonating a Fourth of July sparkler. Some good police work is in order. Let’s start by interrogating the strippers—oh wait, Leach’s probably already given them the ol‘ Good Cop/Bad Cop.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18
Redlands embarks on the idea figuring out how to be a more green city. That’s according to a 102-page draft of the city’s Sustainability Action Plan. First on the list of being environmentally friendly is . . . stop printing 102-page documents.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19
The woman who is leading efforts to oust Lake Elsinore Councilman Thomas Buckley moves with her husband to Florida—after the couple is served search warrants by local and federal authorities related to the recall drive’s alleged fishiness. “I don’t want anybody to think that we fled,” Enelida Caron says. Now why would we be thinking that?
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20
Sure we shouldn’t judge the intelligence of the folks that live way the hell out in Adelanto and other remote desert boonies. But as I pass a roadside sign off the 395 that is advertising “Coy Goldfish” for sale, I re-think things and, well—oh, heck, let’s judge the crap out of them!
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 21
When’s the next Lakers game?
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 22
Hey, we all know the holidays make us all a little testy—what with the hassle of buying presents, putting up ingrate relatives and otherwise dealing with the question of whether we should chug some holiday rum before or after Aunt Mildred’s arrival. And it’s definitely no post-holiday cheer for Barstow Mayor Joseph Dennis Gomez Jr., who is charged today with sexual battery in connection to allegations he assaulted a police officer’s wife at a holiday party. But Gomez’s family ain’t taking this lying down. “I say to the people who are quick to judge and spread rumors—shame on you,” says the mayor’s sister, Vanessa Gomez-Lee. “We live in a society where any one of us can be accused.” She’s right, you know. Only this time, the “any one of us” is you, mayor. Get yourself that Tiger Woods lawyer. And fast.