Goin’ Nowhere

Readers fight for their right to party

In the wake of the Goin’ Chico flap, we got letters. Some were thoughtful, some reactionary and some downright stupid. Here is an unedited sampling. You decide which is which.

First, for what it’s worth, Joshi, the party atmosphere that Chico provides taught me the importance of time management and the importance of good social skills. And, believe it or not, Joshi, living in Chico for four years taught me the values of moderation.

Second, believe it or not, Joshi, but our parents were, and continue to be, very proud of us for obtaining our college degrees. The fact that we obtained them from Chico is nothing but a testament to our abilities to manage our lives and have fun at the same time. For the record, I did not have my college degree handed to me. As each and every alumnus can attest, significant work is put into obtaining a college degree. Maybe some have worked harder than others, or gone to more “prestigious” institutions, but the work that goes into it remains the same.

I would go on and on…but I’m too busy completing my final year of law school…and I’m 25.

The fact is, you are what? 32 years old now? My guess is you actually graduated from Chico State, maybe with a journalism major? If so, it is clear that you have found yourself frustrated by the fact you have done nothing of substance with your own life. Instead of blaming that on your Chico state degree or the Chico administration, take your own actions into account. I’m willing to bet a hot head like you likes to drink. Where do you get off being so critical? You are 32, and all you have is a dingy column in a dingy newspaper to show for your LIFE. Bro, I dont blame you for being bitter, but make sure you ridicule those responsible for that, you. Not our school, not our alumni, and not our administration. Being stuck in a dead end job in a dead end town must suck, especially now that you are getting closer to age 40. Sucks for you…

If you did not graduate from Chico State, Joshi, I suggest you hide because you are making new enemies really fast. I couldn’t think of anything scarier than a drunk and enraged Chico State crowd going after a “journalist.” Keep your eyes open pal. I feel your troubles up north have just begun.

In conclusion, your article was worthless. It was the first article you wrote that I have read and is certainly going to be the last. I am a HUGE proponent of free speech, but a line need be drawn between legitimate speech which carries value and garbage which is used as space filler. Your article made that line brighter than its been in a long time. So, in that regard, thanks for reminding me that I truly do have the capacity to filter out which journalistic products carry inherent value and which do not.

I need to get going so I can finish my work for the day helping personal injury victims. Than I am going to go to the capital for a legislative function and schmooze with lobbysits. I am 25, and in one year I will be practicing law. One of the primary reasons I got into law school was because I went to Chico State. Think about it dip shit.

Lastly, in closing, Joshi, Adrian was a friend of mine and will always be my BROTHER…not my “brother". Check yourself before you ever pass judgment again.

Kevin Cecil

Dear Editor,

I have just read the Chico News & Review’s completely unredeemable and bitter “GOIN’ CHICO” insert featuring such articles as “The Party Rules” by Josh Indar, and “Warts and All,” by Local Bastard a.k.a. Jason Cassidy. “The Party Rules” article sparked a wild fire of controversy and wrath from the town s most powerful special interest group: CSU, Chico. This in turn focused local media attention on the debacle and we were treated to an “embattled” Tom Gascoyne attempting to explain the situation away while simultaneously kissing up to CSU officials for fear of loosing campus distribution privileges.

This is all particularly ironic and funny to me. Not so long ago, I too was the target of this same special interest group. To better further their agenda, University faculty promoted a distorted and misinterpreted view of my now infamous Cesar Chavez ad created for Normal St. Bar as it appeared in the March 28 edition of the Synthesis. I have since learned that campus resources and taxpayer dollars were used to encourage students and staff to march against and condemn everything “Normal.” Some faculty even enticed students to participate with promises of extra credit. This was no grassroots ethnic protest as we were lead to believe, but one carefully crafted and orchestrated by predominately white CSU faculty and administrators.

The local media jumped at the bait and onto the “politically correct” bandwagon to condemn, criticize, tsk, tsk, and belittle me for creating an “insensitive,” “boorish,” and “unbelievably tasteless” ad. Regardless of my numerous public and private apologies to offended groups, the media, particularly the News & Review, chose to goose-step behind the spin offered up by University pundits.

Leading the wolf pack, the CN&R kept this nonstory alive for over three weeks with degrading adjectives and personally insulting hyperbole going beyond the context of the disputed ad condemning my artistic point of view and personal art style.

Just as I thought the maelstrom was subsiding, out comes GOIN’ CHICO with its “Warts and All” article by Jason Cassidy, truly a local bastard. Not only does he attack the Synthesis and other media outlets as the 3rd Most Embarrassing Feature in Chico, he personally insults every person named in his article, including me.

The staff at the News & Review just can’t seem to get over the way I draw women s breasts and men s crotches. This is surprising coming from a newspaper that defends the rights of other artists in other cities to throw dung at a painting of the Virgin Mary and call it “art.” Their negative comments suggest I have crossed some moral line with my artwork. Yet the News & Review profits shamelessly each week from explicit trash talk in the SPICY PERSONALS section of their oh-so-righteous fish-wrap. So who’s really using prurient interests to sell their goods? My ads for Normal St. are done in cartoon form, which at least suggests tongue-in-cheek humor, but what exactly is the redeeming social value of the SPICY PERSONALS?

As a liberal democrat, a strong supporter of human rights and personal liberty, and as a member of the most abused minority in America (I’m gay), I am embarrassed and ashamed by the CN&R staff’s continuous degrading sarcasm about our city, its people and its student population (their sophomoric bigotry against fraternities and sororities is apparently a hangover from their college days as unpopular geeks). Week after week the CN&R tears Chico down, setting not only liberal against conservative, but liberal against liberal. I can only conclude they have completely lost their way. Wake up News & Review! Chico is not Berkeley! Chico is Chico and there are those of us who love it just the way it is, warts and all!


Thorn Hart

I want to share my displeasure with your current article “the party rules". There is currently an email chain going around Northern CA and across the country with hundreds of Chico State Alumni’s sharing how mad they are from this article. We are business professionals that are proud of our education and experiences that Chico State has provided us. This article is a slap in the face, and the negative publicity the article is generating is quite disturbing. A lot of us are business owners and decision makers in our communities and I am sending out a request that we do not advertise or support:

Here is an example of one of the many reactions to Josh Indar’s article:

“Sounds like a very depressed and lonely person who stood outside Riley’s and wished they had friends to enjoy a few laughs and beers with. Very easy for them to point fingers and ridicule the student body at Chico, if I were a betting man I would guess this individual has little to no social skills or experience and vents their bitterness safely behind their keyboard.

Sure we had our shortcomings and did stupid things, I don’t know many people who didn’t who went to college. Of course the tragedies at Chico were horrific, most of us felt a loss some way or another during our time there.

For this individual to solely focus on the negative or perception of the negative is ridiculous. My experiences and friendships forged at Chico I will remember and keep for the rest of my life. I am proud to have lived life to the fullest and still gotten my education rather than being a bitter person who wished I would have stepped up to the plate”

I am guessing you will receive many angry emails and would hope you put a retraction or positive article to help the negative PR you have given.

Thank you,

Scott Clark
Senior Account Manager
O1 Communications

Dear editor,

I just read an article in the San Jose Mercury News online edition saying that you had decided to rescind your animal-house critique of Chico State University in favor of advertising dollars. As a former journalist, I find this type of cowardice on the part of any publication appalling. In your case it is worse than that. Chico State’s reputation as a party school goes back many years (I went to college in 1970 and Chico was known as a party school then), so it should be of no surprise to the school’s administration, or anyone else, that almost everyone familiar with the school knows its reputation. Foregoing a warning about the dangers of partying over studying because of a fear of losing advertising dollars makes both the Chico News & Review and the school’s administration gutless in the face of the facts. Parents should be allowed to know what their children are getting into when making a choice as important as a college education. Perhaps if they do, Chico State will clean up its act.

It is the responsibility of journalists to make people aware of problems and potential dangers, not to run and hide at the first hint of lost revenue. It is almost impossible to get balanced reporting of events in this country anymore because all of the news organizations are afraid of corporate and government threats. Thank God for the Internet where I can go to newspapers around the world to read varying opinions as to what is really happening in other parts of the world. It is unfortunate that there often aren’t alternate sources for local news coverage because when publications such as yours bury their collective heads in the sand it only hurts people in the long run. I imagine that your people have to back up to their mirrors because they are ashamed to look themselves in the face.

One of the founding principles of this country is freedom of the press, you might want to exercise that option before it is taken away from you along with all the other freedoms eroding around us on a daily basis. It is time publications such as yours start alerting people about what is going on around them. The longer it takes for the people of this country to see that they are being ravaged by corporate greed, bait and switch government meddling and outright lies, the harder, and more savage, it will be for them to right wrongs being perpetrated on them on a daily basis. Remember, the U.S. Constitution gives the people of this country the right to fight its enemies from both within and without its borders. When papers such as yours fold under advertising pressure it simply erases a little more ink from that hallowed document. Sometimes you must simply do the right thing for the people over your own self interests.

In disgust,

Amanda Hixson
Camino, California

I am very disappointed in the way you referred to my son s death. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Michael Carrington
AKA Matt s Dad!

I just read your piece on the website, after having heard about its controversial nature on the local news. I wanted to thank you for the “no BS” tone you took in taking the University’s reputation as a party school to task. Anyone who says the article should be toned down is lying to themselves if they think telling it like is does the University a disservice.

I just graduated, with Honors, from CSU Chico. The education I received was, in my opinion, of high caliber, from dedicated faculty. It is a shame that I, or the many fellow students of whom I know who also worked hard to get their diploma, must have the value of our degree questioned because of those foolish students who have wasted their opportunity. Calling a disgrace a disgrace is exactly what this University, and Town, needs. Losing lives for the sake of The Party is the lamest of ways to leave this world. We all can, and should, set a much higher standard for ourselves, our school, and our world.

J Topel

I think it in your best interests to remove Josh Indar from your writing staff. The name of your paper is Chico News and Review and this writer bashes both the town of Chico and CSU Chico like a lifetime enemy? As CSUC alumni I am appauled at your article entitled “Party Rules"! I wouldn’t expect an organization like CN&R to publish this type of trash, I would however expect that from FOX News.

I don’t know what Josh’s educational background is, but it is obvious his education is minimal. Attending Chico State and attaining my BS I have been successfully been working in the Bay Area for the past 4 years. I have also recently been promoted. I attribute this success to my Chico State education. For my education I thank the faculty and staff at the University who consistently strive to make a better learning environment and to the folks that work for the City of Chico who work tirelessly in making improvements to the city as well as keeping it safe.

Josh seems very shallow minded in his views of Chico. Maybe if he put a little time into his research he would find that colleges and universities across the country have very similar issues as Chico State. Nobody is denying what tragedies that have taken place in Chico recently, but why doesn’t he make a fair comparison with other similar places? Josh should also put blame where it is due. All the the graphic examples Josh mentioned had to do with the Greek system or some organization trying to be like the Greek system, why not target the problem with this ridiculous article, instead of blaming the administration and insulting students, staff, and alumni with blanket accusations?!?!? How about blaming the people that have caused these problems personally? Even in Chico we are all still of free will.

I really am taken back on how a well known and liked publication could allow a writer to label CSU Chico current students and alumni educations to be “expensive and ultimately worthless". The time, effort, and drive it takes to attain a degree should hardly be criticized by such a one-sided organization like CN&R and certainly not Josh Indar, whoever the hell he is.

Jason Bilinski
Chico State Alumni

Hi Josh,

I have to say you must have had a real bad week to go that negative on your readers. What do you feel is important in life? If it’s writing then you better start thinking of a new career if your strategy is to insult your town and your audience. If you write about how you hate expect a little in return. When you criticize and don’t offer a solution, I surmise the point of the story is we should all stop having fun and write negative stories about our neighbors. You know spread some hate. End Love Start War.

What a solution you should talk to the president about that strategy I think he will like it.

I graduated Chico in ‘97 With a B.S. in MIS. Would it have been smarter for me to spend my time in Chico in the computer lab debugging code?… or should I be out there beer bonging and hooking up with my future wife and mother of my children? I chose option B and I have everything I would have had debugging code and a wife and kids.

If you have ever driven around Santa Clara you will notice that most of the license plates are from Chico State grads. Employers know they have the best communication skills that can be found on the planet. There are exceptions, namely you.

You must be really bad for friends from Chico (something you won’t have) will email me with links to your story.

congratulations your infamous!

Matt Henderson

Josh, As the father of a 17 year old girl I know that you have to get tough sometimes to get attention. Good job.

in Sacramento

I wanted to let you know how deeply offended I was at the article titled, “The Party Rules". If I stretch my imagination, I think I can come up with the point of the story, but I do have to stretch. Not only was the language used in the article offensive to read, I’m not sure what the message was. Are you trying to say that going to school at Chico State is a complete waste of time and money? That the students there are only interested in, I’ll use the article’s words, “getting laid". I’m also offended that you imply a Chico diploma is “useless". That’s odd, because I know of many companies that actually recruit Chico grads, I know because I worked for one of those companies.



I just wanted to send a quick line and extend my congratulations on a fantastic article.

I whole heartedly share your perspective on this problem of ignorant youth in college today.

I am 30 yrs old, work full time and I go to Sac State and I see the problems there first hand with kids not realizing the damage they do to themselves, and we aint close to the debauchery of Chico.

My brother was a frat president at Chico a few years ago, so I recognize the seriousness there as well.

Obviously you struck a chord (with the removal of your article), which I think is the goal of any article or idea.

Well done,


William Coleman

I am writing this on behalf of the “Party” article.

First off, I am a graduate from Chico State from May of 04? and I have done quite well for myself! I have a great job that I got from my degree at Chico, and know many others that are probably making ten times more than you with their Chico degrees. So maybe you are the only person that has a worthless degree, or wait do you even have a degree yet?

I can?t believe that someone would go this low to write a bull shit article like this! Yes, you are right, many unfortunate things happen in college. But those unfortunate things happen at EVERY college, not just Chico! Go outside your box and do some research! And yes, I was in a sorority at Chico. But you have no right to point us out as being the problem. What about the sports teams, or the ignorant people that form their own clubs like many do to get the same thing we got out of Greek life. But ours is a national accredited organization that has been around for decades. We do ten times more good for the community then bad and that?s all people like you can put out there! Have you even stopped for a minute to think about how we put aside time to dedicate our time and energy to feeding the homeless, raising money for the needy, donating clothes, holding a blood drive that has broken records for the highest donated blood in Northern California, involving the community in family oriented activities, involving ourselves in a children awareness fair and having all the children from the area to come to our campus for the day; I could go on and on about the great things that Greeks do, what have you done?!

This article was very poorly written and a bad choice in character! How could you put these poor innocent people that have died and their families into your article, I?m sure they don?t want to be in it! I?m sure they are hurting enough! The way that you have presented them in this article is crude! It is a shame that things happened the way they did, but don?t point any fingers at the entire school of Chico State or how much my degree mean in the society!!!



Josh, great article ("The Party Rules")…especially the closing 3 paragraphs. Although I’m guessing you are not the most popular person in Chico (w/ univ., students, merchants, your publisher?), you did a real service to the college community and hopefully made some students think a little more about what it really means to grow and learn. Every college should have similar “rules” (tailored to their own specific situation, of course) available for new students to read…..

Bob Rynearson
McArthur, CA


Caught your riveting piece in the CN&R of June 16. A little behind on the publication, no matter. Just one question for ya Josh, where’d you earn your degree, if you have one? Writing for a rag, like the CN&R, I’d bet everything it wasn’t an ivy league institution. Hell I’d even wager it wasn’t even greater than a community college.

The article is a perfect display of immaturity. Even you must believe that making a blanket assumption about the past and present students of the university based on some mistakes made by a few greek affiliated students is bullshit.

You sound like a jackass.

Robert F. Bennett
Law Clerk to Craig C. Sheffer

Let me guess: Josh Indar graduated from Chico State and is bitter that he works for po-dunk News & Review. How am I doing? For the record I grew up in Chico. I am a commercial pilot and my sister an attorney, so he need not worry about our prospects.

Just because he went to Chico State and is a failure doesn’t make it a shoddy school. In his reference to natural selection; last time I checked the “strongest” member didn’t write for a “free paper.” He is a total disgrace to Chico as are you for publishing that bullshit.

Kevin Bilyak ATP