Regarding Letter to the Editor – Letter to the Editor

Regarding Mr. Rowen’s Letters to the Editor: am I the only one that can’t make sense of them? Other than the names of the politicians, I have no idea what all the literary analogies and references cited are in his letters. So I can only come up with 2 explanations: either this is an on-going soap opera serial with a new episode published in the form of a weekly Letter to the Editor (in which case, what date does the serial start so I can catch up) or I am not in on an inside joke and as a citizen of the City of Santa Clara should be. I once read that when one is writing something for the general public, it should be understandable at an 8th grade reading level. Should I be asking an 8th grader to translate?