Tag Archives: Graffiti

First The San Pedro BID Hated The Car Show. Then The San Pedro BID Loved The Car Show. Then The San Pedro BID Lobbied The City On The Car Show’s Behalf. But To Keep The BID’s Love The Car Show Had To Agree To Typically Coded Typically Racist Cultural Conditions: No Hip Hop. No Rap Music.

Once upon a time in 2016 an organization called Hot Import Nights was going to host a car show in Downtown San Pedro. This would seem to be a natural fit, since San Pedro is nestled between such motorhead meccas as Torrance and Gardena and Carson and Long Beach, famed hot spots of both formal and informal Southern California car culture due not in small part to the feverish and innovative automotive, aerospace, and marine manufacturing activities centered in the subregion for more than a century at this point.

But if there’s a BID in the woodpile they’re going to have an opinion, either puritanical, stupid, or both, on any proposed activities within their jurisdiction, whether it’s any of their concern or not. And it’s well-known to those who know it well that Downtown San Pedro is cursed by being chronically subject to the tender mercies of the San Pedro Historic Waterfront BID. And thus it is no surprise that the BID weighed in on the car show. And it’s no surprise that they hated it. It’s exactly the kind of thing that knee-jerk puritanical real estate minions will hate.

But what is a surprise is that they changed their little minds and came to love it. They loved it so darn much that they signed an MOU with it and agreed to lobby the City on its behalf. But there’s no such thing as a free lunch and white supremacy will exact payment for any favors it bestows. In exchange for the BID’s aid and comfort, the car show had to agree not to play any rap music or hip hop at their event, and a bunch of other, as weird but possibly less racist, conditions as well.

This unreasoned, or at least publicly unreasoned, hatred for all things insufficiently caucasian, is for whatever reason, a signature element of BIDolatry in the City of Los Angeles. Over the years we’ve uncovered, e.g., the fact that the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance really, really hates Chicano-associated art genres as well as music that attracts dark-skinned patrons. The freaking HPOA even hates Peruvians if they seem like they’re getting too comfy in Hollywood.

These weird, crypto-racist attitudes are not just the province of our frenemies at the HPOA. They are evidently shared by BIDs all over the City. Thus it’s really no surprise to find that the San Pedro BIDdies are a bunch of cultural crypto-racists as well. But, as always, it’s still surprising, still disconcerting, to see the details figured plain as though upon a lighted screen. Turn the page for the story in detail with extensive documentation!
Continue reading First The San Pedro BID Hated The Car Show. Then The San Pedro BID Loved The Car Show. Then The San Pedro BID Lobbied The City On The Car Show’s Behalf. But To Keep The BID’s Love The Car Show Had To Agree To Typically Coded Typically Racist Cultural Conditions: No Hip Hop. No Rap Music.

Share

How The Racist Cancer Of The HPOA Signal Box Art Contest Rules Spread To The Ritzy Little Apartheid Stronghold of Larchmont Village, Forcing Me To Hire A Lawyer To Pry The Evidence Out Of Their Secretive Grasping Scofflaw Zillionaire Fingers

Artist Ann Bridges's original submission to the Larchmont Village BID's signal box art contest, showing a later-censored illegal fruit cart.
Larchmont Village BID signal box art contest winner Ann Bridges’s original submission, showing a later-censored illegal fruit cart.
Last Summer we broke the story of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance’s anti-Latino signal box art contests and of CD13 Councildude Mitch O’Farrell’s willing complicity in this disgraceful episode, along with his stubborn doubling-down through silence in the face of what1 seems like some pretty cogent criticism. The story has dropped off the blog, but not off our agenda. The last thing I discovered, but did not write about until now, was that the Google revealed2 that the kooky little backwater BID in Larchmont Village, that old-school Southern California Apartheid throwback3 ritz-o-rama neighborhood in South Central Hollywood,4 had also held a signal box art contest, and it had also included the very phrase made famous by its ethnic-cleansing big sisters to the North: “No cartoon images or graffiti work of any kind will be considered.”

Well, naturally, I was going to investigate this phenomenon, the point being to find ground zero of this pernicious nonsense,5 so on August 6, 2016, I fired off a CPRA request to Heather Duffy Boylston, whose email address is linked to in the BID’s contact form. Wait a while. Crickets. I spent the next couple months firing off more emails to various co-BIDspirators,6 making phone calls, leaving voicemails and messages, offering to stop by offices, whatevers, and still…just silence. I asked Miranda Paster to intervene. I asked Holly Wolcott to intervene. Nothing. So finally, even though I hate to spend the money, but who can sit around doing nothing7 while zillionaires flaunt their characteristic indifference to truth, justice, and the rule of law, I hired a lawyer to fire off a demand letter. That woke them up, and they sent me a whole bunch of nonsensical irritating junk about their signal box art contest. You can browse through it in the usual places:

And turn the page for the highlights of the contest itself. As always, it’s chock-full of unselfconscious zillionaire weirdness and such-like goodies.
Continue reading How The Racist Cancer Of The HPOA Signal Box Art Contest Rules Spread To The Ritzy Little Apartheid Stronghold of Larchmont Village, Forcing Me To Hire A Lawyer To Pry The Evidence Out Of Their Secretive Grasping Scofflaw Zillionaire Fingers

Share

BID Patrol Allegedly Uses the Word “Wetback,” Offending Everybody Except Possibly Anti-Peruvian Director Carol Massie and Graffiti-Art-Haters on Staff and Board

This is not exactly like the BID Patrol.  They don't carry rifles, for one thing.
This is not exactly like the BID Patrol. They don’t carry rifles, for one thing.
We’ve been writing a lot recently on what strongly appears to be an anti-Latino attitude on the part of the two business improvement districts controlled by Kerry Morrison. The first indication of this was their freakout over the too-dark skin color of local nightclub patrons. After that it turned out that they think that official acknowledgement of Peruvian culture in Hollywood would be “amazingly inappropriate.” Also, both BIDs design their public art contests in such a way that the chance of a Latino artist being selected is significantly lowered, with both the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance and the Central Hollywood Coalition being guilty of this.

So against that background it wasn’t all too surprising to read this 2015 complaint to Kerry Morrison from an anonymous person:
Continue reading BID Patrol Allegedly Uses the Word “Wetback,” Offending Everybody Except Possibly Anti-Peruvian Director Carol Massie and Graffiti-Art-Haters on Staff and Board

Share

An Open Letter to Mitch O’Farrell Regarding Signal Box Art in the Hollywood Entertainment District

Thus it’s hard to understand why it’s not good enough to appear on the signal boxes of Hollywood.
Thus it’s hard to understand why it’s not good enough to appear on the signal boxes of Hollywood.

See here and here for the background to this post.

Dear Councilmember O’Farrell,

As you may already be aware, the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance is presently holding a competition to choose artwork to adorn signal boxes in the Hollywood Entertainment District, which they contract with the City of Los Angeles to administer. As you know, the L.A. Department of Transportation requires your approval for this project to move forward. I am writing to ask you to withhold your consent from the HPOA’s plan pending a revision of their stated rules which, regardless of the intent, have the effect of significantly lowering the chance that Latino artists working in some of our most vibrant local traditions will be chosen for this honor.

The problem is that the BID’s stated requirements for submissions include the proviso that “NO Cartoon Images or Graffiti work of any kind will be considered.”1 Graffiti art and cartoon styles are associated in L.A. with Latino, especially Mexican-American artists. Work by Los Angeles artists in these genres has brought world renown, not just to the artists themselves, but to our City. Thus it’s hard to understand why it’s not good enough to appear on the signal boxes of Hollywood. The mystery only deepens when one considers that the HPOA’s requirements also state that “Text Art” will be given full consideration, as if Graffiti art were not also “Text Art.”
Continue reading An Open Letter to Mitch O’Farrell Regarding Signal Box Art in the Hollywood Entertainment District

Share

Not Only Does the Central Hollywood Coalition Hate Latino Art Genres, They Also Don’t Want Peruvians Getting Too Comfy in Hollywood. Jittery Little Psychopath Carol Massie: “Seems Amazingly Inappropriate.”

Sarah Besley, erstwhile bossette of the Central Hollywood Coalition, in 2014, fewer than 20 months after she and her minions torpedoed Peru Village.
Sarah Besley, erstwhile bossette of the Central Hollywood Coalition, in 2014, fewer than 20 months after she and her minions torpedoed Peru Village.
The Hollywood heroes at Peru Village L.A. held a marvy little festival yesterday across the street from MK.org secret headquarters, which prompted us to break out this story, which we’ve been sitting on for years. Well, not just the festival, but the recent revelations that not only does the HPOA hate mainstream Mexican-American artistic styles, but our councilman, Mitch O’Farrell, who by his own account has “a solid reputation of improving the quality of life for constituents in the 13th Council District,” approves of the anti-Latino-art dog whistlings of the Central Hollywood Coalition. So tonight get ready to hear about how they all have it in for our local Peruvian community as well.

Here’s the back-story. In 2012, a bunch of local Peruvian-Americans in CD13 got a council file started in an attempt to get Vine Street between Melrose and Sunset designated “Peru Village.” This makes some sense because, e.g., there are about five Peruvian restaurants along there, including Mario’s Seafood, which has some of the most astonishing fried chicken in the United States, and Los Balcones, both of which are numbered among the finest restaurants of any variety in our City. So they sent a bunch of really cute kids around to knock on doors and they ended up collecting over 500 signatures from people in the neighborhood.1 If you’re not familiar with Los Angeles politics, it’s worth noting that actual city council elections can easily be decided by 500 votes. For mere neighborhood renaming this is a landslide.

Double jeopardy: PERUVIAN GRAFFITI.  File under things that will NEVER appear in Hollywood ever ever ever if jittery little psychopath and SVBID founding member Carol Massie has her say, and she will have it, won't she?
Double jeopardy: PERUVIAN GRAFFITI. File under things that will NEVER appear in Hollywood ever ever ever if jittery little psychopath and SVBID founding member Carol Massie has her say, and she will have it, won’t she?

But then in February 2013, jittery little psychopath and Hollywood McDonald’s Queen Carol Massie got wind of the plan and popped off this little slab of characteristically jittery psychopathy, in which she swizzlingly pours forth the toxic product of her unchecked anorectic id thusly, proving that she not only hates America and also hates dark-skinned Hollywood club patrons, but that she also has something against Peruvians:

I am a founding member of the Sunset/Vine Business Improvement District which includes this “Peru Village” area. Not only have I never heard of this petition but we, as business owners, work very hard to make Sunset Boulevard and the famous Sunset & Vine corner a place that people from all over the world2 view as an integral part of Hollywood. Peru Village would include the Cinerama Dome,3 a Hollywood icon, among others, which seems amazingly inappropriate.

Note that she never says WHY it seems amazingly inappropriate. Perhaps her laser-like zillionaire mental powers tell her that the Cinerama Dome is completely disjoint from all things Peruvian. Or maybe she just made it up, which would be completely in character for Carol Massie.
Continue reading Not Only Does the Central Hollywood Coalition Hate Latino Art Genres, They Also Don’t Want Peruvians Getting Too Comfy in Hollywood. Jittery Little Psychopath Carol Massie: “Seems Amazingly Inappropriate.”

Share

Mitch O’Farrell Explicitly Approved (in Writing) of Sunset & Vine BID’s Racist Public Art Guidelines Even Though They Arguably Controverted LADOT Regulations

Graffiti art in Los Angeles is a world-famous cornerstone of local Latino culture.  Perhaps this is why the Central Hollywood Coalition, with the explicit approval of Mitch O'Farrell, hates it.
Graffiti art in Los Angeles is a world-famous cornerstone of local Latino culture. Perhaps this is why the Central Hollywood Coalition, with the explicit approval of Mitch O’Farrell, hates it.
We reported a couple weeks ago that the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance had put out a request for artists to submit works to adorn local signal boxes that explicitly excluded graffiti art and cartoon art. This despite, perhaps, given the BID’s vicious white supremacism, because of the fact that graffiti and cartoon art styles are a cornerstone of indigenous Angeleno/Latino culture. Well, if you live in the area, you may have noticed that the Sunset & Vine BID, controlled by the Central Hollywood Coalition, the HPOA’s not-quite-so-evil twin sister, recently put up artwork on ten signal boxes in their district. Their call for artists incorporated the same restriction as the current HPOA one: “No Cartoon Images or Graffiti work of any kind will be considered.”
A picture of another white hipster band, approved by Mitch O’Farrell and placed on a signal box in Los Angeles by the Sunset & Vine BID.
A picture of another white hipster band, approved by Mitch O’Farrell and placed on a signal box in Los Angeles by the Sunset & Vine BID.

We thought we’d investigate the circumstances under which this project was undertaken and approved, and it turned out to be quite illuminating.
Continue reading Mitch O’Farrell Explicitly Approved (in Writing) of Sunset & Vine BID’s Racist Public Art Guidelines Even Though They Arguably Controverted LADOT Regulations

Share

Kerry Morrison and the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance Hate on Mexican-American Artistic Themes as Part of their Cultural Ethnic Cleansing Campaign in Hollywood

Tile artwork by Gilbert Luján in the Hollywood/Vine Metro station.  According to Kerry Morrison and the HPOA this kind of art is not acceptable in Hollywood.
Tile artwork by Gilbert Luján in the Hollywood/Vine Metro station. According to Kerry Morrison and the HPOA this kind of art is not acceptable in Hollywood.
The HPOA is famous for hating on dark-skinned nightclub patrons in Hollywood so it probably shouldn’t be a surprise that they1 also hate on graffiti-inspired artwork, which is strongly associated with Latino/Angeleno culture. But it’s a surprise anyway. The depth of the crazy always is. The fact that the HPOA supports graffiti art when it’s produced by white Europeans makes the whole thing even more shameful.

Here’s the story. Yesterday, the HPOA announced a competition to select artwork for ten utility boxes on Hollywood Boulevard.2 The first two requirements for submissions are:

  • The theme of each project must include “Hollywood”. Be inspired by the city, its history and future!
  • NO3 Cartoon Images or Graffiti work of any kind will be considered.

Do you see the contradiction here? The history of “Hollywood”4 and even more so the future of Hollywood includes cartoon images and graffiti work, both of which styles are inextricably associated with Latino culture in Los Angeles, including, to the evident dismay of the HPOA, Hollywood itself. And even bracketing this uncaring aggressive ignorance about the local culture, we have to wonder who says something like that out loud? Hate graffiti art if you will, or any kind of art, but if you’re announcing a public contest to choose art for public display to be paid for with public money, have the self-awareness to understand that by announcing out loud that you won’t consider a style of art that’s so strongly associated with Latinos you’re making yourself look like a ignorant racist yahoo. Just a fact. You don’t have to believe us, ask your PR firm.5

Tile artwork by Gilbert Luján in the Hollywood/Vine Metro station. According to Kerry Morrison and the HPOA this kind of art is not acceptable in Hollywood.
Tile artwork by Gilbert Luján in the Hollywood/Vine Metro station. According to Kerry Morrison and the HPOA this kind of art is not acceptable in Hollywood.

Just for instance, consider the world-famous Hollywood/Vine Red Line station. Metro commissioned artwork from world-famous Los Angeles artist Gilbert Luján to decorate the station. According to Metro:

Artist and architect worked together to evoke the history, glamour and excitement of the Hollywood film industry’s yesteryears and its great movie palaces.

and according to the artist statement:
Continue reading Kerry Morrison and the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance Hate on Mexican-American Artistic Themes as Part of their Cultural Ethnic Cleansing Campaign in Hollywood

Share

John Tronson in Van Nuys: Money doesn’t talk, it swears1

John Tronson at the Joint Security Committee meeting on April 9, 2015, giving a performative demonstration via mouth-closure that he’s not, at the moment the picture was taken, lying.
The city of Los Angeles has been holding public hearings to gather input on possible frameworks for legalizing street vending. Yesterday we began discussing the June 11 meeting in Van Nuys by considering Kerry Morrison’s statement. Today we move on to John Tronson. You can listen to his statement here or after the break, where a transcription is also available. Audio of the entire meeting is available here. We’re just going to look at John’s statement one piece at a time.

Good evening. My name is John Tronson. I’m a member of the Hollywood Entertainment District, which is a property-owner based business improvement district in Hollywood.

All these people start off by saying something true. It’s meant to lull your suspicions. Don’t let it.

Some people think that because they pay taxes with their own money, the taxes they pay are still their own money after they’re paid. If they start taking this idea too seriously they’re likely to wake up one morning to find a bunch of people wearing this badge while knocking down their door with a battering ram.

We spend three and a half million dollars a year of our own money to clean the streets of Hollywood, to trim the trees, to provide additional public safety and paint out graffiti.

The way a property-based BID works is this: If the majority of the property owners in a district agree, the city adds an extra assessment to their property tax, keeps some part of the money raised for administrative overhead, and distributes the rest back to the BID to spend on specific kinds of services in the district. There are two important points to remember. First, a BID can be established over the objection of individual property owners. Only a majority need approve. Second, once a BID is established, the assessment is no longer voluntary. It is compulsory. Non-payment is punishable by the full range of state action2 up to and including violent confiscation of property. In other words, this assessment, once paid, is a tax. After all, income tax might be considered voluntary in this same sense. The Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution was put in place by elected representatives, so in a way, the people to be taxed consented to the taxation. But now that it’s in place, income tax is no longer voluntary, just as BID assessments are no longer voluntary. This is consistent with the standard definition:

Al Capone, yet another guy who confused "taxes" with "his own money" and had to have the distinction explained to him in a fairly forceful manner.
Al Capone, yet another guy who confused “taxes” with “his own money” and had to have the distinction explained to him in a fairly forceful manner.

Tax: A compulsory contribution to the support of government, levied on persons, property, income, commodities, transactions, etc., now at fixed rates, mostly proportional to the amount on which the contribution is levied.3

Now, everyone who pays taxes has, at one point or another, thought of that money as still their own. But really, it’s not. Try telling a cop not to give you a ticket because you pay their salary with your “own money.” Try telling a professor at UCLA they have to give your kid an A+ because it’s your “own money” that supports them. It’s a losing argument. Taxes, once paid, belong to the public, not to the people who paid them. BID assessments are taxes. BID assessments are public money. Now, as to John’s statement about what they do with that public money, it’s true as far as it goes. That’s not all they spend the money on, but they do spend it on that. We won’t argue. Onward!
Continue reading John Tronson in Van Nuys: Money doesn’t talk, it swears1

Share

Sunset-Vine BID Supports Outlaw Tagger’s Work in Hollywood

Article from Sunset-Vine BID newsletter showing unseemly enthusiasm for work of outlaw tagger Thierry Noir
Article from Sunset-Vine BID newsletter showing characteristically hypocritical enthusiasm for work of outlaw tagger Thierry Noir, who used to be arrested by people hired by people like the BID Board of Directors, but who now has a certain cachet due to his acceptance by wealthy art patrons.
Outlaw tagger Thierry Noir, who the Sunset-Vine BID claims is known for his illegal graffiti1 but is no longer a criminal as far as we know, recently tagged a building in the Sunset-Vine BID. The BID is generally opposed to outlaw taggers, but manages to work up an awful lot of enthusiasm for this guy tagging this building. And his work is lovely, there’s no doubt.
Continue reading Sunset-Vine BID Supports Outlaw Tagger’s Work in Hollywood

Share