Friends, in my role as investigative journalist I put myself in a lot of dangerous situations for the sake of finding out and publishing the truth. But TBH, the most frightened I ever am in this job is when a story takes me down to the mean streets of South Central Hollywood. There’s no scarier place in this City, friends.
Just for instance, starvation is evidently rampant in this racially segregated food desert, as evidenced by the fact that I regularly see adult human beings weighing less than 90 pounds, running through the streets in what appears to the trained anthropological eye to be sheer terror. The fact that they’re mostly women just goes to show that the patriarchal social norms prevalent in South Central Hollywood lead the men to withhold scarce and expensive food from their females, whom they see purely as chattels.
And I’m not kidding about scarce and expensive. Last time I foraged for food in South Central Hollywood I ended up being charged $22.95 for a California Roll, something which can be obtained in more fortunate parts of the City for about $3. And it only had six slices! It’s well-known, of course, that hunger brings on the kind of hopelessness that makes people with nothing to lose, no future that they can see, attack randomly. So I’m always cautious in South Central Hollywood! But nothing can keep me from reporting the truth.
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 what2 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 revealed3 that the kooky little backwater BID in Larchmont Village, that old-school Southern California Apartheid throwback4 ritz-o-rama neighborhood in South Central Hollywood,5 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,6 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,7 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 nothing8 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: