This morning’s L.A. Times features an excellent story about how CIM Group defrauds its tenants in poverty-stricken but gentrifying areas of the City, telling them that they’re about to be evicted and offering them small amounts of money to sign releases. Of course, in Los Angeles, most low-cost rental units are covered by rent control laws which give these tenants significant protections which they don’t know about. CIM Group takes significant and soon-to-be-illegal advantage of this ignorance.
We’ve written before about the cataclysmic flood of white privilege rage rants unleashed by Fabio Conti’s cri de coeur for the BID Patrol to stop coddling the homeless and start, we don’t know, killing them or whatever it takes to get them out of Hollywood, and the present post concerns yet another boulder in that avalanche of angst. We’re going to comment on the unnamed white privilege rage ranter’s rant (you can see the fellow’s picture somewhere in the vicinity of this sentence) one line at a time. You can read his whole speech after the break and watch it here if you’re so inclined.
…our effort to clean up the neighborhood is kinda like salmon swimming upstream.
No. First of all, salmon swimming upstream are beautiful, delicious, and nutritious. You people in the BID are none of these things. Second, you’re not trying to “clean up the neighborhood,” you’re trying to ethnically cleanse the neighborhood. One is at least plausibly laudable. The other is a violation of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Also, your metaphor is deeply flawed. Salmon like swimming upstream. It’s what they’re born to do. It’s the crowning glory of their lives. They surely, if they could speak, wouldn’t be whining about it.
You know, we have the state and the city working against us by allowing people to sleep on the sidewalk, you know, all night long, because it’s the humane thing to do.
At the July 9, 2015 Joint Security Committee meeting, BID Board member Fabio Conti, after Andrews International Security head BIDdie-boy Steve Seyler told a what-passes-for-heartwarming story about shipping some homeless lady out of state on a bus, flipped the fuck out about heavily armed and dangerous homeless people on the streets of Hollywood and how A/I ought to stop with the rapport-building, bus-ticket-buying, and donut/sandwich handing-out and start arresting all of them right now. Says Fabio: STOP BEING SO NICE TO THE HOMELESS!!! The “the purple guys” downtown “…keep the area pretty clean…” of homeless human garbage. The Hollywood BID Patrol must do the same!
Under ordinary circumstances a faux pas like Fabio’s would probably be politely overlooked but these are no ordinary times, it seems. Instead it triggered an avalanche of white-privilege-rage-ranting that derailed the meeting for what seemed like an eternity and was actually over 30 minutes of this approximately 70 minute long meeting. The asylum was so being-run-by-the-inmates that Hollywood Entertainment District BID Board President Monica Yamada, not habitually the most aware person in the room, had to shut it down. But not before the display of an unbearable montage/barrage of peel-the-face-off shots that had most of the attendees showing their true colors in a remarkably nauseating performative contradiction of Jesus’s usually on-target admonition about the truth. Mostly the truth will make you free but sometimes it just makes you sick.
For instance, usually, of course, at these meetings and in other venues, Steve rattles on about how cuddlesy-warmsy-fuzzly-wuzzly his officers are but everyone there knows that that’s just the velvet glove over the iron fucking fist and that he’s just spreading the goodwill-ambassador bullshit for the delectation and over-the-eyes-wool-pulling of the public. This much is obvious to anyone with a fraction of the sense that God gave a good God-damned goose. In this instance, though, under relentless pressure from Fabio, whose position is that “we’re to a point where, you know, we cannot be kind,” Steve was forced to admit his homeless-people-on-the-sidewalk policy out loud, in public, on camera:
“…we’re gonna start out with a nice approach, hey, please, time to get up, businesses are open, you gotta get off the sidewalk, we’re here to help you, you know, blah blah blah blah, please, please, pretty please, and then, you know, ultimately we’re going to put the cuffs on you…”
Steve’s not usually so open about the fact that all the donuts, all the sandwiches, all the heartwarming coziness, it’s all just a formality. “…ultimately we’re going to put the cuffs on you…”
The only people in the room who talked and didn’t seem insane1 were two LAPD liaison officers (whose names, unfortunately, we didn’t catch), who patiently explained to everyone that “…the sky’s not falling…” However, as long-time readers of this blog are well aware, there is very little in this world that can get the attention of a white person who’s hell-bent on confusing comfort with safety. The LAPD guys were completely ignored. Sanity will not prevail, not in this room at this time.
And just now, on April 3, 2015, the LA Board of Building and Safety Commissioners slapped an “ORDER TO COMPLY” on the window of the Sunset/Gordon building which states:
An investigation of various complaints received by the Department has revealed that the subject apartment building is being used as a hotel without the required permits and Certificate of Occupancy.
Therefore, you are hereby ordered to stop the unapproved use and occupancy as a hotel on or before April 10, 2015.
As we’ve previously discussed at great length, the palefaced economic elites of Los Angeles are all abuzz at the possibility that the City Council might legalize street vending of various kinds, an activity whose practitioners are, for the most part, not that palefaced. As part of their abuzzitude, the palefaces have produced reams of frantic pearl-clutching hysteria regarding the threats posed to truth, justice, the American way, etc. that would, they say, certainly ensue as a result of such legalization.
These white-privilege rage-rants, while mostly grounded in delusion and mental illness, occasionally contain valid and useful arguments. It can sometimes happen, as Albert Einstein said, that “a blind pig has found an acorn.”1A letter by Kerry Morrison, Executive Directrix of the HPOA, to Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, is an example of this. Kerry argues that, amongst other reasons, street vending should not be legalized, at least not in Hollywood, because it “raises numerous questions that must be taken into consideration. For example, how will taxes and permits be enforced, especially given that this is a cash-only business?“2
As an aside, this argument can also be used against iconic Los Angeles restaurants The Pantry, Nick’s Cafe, and Philippe’s. Will the HPOA soon be asking the City Council to shut down these landmark establishments?
In any case, Kerry also lists a bunch of other undesirable consequences that, in her view, are likely to ensue from the legalization of street vending. These are not all illegal, e.g. the horrifying prospect of the potential placing of trash into appropriate public receptacles, but they’re all, says Kerry, “not something we are requesting in Hollywood.” We will refer to these en masse as “Kerry Morrison’s cogent argument.”
Street food is one of the signature pleasures of the great cosmopolitan cities of the world. Practically alone amongst its peers, though, Los Angeles forbids vending on its public rights of way. This is because there are really no bounds to the willingness of the economic elites of this city to prohibit anything that normal human beings enjoy if by doing so they can stick a dagger in the neck of the poor. They will certainly destroy the village in order to save it.
Case in point: the City Council recently began to discuss legalizing street vending in Los Angeles. Sane people everywhere rejoice at this attempt to allow civilization to flourish and also bring an estimated half-billion dollars worth of economic activity out of the shadows and onto the bottom line. There’s a hot dog in the public manger, though.
CIM Group, widely known for sending out demolition teams in the dark of night to tear shit down in violation of their building permits,1 leading a judge to invalidate those permits after tenants had already moved in to the building, deputes minion Monica Yamada to serve as its representative to the Joint Security Committee of the Hollywood Entertainment District BID and the Sunset-Vine BID.
The 6th amendment guarantees the right to “by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed.” This was the result of a compromise away from a right to trial in “the vicinage” where the crime was committed, fought for by James Madison but ultimately compromised in order to allow the constitution to be ratified. Continue reading Monica Yamada and the Hollywood Vicinage→