Law Is Our Father and Mother, Whom We Will Not Dishonour

Thomas Carlyle in the act of weeping for the Hollywood Media District BID because they won't listen, they just won't listen...
Thomas Carlyle in the act of weeping for the Hollywood Media District BID because they won’t listen, they just won’t listen
These words Thomas Carlyle, in his great history of the French revolution, put into the mouths of a vast mob of sans-culottes, on their way to plant a Tree of Liberty in the Jardin des Tuileries.1 Even those maligned symbols of mob rule and terror realized that the law is the only salvation of a free people. How then do the members of the Board of Directors of the Hollywood Media District BID, a group to whom has been granted every privilege that law can devise, come to dishonour2 it so?

But enough nonsense. We have a story to tell you about the Hollywood Media District BID!

The date: December 15, 2014. The place: Grub restaurant on Seward Street. The occasion: This year’s last meeting of the Hollywood Media District Board of Directors, consisting of a short public portion to be followed by a private event. The business to be conducted: Approval of the minutes of the last meeting followed by the approval of the slate of nominees for next year’s Board.

The story: When our correspondent arrived he was headed off by an overzealous waitress and told that the restaurant was closed for a private party. Before he could explain his legal right to be there, Laurie Goldman, high muckety-muck of Grub, swooshed over and told the waitress that the correspondent was there for the meeting.

So yes, in the very nick of time yet another violation of the Brown Act was averted. Yes, our correspondent was allowed to attend the meeting. But the frame of mind of the BID Board was revealed by this microaggression.

The BID Board, as well as its lackeys who, as lackeys have done throughout human history, display an uncommonly fine intuition regarding the world-view of their masters, is absolutely without a conception of the res publica. Their habitual course of conduct shows that they understand not at all that their political power, their wealth, their privilege, their influence, all these things, flow from public concessions to them. They live in a cocoon, swaddled in the delusion that they have a special relationship with the city government that’s somehow independent of the people that the city government exists to serve.

So yes, in this world, a public meeting is a private party, just as a public sidewalk is private in relation to someone without a home, just as a public bench is private in relation to people whose activities are undesirable. These people wield the law like a weapon when it suits them, allows them to use private security guards to enforce their whims on public property, allows them to use their bought-and-paid-for councilmembers to try to illegalize food-sharing, and on, and on, and on. But they don’t feel the truth of the law in their hearts. They don’t honour it as a mother and a father. If they did, they’d be able to follow it effortlessly, because it would reflect their will rather than the will of their enemy, the non-zillionaire people of California.

  1. See The French Revolution, Thomas Carlyle, Book 2.V.
  2. We use the British spelling in honour of Thomas Carlyle. The empire: Love it or leave it. These colours don’t run.

Image of Thomas Carlyle is in the public domain because of its great age. As is often the case it came to us via the Wikimedia Foundation.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *