Come Back, Matt!
What happened to Straight From the Hip? I have been reading that in the Reader for multiple years. I make a beeline for it every Thursday. Straight From the Hip is the first thing I go to. I guess Alice needs a break? I hope you didn’t drop it, but if you did, would you please tell us why?
I’m not going to go on and on, but I just miss it. The paper is seeming thinner these days, a little lighter. I hope you’re not losing advertising — although it’s not the advertising I go for; it’s the articles. I hope this doesn’t mean bad news for me.
Matt, if you’re within earshot, come back!
Linda Nevin, who wrote “Straight From the Hip” for more than 20 years, died in February this year. Ian Pike took over Nevin’s duties until June. We felt that Pike’s time was better directed to his food blogging (see Feast) and Art Seen, which debuts this issue. — Ed.
Taking a Pass on the Burrito
Less than half a page into the story of the “Burrito Brothers” (July 11 cover story), I came to the conclusion that Mr. Torrance should have simply described himself as “the moron writing this,” and saved everyone the trouble.
Sufficient to say I didn’t bother to finish reading it.
Re “Mad Chalker” (July 4 cover story) and deputy city attorney Hazards’s claim to represent the people in defending their “quality of life,” which is being degraded by colored chalk truisms on BofA’s sidewalk.
First, the entire justice system has abdicated its sworn duty to represent the people by ignoring the bank’s destruction of our quality of life by playing duplicitous mortgage fraud games. We finally had to pass a law just to get the banks to behave decently — not in the cynically sociopathic manner they had been willfully doing, what with “losing” paperwork duly submitted by refi applicants, by “dual tracking” (a euphemism for knife-in-back tactics of foreclosing in the midst of an alleged refi process) or by “robo signing” (euphemism for forgery by holier-than-thou lenders who jump all over you if an i isn’t dotted or a t is left uncrossed).
Such felonious behavior has been ignored by the Hazards and the holders of this world. For shame! How can you compare Olson’s chalking with the egregious legal and illegal rip-off that is the financial system? Olson is one of the few lone brave souls trying to alert the people to their mass victimization.
I find it sickly apropos that the BofA’s head of security trains “Christlike men” to blow fellow humans away with firearms. I’d love to hear his explanation of the relationship of Jesus to weaponry. I’ll be waiting eagerly.
Lastly, corporations are not people. This poison, illicitly slipped into constitutional law by a railroad CEO who, in the 19th Century, conveniently tacked it on to a judgment while somehow acting as a clerk, must be expunged from our legal system.
I saw a kid chalk a patriotic slogan on the street during a July 4th parade. What offended me were the 12-feet-high Budweiser signs on two humongous trucks that were actually in the parade.
A truly patriotic local jury on Monday acquitted 40-year-old Jeffrey Olson on 13 misdemeanor counts after Olson chalked protest messages on the sidewalk outside some San Diego branches of Bank of America (“Mad Chalker,” July 4 cover story). “This is a nonsense prosecution,” the obstreperous San Diego Mayor said.
In the early morning of November 20, 1969, some 80 Native Americans sailed to Alcatraz and moved in. This was shortly after the prison closed. “We will purchase said Alcatraz Island for $24 in glass beads and red cloth, a precedent set by the white man’s purchase of a similar island about 300 years ago,” said the Indians. Federal marshals removed them June 11, 1971. The former prison — Alcatraz — is now part of a national park.
Chalking “Custer had it coming!” is a federal offense. However, the government has made an exception for that circa 1970 graffiti, and several others left behind during the Indian occupation of the island. In fact, the Park Service spent $1.5 million earlier this year restoring the messages painted by hand on the Alcatraz water tower.
Speech Is Not Physical
In regards to your article “Mad Chalker” in the July 4 issue, defendant Olson is guilty of not only vandalizing public walkways, disturbing the peace, causing the bank expense, effort, and time, but he wasted his time and efforts. Absolutely nothing beneficial will come of it for either side.
What he is practicing is the right of free speech, which does not and should not include physicality. My definition of speech is verbal or written communication of thought, which is my reason for arguing against money as a form of speech. Olson and others make the mistake of confusing the “right” to express themselves, with the probable effect of doing so in an effective way.
I’m certain that no one who saw his vandalism had, or is, closing one’s accounts with the bank; no positive effect will result from his actions. His life is now swallowed up by organized crime — political and big business — and the natural order of things civilized.
The only “speech” that has a chance at changing things is what would move the mass to rise up and take the time and effort to do what Lafayette wrote to Paris about American success with democracy. The American people learned to associate for greater impact. The only problem now is the fact that not enough of us do that.
Now, with the internet, and the wherewithal to associate in common cause, with intelligent and well-organized presentations, and communication through email, we should be able to beat up the banks, as well as our governments. Wisdom is not magnetic.
Mister Olson will eventually bow to the BofA in defeat, as will my website, TBEPP.org, when the annual payment comes due.