Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Number 1 with a Bullet.

LAPD chief Bratton called them "knuckleheads." He's used that term before. I've heard him. Lieutenant Detective Bob Lopez, gang expert, formerly out of the Northeast Division, used it as well at Atwater Village Neighborhood Watch meetings. In cop-talk, it's synonymous with gang members. Bratton was quoted in the AP and the Los Angeles Times today as saying "These knuckleheads seem to relish their opportunity in the dark." He also said, after reviewing security photos and media images that "many known gang members were in the crowd." Evidently, the 18th Street Homeboys and the Avenues Gang are big Lakers fans. Or they are just "knuckleheads" looking for any excuse to cause some damage. The city is planning an official celebration to honor the Lakers. Hopefully, we will be able to tell the difference between the unofficial and the official celebration.

Los Angeles is just such an easy target to bash. All the clich├ęs are based on reality, like the TV shows. The palm trees and endless sunshine, the phony smiles and the ultra-rich, the movers and shakers... and the gangs. The fact that winning an NBA championship becomes an opportunity for rioting, looting and general lawlessness shows just how fragile the peace is in the City of Angels. This was a victory, not an unpopular verdict handed down in Simi Valley. A black leader wasn't slain. A young black man named Kobe brought his team the championship. It was cause for celebration, not breaking into a nearby shoe store or stomping on cars. Let me get this out: I am not Kobe Bryant's biggest fan. My feelings toward the Lakers is right up there with the ones I have for the Yankees. I certainly didn't want to see them win the championship. But to riot in the streets?

As far as I can figure, the only difference between what happened in LA and what happened in Boston last year and in other cities with each recent championship or World Series win is the prevalence of gangs doing the rioting. That, so far as I know, is unique to Los Angeles.

Impromptu Photo-Montage by Barry Shapiro


Davaudian said...

Hey, what's wrong with destroying everything??? It's all over the movies, videos, music, tv shows and video games of today. You seem so old fashioned. You're missing all of the fun.

Try this....you are in High School with a 50% dropout rate. You come from a single parent home. If you do graduate you will take an 8th grade equivalent exit exam and then you will be unleashed into society. You have been fed a steady diet of watching things blowup on screens from your cellphone to the movies and then of course you will need the latest hip hop clothing and fashion to show just how bad ass your attitude is. You won't have any skills and you will admire the gangsters that come out at night to act out all of the destruction that the screens have been promoting.

And if you're ethnic, you can call anyone that fucks with you a racist and of course they will run at top speed to get away from that word. So you basically have the God given right and entitlement to destroy anything you feel like.

What's the problem....you're just not in the game.

barryshap said...

Hmm. I think this post was about the post-Laker NBA championship victory. As for the effects of violent, misogynistic, illegal activities portrayed in today's entertainment choices-- what allegedly passes for music, the TV and movies and video games-- there is no doubt they pose a detrimental influence. Play "Grand Theft Auto" or Mark Ecko's "Contents Under Pressure" and you'll reach that undeniable conclusion. It is not for nothing that Australia banned "Contents Under Pressure" for its advocating illegal tagging. But while these are contributing factors, they are not the cause. The chip on the ethnic shoulder is not the cause, either.

And yes, for the record, I am pretty old fashioned.

Davaudian said...

Yes, the fans are gang related as are any of these kids in the LAUSD system. What's worse is the way the players get away with walking, double-dribble, and palming the ball. Not the game that Bob Cousey played at all.

barryshap said...

Now, you're talking my language... sort of. Cousy and Sharman, Bill Russell, KC and Sam Jones, Tommy Heinsohn... and Red. When the parquet floor was the real deal and the game was still a non-contact sport.