By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
Next, a drive downtown to the hipster art-gallery enclave on Chung King Road garnered coos of “Oh wow!” and “She’s good!” from the woman at Goldman Tevis. A Weimaraner from the gallery across the way panted through the window at Tillie. Tillie panted back. The woman at Goldman Tevis said a show wasn’t likely, though. “I gotta tell you, my artists would kill me,” she said apologetically. “Not that it’s not valid — but this is their life.”
“I sincerely want her to show her work,” Hastie explained. “Look at it — it’s beautiful! There are a lot of problems in talking about Tillie’s art — because she can’t talk about it.” While cats have ventured previously into the animal-as-artist territory with Why Cats Paint, Hastie said he understood the book was a hoax.
At the end of the day, Hastie and Tillie stood on a Chinatown sidewalk with nothing to show for their efforts but a barrelful of cockeyed optimism. Tillie was yawning. “I feel like Tillie’s just barely scratched the surface,” Hastie said. “And she would just love to meet Sophie.”
When At First You Do Deceive . . .
Wanton, self-serving political lies ought to have an expiration date, like canned soup. Since they don’t, they can go on endangering citizens for years.
Case in point: Mayor Dick Riordan’s resurrection of an old political canard during the announcement last month of his appointment of former Ethics Commission executive Rebecca Avila to the city Police Commission. Riordan avowed that before Avila took over the Ethics Commission in 1995, the agency “never got any respect from anyone . . . it leaked things to the press.”
Riordan was referring with what I took to be some pride to what may go down as the single most unprincipled act of his political career. That was his underhanded ouster of former Ethics Commission Director Ben Bycel, who had run afoul of Riordan by doggedly insisting that the Mayor’s Office was subject to the same ethics laws as the rest of the government. Riordan justified the canning by charging Bycel with leaking information to the press. The press-leak accusation originally was fomented by a handful of hack Pete Wilson appointees on the state Fair Political Practices Commission, whom Bycel from time to time had chided for foot-dragging. Not a single concrete instance of leaking was ever cited to back up the charge. And the leaks were entirely invisible to the reporters of that era, who presumably were in the best position to know whether Bycel’s office was a media sieve.
To this day, Bycel considers himself bound by his former oath of office from discussing details of his ouster. Rebecca Avila herself cites Bycel’s work as the foundation she built upon during her Ethics Commission tenure. None of this has stopped the mayor from repeating the baseless leaking charge on every possible public occasion. Or from rewarding the henchperson who wrought his venal will in Bycel’s expulsion. For at the February 26 news conference, the mayor also commended new Police Commission President Raquelle de la Rocha, whom Riordan six years ago appointed to the Ethics Commission to rid himself of the pesky Bycel.