Mongols vs. Hells Angels
Ever drop a lit punk into a box of fireworks? Ever join a conversation only to find that you're late and hopelessly lost? We did both this week with our story about the violent feud in Echo Park and Los Feliz between Mongols and Hells Angels ("Mongols and Hells Angels Invade Hiptown," by Howie Stier, Jan. 6).
For starters, Sleepy provides context: "The Hells Angels/Mongols biker wars and shoot-out started in 1977 on a freeway in San Diego, California, when the Hells Angels machine-gunned down a pack of Mongols on their bikes on the freeway, killing a few of them and their old ladies. Then at the slain Mongol's funeral a car parked near the grave site blew up. It had been parked there by the Hells Angels and was full of explosives. So don't mess around with them 1-percenters. They mean business and they play dirty. Never trust a Hells Angel not to attack. They are all like wild rabid animals with rabies."
Now comes the conversation. From Script Writer, addressing an earlier commenter: "Hey, you're that lonely pissed off guy from South Amboy, New Jersey, who hates the Hells Angels. You got old and dried up about six years ago. You never come up with any new material. You just repeat yourself. You would never make it as a Hollywood script writer like I am."
From Billy Queen: "Say howdy to Mongols Mc Red Dog, Rocky, Buckethead, Rancid, Easy, Domingo, Panhead and Evil."
From Guest: "Keep your zipper zippered fellas. Never trust a Hells Angel when his fat goofy ass sees a meal in front his face."
In reply, from Brian: "That's real childish unfunny and unoriginal. How can Hells Angels be fat overweight and hungry when they snort speed all the time?"
And finally, also from Brian: "71-year-old Hells Angels leader Sonny Barger will be signing copies of his new book at the Key Club at 9039 W. Sunset Blvd., on Sunday, Feb. 20. There will be a live band playing blues. Be there or be square."
Or be what?
MISSION DRIFT AT GAY INC.
The Weekly's cover story reporting that Gay Inc., which refers to a handful of established state and national LGBT lobbying groups including Equality California and the Human Rights Campaign, has lost touch with grassroots elements of the gay rights movement brought an outpouring of thoughtful responses ("Mission Drift at Gay Inc.," by Patrick Range McDonald, Jan. 6).
Reader Chris Daley describes the story as a "hit piece," especially in giving voice to critics of Geoff Kors, departing leader of Equality California. Daley writes that Kors "is a unique voice in the movement who gave his all to improve the lives of LGBT people throughout the state. I was the director of the Transgender Law Center for much of Geoff's tenure at EQCA. Geoff was a vital partner in our work. He backed every legislative reform we worked on and was a key player in making California the state with the most transgender supportive laws in the nation.
"He also, without reservation, put EQCA's weight (and resources) behind our long-range community building efforts. He was the inspiration behind the creation of the Transgender Leadership Summit and didn't hesitate to support the effort even when EQCA and TLC staff significantly reframed the event's focus.
"He was always an incredible partner in securing the participation of elected officials in first-of-their-kind public forums on important transgender equality issues like safe schools, health insurance discrimination and LGBT prisoner rights. Not to mention that he and EQCA board members threw fund-raisers for us and helped us identify and go after donors."
A different view comes from David Ehrenstein: "What 'hit piece,' Mr. Daley? This is a solid example of straight-forward journalism. My only caveat is McDonald failed to mention the (quite elaborate and expensive) ads that the Kors group put out to fight Prop. 8 which didn't include any actual LGBT people in them because they were told by PR experts that they would offend straights.
"I've been a gay rights activist since Stonewall, working for many years with the Gay Activists' Alliance of New York on the Media Committee with Vito Russo. Things have changed dramatically since then. But one fact remains, which affects everything in politics gay or straight — class. The Human Rights Campaign is stem-to-stern upper-middle-class gays and lesbians. It knows nothing of the multifarious lives of LGBT peoples throughout this country, and doesn't want to know. Their willful blindness is our loss. Gay power begins in the streets, not in the suites."
Jonathan Gold's review of Salt's Cure restaurant ("Restaurant or Butcher Shop?" Jan. 6) touted the selections of fresh meat and poultry, which brings this from reader Johnny Cabral: "Try one of the two live poultry shops on North Broadway in Chinatown. They have many varieties of live poultry, which they will kill and dress while you wait. You cannot get it fresher than here."
To which The Late Ixo replies: "Yes, you can — on the windshield of a speeding car in rural South Dakota. Thank God Avis had to replace the glass."
PLASTER OUR WINDSHIELD
Send us your comments at: Comment, L.A. Weekly, 3861 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, CA 90230. Or you can reach us at laweekly.com. Full name and contact info preferred.