Sunday, January 08, 2006

Saab Lofton's Take

The REAL local hero of 2005

by Saab Lofton Monday January 02, 2006 at 07:17 PM

This is very hard for me because no one hates 2005 more than I, but I've got some unfinished business from last year ...

When I interviewed Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, I was so star struck; so awed by his pro-wrestling-esque charisma, I didn't get to finish a thought I should've at the time.

On my website under the professional section, Goodman's plan (something I wish wasn't just lip service on his part) to get title to boarded-up houses, fix them up and turn them over "to families who are on the verge of becoming homeless," as the mayor put it, is described.

Mom: Saab, has anything come of this? If not, do you think we should revisit this conversation with the mayor?

Like an idiot, all I said in response was we need to make it a priority to contact the owners of these abandonned buildings before the 30-day deadline Goodman spoke of to claim said buildings could expire-- without ALSO saying WHY*: My reasoning was I didn't want so much as a single, anal retentive libertarian (the kind who always wrote me hate mail) claiming that Goodman had Stalinistically appropriated the buildings. Therefore, I wanted to give these owners ample warning that the state was about to take them so they couldn't cry "Stalin", something Goodman was going to do anyway ...

Mom: Saab, we don't always have enough time to say everything we think and want to say. Unfortunately, some folks mis- understand when we don't have the time to explain everything in our hearts.

Don't worry too much about it. I give you credit for posting this article because you spoke what needed to be spoken. As long as we are breathing, we can add our thoughts to past conversations.

Problem was, I only had so many words per column (850) and couldn't explain in detail what I was trying to convey*. As a result, it erroneously came across as if I actually gave a three-legged-rat's-ass whether or not anyone spoiled enough to own and abandon (a) boarded-up home(s) would feel as though it was the French Revolution all over again. I've always regretted not making myself clear back then, and I'm glad Indymedia can provide a means by which this skeleton in my closet can finally be purged--OK, it's a Stalin joke, "purged", bad pun ... bad pun ...

I bring this up not only to ease my soul but to state for the record that it should've been Gail Sacco on the front cover of the Las Vegas CityLife's recent Local Heroes issue-- hence the unfinished business from last year.

Mom: Thank you, Saab. You are a great contributor to the cause.

While the punk rockers who comprised previous incarnations of Food Not Bombs were worrying about yet another concert, this frail, middle aged woman was damn near singlehandedly feeding the homeless like Jesus Himself. Instead, poet Keith Brantley was on the front cover, even though I know the man is both a homophobe and a black supremacist from years of talking to him.

Ask local organizers Joe Sacco and Jason Halprin about the night we tried to recruit the black folks in Brantley's Poet's Corner into the Peace Movement. First, I took the mike and said how tired I was of black folks caring more about parties at "da Club" and making their front teeth look like Cadillac grills than about corporate greed, Human rights violations and ecological damage. This old black woman then took the mike right after me and went on and ON about the all-too-vaunted civil liberty to bury your head in the sand and not care about world affairs--at which point, she got a standing ovation, because her spiel let all them party-goin' niggers off the hook ...

But that wasn't the worst part (close, though). The worst part was later on that night, when Keith Brantley--the "local hero" on the front cover the CityLife--ranted about how TV shows like Will & Grace and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy were signs that the gay community was taking over the planet like giant insects from some 1950s horror movie! I couldn't believe what I was hearing! I always knew Brantley had little use for whites (ask him about how some obscure scientific study of red ants and black ants supposedly proves that ANYthing lighter than jet black is somehow more inherently imperialistic), but this was too much!

Mom: Will & Grace is one of my favorite programs! Okay, I'll duck now for the insults. ;)

Humor is humor and we all need a little humor in our lives. I think this is a great program to help people learn to accept all people as human beings. I am not gay so I cannot know how gays "take" this program philosophically, polically, etc. But I do know that when Archie Bunker came about, I could relate with my family and community. And it taught us a lot about how wrong we were thinking.

I think Will & Grace must be showing us all the same type of thing --that we are all human beings no matter what race, nationality, or sexual orientation.

So I took the mike right after him and said what I usually say about gays: That I believe God meant for there to be homosexuality since Humans ain't bound by natural mating cycles like animals are (fuck the Vegans, Humans AIN'T animals--to quote the Civil Rights Movement, I AM A MAN!), and therefore, God WANTS there to be gay people in order to prevent overpopulation a la Charlton Heston's Soylent Green.

Well, while I was on the mike, I noticed Brantley had grabbed the folding chair I had been sitting on, folded it, held it in mid air for a moment, and then unfolded it--as if he was contemplating hitting me with it or denying me the ability to sit back down. And just as I was finishing up, this cross between Mike Tyson and Shaq O'Neil named "La Blaque" jumped up and cried out at the top of his lungs, "You ain't gonna turn me into a fag, Saab!" At which point, he stormed across the West Side Arts Center with the intent of doing me some bodily harm. Never having backed down from a fight in my life, I then stormed towards him--taking my shirt off en route (again, ask Joe Sacco and Jason Halprin, they were both there) when this elderly security guard stepped between us--NOT Brantley, who evidently wouldn't have minded such a fight. He did cancel the Poet's Corner a half hour early that night, but it was clear which side he was on: LaBlaque's violent, homophobic ignorance.

Not much happened after that. Some of the blacks (who weren't much better off, intellectually speaking) then asked me afterwards was I gay--as if I had to be in order to defend gays, guess they never heard of SOLIDARITY.

Ironically, a couple of months later (I TOLD you 2005 sucked), I was gay bashed even though I'm straight by two black gangstah-gangstah types in South Central L.A. while I was on book tour. I was dressed in that superhero outfit of mine, and because B.E.T. only plays the same five gangstah videoes over and over and over and over and over and over and over--and NONE of them are the LEAST bit socially conscious--they simply couldn't grasp the concept of a black man in a cape and Spandex, so they split my lip open like a cabbage and left me in need of stitches. My costume still has spots of blood on it ...

The bottom line is homophobia is a HUGE problem in the black community, Keith "local hero" Brantley ain't no fucking help in that regard, and Gail "the heart and soul of Food Not Bombs" Sacco should've been on the front page of the CityLife--NOT Brantley. Then again, what do you expect with the Review-Journal/Stephens Media

Whatever owning the paper ...

Mom: Keep on trucking. We all have to keep up the good fight. Learn, learn, and learn. And educate, NON-violently.

No comments: