Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Garden


Nominated for Best Documentary Feature. The 14 acres of land in the middle of one of the most desolate districts of Los Angeles has a checkered and complicated history, and I’m not sure I have it all right. But, more or less … After the Rodney King riots the owner sold it to the city, and the city allowed people—almost all of them Hispanic—to open a community garden there. Each person had just a small plot, and it was to be used to grow food for personal consumption, not re-sale. Then, a few years ago, after some politically corrupt secret deals involving a city councilwoman and a “community activist,” the property suddenly is back in the hands of the original owner. He wants to bulldoze the garden and put up warehouses. He says he’ll sell it for $15 million, an obscene profit for him, and totally undeserved. But when the farmers surprise him by raising the money, he reneges. He says he wouldn’t take $100 million now, because he hates these people. Lee called him a pigcapitalist, but I disagreed. A capitalist would have taken the money. Which means he’s just a pig. This movie documents the slime who made this all happen, and they are City Councilwoman Jan Perry (who is black) and “community activist” Juanita Tate (who is also black). I’m telling you this not out of any racism on my part, but because there is no love lost between the black community of South Central LA and the Hispanics who increasingly are outnumbering them in most neighborhoods. Any chance a black councilwoman sees to fuck up a Hispanic project will not be missed. If you doubt that these two women are slime, consider that they took $5 million dollars to build an athletic center, and after many, many years, all the money was gone and the most pitiful red-dirt soccer field you ever saw is the only result. Jan Perry is slime (and still a city councilwomen). Juanita Tate (who, I’m glad to report, is dead and currently residing in Hell) was slime.

But they are small potatoes compared to the owner of the property. Some of the reviews I read didn’t even mention his name. Fear of lawsuits, I imagine. Since I am libel-lawsuit-proof (you can’t squeeze Dr. Pepper out of a turnip, nor money out of me), I will name him. He is Ralph Horowitz. That’s H as in horrible, O as in obscene, R as in ratfucker, O as in odious, W as in whoremonger, I as in invidious, T as in terrible, Z as in zoophile. (Look it up. Hint: think “ratfucker.”) It’s clear that, when he was born, Mrs. Horowitz threw out the baby, kept the afterbirth, and named it Ralph. He was then abandoned and raised by rats. This is not offered as an excuse for his behavior; he liked being raised by rats, but the rats eventually threw him out, because he smelled too bad for them and his morals fell below their standards. Ever since, he has been desecrating Los Angeles with his presence.

Reading all that, you would be correct in suspecting that Mr. Horowitz eventually won the battle. The land was bulldozed, and now sits empty. The cocksucker hasn’t even built the warehouse he was going to build, maybe because it would have provided a few jobs for the peons who live down there. Plus, I suspect that anything he did build would get burned down some night. I’d help, and bring marshmallows to roast. Along the way we see quite a few local politicians declaring their solidarity, including several councilpersons and our mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa. Only, when the bulldozers are revving up … oddly, they are nowhere to be seen. We also see some heartfelt but futile and ultimately pretty meaningless support from the “celebrity community,” including Darryl Hannah, Willie Nelson, and Morgan Freeman.

Moral: You can’t fight City Hall. Literally.