Fact Checking: The Venice Beachhead

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When people knock the Beachhead on the forums at this site, I have traditionally come to the Beachhead’s defense. I will continue to defend the Beachhead as I think there is some unique content there that you won’t find elsewhere. At a certain point, however, I do feel the need to call BS on the continued “hate” that the Beachhead is trying to generate within this community.

Beachhead 1

Over the last few months, the intent of some of the Beachhead’s content has arguably been an attempt to drive a wedge between community members, using this website as the source material for much of what it “reacts” to. “We are Venice, Who are you?” was a real beauty. This month it is “When the Shooting Starts“. In this article, Jim Smith discusses the January 9th shootings in Tucon, Arizona and then provocatively tries to tie content from this site into his article as such:

Even in our lovely Venice, hostility and threatened violence against the poor has reached such a level that a small but well-heeled segment of our community has earned the title, “Haters.” No one has yet been shot in Venice. But that may only be because the right mentally-unbalanced person has not yet acted.

Recently on a local blogsite, one of the anonymous haters posted a photo of himself sunbathing and surrounded by his gun collection. Isn’t this just a little more obvious that Sarah Palin’s crosshairs on Gabby Giffords’ congressional district? Why on Earth does someone living in an apartment in Venice need a lot of guns? And by the way, the Second Amendment calls for a well-armed militia, and is not carte blanche for lone gunmen to arm themselves.

Hey Jim: what you have written is bullshit. Your agenda is very clear when you pervert the truth like you have done here. If the Beachhead continues to hide behind a “peaceful hippie” front while at the same time stirring the pot and dividing the neighborhood with hateful rhetoric, I will start a new monthly column dissecting your articles for inaccuracies and untruths. That won’t be me “hating” on you, that will be me “clowning” on you. While content on this site may anger certain people, it is fact based reporting. When an RV gets towed for sewage dumping and the occupants are sentenced by a judge, that is fact. You are not reporting facts, you are misrepresenting written words to support your own “hate” of your neighbors.

Let’s look at your recent reporting.

Contextually, the picture in question was used in a thread about Lindsay Lohan moving to Venice and TMZ reporting she may put up a fence. Here is what was written:

Shane: OMIGAWD! According to TMZ, Lindsey Lohan’s Dad was at a lumber yard to buy A FENCE to put around her new place in Venice to keep away the Paparazzi! Little does he know about fence heights in Venice. I can’t wait!
ladidadi: I think gigantic hedges are prettier! Especially when you are lurking in them!
Venetian: I knew that was you! 😉
ladidadi: You look so pretty in your nightgown.
Venetian: Yeah well, I always try to look sexiest when lounging around the house. =)

With that, forum poster “Venetian” (a woman) posted a “meme” picture to “ladidadi” (a woman) as a JOKE.

Jim, a “meme” is something like this totally off the wall picture (or idea) that is shared all around the world on the internet. The picture in question is not of a Venice resident. You can read about him on the “all u want to know about the fat hairy gun loving guitar hero guy” blog by clicking here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and for the really internet challenged … on yahoo answers.

Meme

What you have done in your editorial is project your own agenda into the innocent online banter of two women joking about “peeping Tom’s”. As the Grateful Dead sang, “Please don’t dominate the rap, Jack, if you’ve got nothing new to say”.

Meme

To further explain the internet to you, there are “blogs”, and there are “forums”. In your continual pointing of proverbial fingers at a local “blog”, you are referencing me (a blogger), and not the residents that post on the site as “forum contributors”. Yo! Venice! is not a “hate site” and never has been. My commentary on RV’s has always been that I think 20 or 30 of them would be cool, but 200+ and counting is not sustainable in such a small area. I have never personally taken a picture of an RV getting towed, have never owned a police scanner and I am not personally involved in any neighborhood watch groups altho I do provide the most popular forums in Venice for people to talk about their community, and some of them do indeed like to talk about these things.

Jim, I will tell you who the majority of the posters on this website are:

The forum posters that comment here are unanimously in support of helping the homeless and support getting them into programs. I’d venture that 90% of the people that I have met that post here have contributed aid to local social services. To call them “haters” for their concerns on how the programs are run, where they are placed in the community and what entities profit of them is shameful of you. To call them “haters” for logically questioning how their town has a Neighborhood Council where most of the members have ties to the social service industry and openly ask for more social service money rather than neighborhood policing is disingenuous of you.

Residents that question “the norm” and try to productively look for solutions to obvious problems should be congratulated, not condemned as “haters”. The majority of the people that I have met that post here are in their 30’s, not white and mainly work in artistic fields. I find it flawed that most of the people in Venice that call posts here “hate” are in fact white people over the age of 50, many of whom are social service industry paycheck takers and also the occasional career politician … not artists. Think about that one. In addition, I think that the overwhelming majority of the posters here contribute positively to our community.

I believe that the history of Beachhead stands for something. Don’t bury the good name of the Beachhead for your own personal class war that you seem to be promoting. Once again, I will start clowning on the Beachhead every month for fact based inaccuracies. When you read things that I have written on this website, it is properly vetted with at least two sources confirming the information that are willing to walk into court to defend the information.

Yo! Venice! is an actual collective in the tradition of the original Beachhead. Anyone can register and throw in their two cents about Venice. Forums are the medium that allow the populace to be heard.

In parting, I will leave you with a letter that “Venetian” (the woman whose content you chose to pervert) has sent to the Beachhead every month since you published your “We are Venice, who are you?” issue. You have refused to publish what she sent you. You do not allow comments on your website. Who exactly does the Beachhead represent in Venice?

RUDE QUESTION/UNFOUNDED ACCUSATION:

We Are Venice… Who Are You?
By Ian Dean
We have a question to all the newcomers to this town. Who are you?
We see what you do, how much money you make, how much power you have… but we still don’t know who you are.
Maybe it’s time for you to know who WE are.
We are Venice.
We are the artists and the musicians, we are the homeless and the performers, we are the lost and the forgotten.
We are the children of the servants when Abbot Kinney won this land in a bet.
We are the brothers and sisters of the gangs.
We are the no good kids who revolutionized skateboarding and turned it in to a multi-billion dollar sport when it was viewed as nothing but a novelty toy.
We are the citizens who made a home in a town that was usurped by Los Angeles and then left to rot.
We are the graffiti writers and surfers who made our home on what used to be the POP.
We are the ones who took the worst of what we were given and made this forgotten ramshackle of a once proud city a place that was ours and no outsider wanted to be because we were “of color” or because we were losers with no incentive to better ourselves.
We are the ones who embraced all who dared to be different or were down on their luck.
We are the ones who called this place home even when Los Angeles wanted nothing but our oil.
WE are Venice.
WE stayed here when no one else wanted to walk even close to Ghost Town.
WE never complained about property values being affected by the homeless.
WE never bitched about kids running amok and doing the stupid things that all teenagers do.
We never bought up giant parcels of land, kicked out families who had been here for years to build a condo or a 5-star restaurant so that money could be made by the very fact that this was Venice… a fact that WE created.
You moved here because of the aura, you moved here because of how happy we were, you moved here to be a part of something yet, little by little, all you do is destroy it.
You want the cool points of living on the beach or by it, where Jim Morrison came to play, where the Dogtown kids were inventive enough to turn decaying asphalt of our broken and run down environment and turn it in to an empire on various levels.
We are Venice. Who are you?

ANSWER:

By Venetian

I am the orphan who grew up in Venice & was told I would never make anything of myself. I was the guitarist for a well known punk band who rode a motorcycle across six continents. I am a surfer & a skateboarder who worked my butt off to pay my way through university and improve my circumstances. I am an artist & a writer by profession (that means I get paid to do what I do). I am a home owner who has never had a thing handed to me & never demanded that others should suffer for my way of life. I am a volunteer who has built wells in developing countries with my own hands & my own money. I am a volunteer who has transported life saving medications across dangerous boarders to help save lives. I am a volunteer who works tirelessly to protect animals. I am a volunteer who believes that consenting adults have the right to marry whomever they love whether I understand it or not. I am also a human being who has worked hard, played hard & only desires to live in MY town without being literally pooped on, robbed, raped, vandalized, victimized or murdered to death by lazy boon-dockers who think that I work hard so that they wont have to. I AM VENICE!

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