March 03, 2016
Amazingly, the NAACP reserved its fury not for the gangbangers who murdered an innocent woman, but for the consumers who refused to return to Westwood Village following the shoot-out. The esteemed “civil rights” organization claimed it was “racist” to abandon a shopping district just because you might get caught between two warring gangs. Typical “white privilege,” expecting to be able to go clothes shopping without bullets whizzing past you.
Every bar owner I worked with during my six years as an event producer in L.A. knew the existential risks associated with gang shootings. But they also knew the risks of being too heavy-handed, or too honest, regarding who they allowed in. “The management reserves the right to refuse service to anyone” is a fiction. Legally, you cannot do what the bartender in Salt Lake City did. What fascinated me during my years working with club owners was the way in which some of them were forced to get “creative” when it came to controlling the demographics of their clientele.
“Dean” (not his real name) owned a club in a heavily trafficked part of the Westside. I worked with Dean every week for two years. His bar purposely cultivated a dark, edgy, and “dangerous” image”live music, pole dancers, a dimly lit interior, pool tables, and scantily clad blond bartenders. Dean’s residential neighbors had already put him on notice. They”d successfully lobbied the city to deprive him of a full liquor license; he could only serve beer and wine. Dean knew that one major slip-up, and his bar would be history. Plus, aesthetically, he had an image in mind for his business that didn”t exactly jibe with “multicultural.”
Not wanting to become No. 1 on the NAACP’s most-wanted list, Dean took advantage of the one thing the government has not yet learned to regulate or control: musical taste. Dean only booked bands that blared the most appalling types of formless, gear-grinding white-boy music”death metal, black metal, grindcore, doom, industrial, etc. If it sounded like two trucks filled with burning pigs colliding on a freeway made of scrap metal, Dean played it. And the club’s customer demographics developed organically.
Of course, there was a downside. Some of the regulars, myself included, couldn”t stand the fucking din. Frankly, neither could Dean. Usually we spent more time on the outside patio than in the bar itself. But Dean’s strategy worked. The bar retained a bad-boy image while avoiding the type of violence that could have driven it under. Were there occasional fights? Of course there were. It’s a bar. But there was no gang presence, and no gang violence.
Dean was not the only owner I knew who used music as a way of legally engineering a desired demo. I used to wonder how long it would be before the government catches on and begins mandating “music diversity” in all clubs. But at the moment, music remains one of the few legal avenues club owners have to control the makeup of their establishment.
The lesson is, corrupt systems create dishonesty, and artificial barriers to normal human desires and interactions encourage scheming. All throughout the 1980s and early “90s, every Soviet Ã©migrÃ© I met had, to one degree or another, a conniving and duplicitous side. They would explain to me that growing up in a Communist dictatorship engendered such behavior. The state was so corrupt and controlling, anyone with ambition had to develop “work-arounds” to get what they wanted.
And so it is here, in our “multicultural” police state. A club owner not wanting to lose his business to gang violence needs to be creative and oblique. After all, when leftists call for an “honest discussion about race,” what they really mean is, white people better not be honest. The poor bartender at Big Willie’s obviously didn”t get the memo.
My advice to Big Willie’s? Invest in a good sound system. William Congreve once wrote that music has the power “to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.” These days, it has slightly more relevant uses, too.