The Bird cruised over the pro-migrant march along Grand Avenue, half expecting to see KFYI-AM 550 squawk-jock Brian James' head on the prong of a long, sharp rake at the front of the crowd. The demonstration, which drew at least 100,000 people, was coordinated as part of a nationwide "day of action" aimed at pressuring Congress to pass immigration laws that would allow some 12 million undocumented immigrants already in the United States to get legal. And this proactive pigeon knows it isn't alone in wishing that our Mr. James had been the trussed-up grand marshal, after it read a transcript of James' recent let's-just-shoot-illegal-aliens manifesto.
It seems that on a March 8 installment of 550's 8 p.m. bile-fest, James, an occasional fill-in host at the station, hocked up the snot-ball that illegals trying to make it over the border should be shot on sight. This, James shared with listeners (most of whom must have agreed with him; more on that later), would be so much cheaper than building a wall along the border, and a lot more fun, too.
"Has anybody done any figures on what a wall like that will cost?" James queried his audience that night. "For that same amount of money, how many bullets can you buy? . . . I mean, I'm sorry, if you're coming illegally and there are individuals from terrorist states making their way into my stinking backyard, I don't want 'em put on a bus and taken out of here. I would like to see a nice, you know, 223-rounds shot from a high post somewhere and leave 'em out there. Pull out their ID if they've got any, call their next of kin and say, 'Oops, sorry. They tried to cross illegally.'"
What a brilliant idea! Somebody should nominate this smack-talkin' Heinstein for the Nobel Prize.
And his bosses over at KFYI may nominate him for just such an award. They believe that Latinos who were offended by his remarks are just a gaggle of silly geese.
"When you have a station that addresses controversial issues, you're bound to have some disagreement," quacked KFYI program director Laurie Cantillo (The Bird hopes she's of Italian extraction and not a self-loathing Latina). "We didn't receive any complaints from anyone who had the privilege of hearing the entire broadcast -- only from those who heard about the 30 seconds that Arizona Interfaith Network has been spreading around. They're using what I call selective editing."
Come on, Laurie, who among the camouflage crowd listening to a hick Mexican-basher like James would complain? Your station's listeners are hardly on the membership roster of the Anti-Defamation League.
And regarding it being a privilege to listen to his show, or AIN's engaging in selective editing . . . are you imbibing the same substances that Amaré Stoudemire's mama did?
Cantillo's referring to a press conference by the Network, a lobbying group best known for its unsuccessful opposition of Proposition 200. AIN (natch) denounced the radio station and its apparent just-shoot-'em position on illegal aliens.
Network president Dick White told The Bird, "James actually called for having border roulette. He actually went on the air and suggested choosing a night of the week where we kill anyone who crosses the border. It's indefensible. The license to broadcast on the airwaves is not a license to call for the murder of an entire group of people."
James was "using satire," Cantillo whined. "And Arizona Interfaith Network really threw us a sucker punch. Instead of contacting me to air their grievance, they took it to the people. And then they refused our news department's invitations to come on the show and discuss this on the air. They refused!"
Gosh, Laurie, how awful for you. One of your jocks announces that Mexicans should be shot, and then nobody of that persuasion wants to come be on your radio station? Let's all take up a collection and buy something nice for Laurie. Like a fucking clue!
Cantillo's also pissed that Arizona Interfaith Network waited a full month to hold its news conference. White says it's because he and his cronies were waiting until they had a transcript of James' remarks before proceeding, but Cantillo isn't buying it.
"They just held that press conference because they wanted to drum up support and participants for the latest pro-migrant march," she simpered. "That's cowardly."
More like, smart. As for the gigantic protest, it was peaceful. For The Bird's money, the real huzzah wasn't the number of cheerful Chicanos present but how many of them were waving American flags. Hoisting Old Glory was the none-too-subtle message: "Hey, whitey, it's our country now, too."
Believe it, there's truth in numbers!
On the issue of chicken-heartedness, nobody could be more cowardly than the pussy KFYI's still got on the payroll. You know, the guy who painted a target on every undocumented worker in this state.
Obviously quavering in his panties that he may have also painted a target on himself, Brian James is hiding under Laurie Cantillo's skirt. He's afraid to speak to The Bird, or to anybody else in the media. Here's what somebody over at the station (probably his new mommy, Cantillo) wrote for him in a press release:
"As a talk show host, sometimes things I say get taken out of context or are exaggerated. I do not in any way advocate shooting illegal immigrants. The fact that it's necessary for me to address this shows my remarks were taken out of context."
This time, it's not that his remarks were satirical, it's that they were taken out of context? Either James has been joining Cantillo for cocktails as he's hiding among her petticoats, or he's backpedaling for dear life. But don't take The Bird's word; judge for yourself in this completely in-context excerpt from his show:
We will call it Immigration Roulette. What we will do is randomly pick one night every week where we will kill whoever crosses the border. Step over there and you die. You get to decide if it's your lucky night or not. I think that would be more fun. And for those of you that think it's racist, I'll point this out to you: I'd be happy to sit there with my high-powered rifle and my night scope, and if it's a scrawny white guy that crosses the border illegally, I don't have any problems shooting him, or a guy in a turban, or a Hispanic, or I don't care who it is. Cross the border illegally, you're toast. That's what I'd like to see. Maybe just once we'd save a lot of money, the Border Patrol guys could take six nights a week off, and one night a week they'd just go down there and put some notches on the old stock. Supply 'em a little screwdriver to, you know, scrape those notches into the stock for every one they get. Maybe we pay them a bonus. A hundred dollars a head! (Laughter.) Oh, nobody has the nerve to do it, but they didn't have to -- I mean, honestly, we're worried about terrorism, we're worried about people getting into our country, we're over right now in Iraq doing all kinds of things over there to protect ourselves, but nothing here. Nothing, zero. They can walk in and do anything they want, anytime they want, because I mean all you got to do is bring it in from Mexico and you're done.
He Smelled Like Jail
Turns out Roosevelt Row gallery owners had good reason to snub graffiti artist Bobby Castaneda's brother when he hit them up for dough for Bobby's bail.
After he got sprung from the Durango Jail the other day, The Bird found out straight from Bobby's beak that he's indeed the notorious RESIST tagger.
That's right: Castaneda, who owns Se Vende gallery on Roosevelt Street, admitted he's the guy who's been defacing other downtown Phoenix art galleries -- such as Holgas, Mainstay and monOrchid -- for the past four years.
He'd "pretty much cut his own throat with us," one fellow gallery owner on the street told The Bird, even before Eddie Castaneda began begging for his bro's $1,600 bail money.
Though they had no real proof, many gallery owners claimed Bobby was the vandal.
Bobby's jail stint had nothing to do with his tagging. He was arrested in Scottsdale on March 26 on two outstanding warrants for driving on a suspended license and having an open container in a moving vehicle.
He told The Bird that his "RESIST" tagging was all about "people resisting what's happening on Roosevelt."
That would be people like, um, Bobby.
"Pretty soon, if we're not careful, this street's going to be nothing but lofts from side to side," Castaneda complained, alluding to the upscale Artisan Village at Seventh Street and Roosevelt, whose presence has pretty much polarized the arts district into those for progress versus those against gentrification.
"But I'm done with RESIST," Bobby vowed, "at least the graffiti aspect of it."
After having time to ponder in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jail, Castaneda said he came to the conclusion that RESIST will now become a "movement" instead of "just something scribbled on a wall."
Okay, a movement. Cool.
But for the foreseeable future, Castaneda's got an electronic bracelet wrapped around his ankle that alerts authorities if his sweat measures any alcohol content. What a concept! Castaneda agreed to wear the device in exchange for a Superior Court judge's dropping a big fine for his open-container citation.
Luckily, he didn't need all that bail money after all.
Castaneda went on, "I'll be doing stuff this summer, and people will say, 'Thank God somebody's doing it!'"
Which will be better than, "I wish to God he wasn't doing it!" Which's the nicest thing art gallery owners were saying when they came to work and found he'd defaced their buildings.
Most of them would love to see Bobby get more pondering time in Joe's lockup for that.
In fact, you can rest assured that they'll be keeping an eagle eye on him.
The Bird means, if they can even recognize Castaneda now that he's shaved his head. He didn't do it to go stealth, he assured. He did it because his locks "smelled like jail."
Pride, My Feathered Ass
The Bird doesn't mind getting hate mail; in fact, this faux falcon loves it when readers call for its feathered noggin. But there's definitely something crazy about haughty homos complaining about it's contending they're ashamed to be gay -- when they are! The Bird's saying, people have insisted that they're indeed proud to be queer, and then refused to divulge their names for fear somebody will find out they're queer.
Crazy? Well, the squawks about The Bird's alleged homophobia came after it opined last week that Phoenix's annual gay and lesbian pride event wasn't so prideful after all, since its name didn't include the words "gay and lesbian." And because the event, unlike similar ones all over the country, took place in April instead of June, when it's meant to commemorate the actual June 1969 launch of the gay-rights movement.
"You are obviously gay yourself," wrote one unidentified griper via the Internet, "and you're a hypocrite to cast stones at other gays."
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Yet when The Bird replied with a request for the author's name, the angry sodomite shot back, "I don't intend to give you my name for exploitation. What I do in my bedroom is my business."
Uh-huh, and The Bird's a hypocrite? Got it.
Another sniffy queen (he wouldn't sign his name, either) wanted to know why The Bird poked fun at fairies, but then didn't attend the Phoenix "pride" event.
Here's your answer, Bruce: Gays need to find other ways to express gayness than making fools of themselves in public. Hello, this pissy parakeet would rather choke on its own vomit than march down a public street in the company of homosexual stereotypes -- only to wind up at parade's end watching grown men in dresses and evening gowns lip-synch to old Dolly Parton tunes in a crowded park.