Dear Mayor Goodman,
Or perhaps I should begin this communication with the same discourteous introduction as Hunter S. Thompson in his letter to then President Nixon:
Of course, you remember Hunter. He both lionized and mortified the city over which you so proudly rule in his brilliant tome, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." Perhaps Hunter's continuous inebriation opened his perception to some psychic foresight -- in the 21st century, your city, with all its garishly seductive promises of instant wealth, cheap p*ssy, and satanic escapism, has little left but "fear and loathing" to offer.
For the good reader who remains uninformed of your repugnance, here are a few objective facts: The 19th mayor of the city of Las Vegas, Oscar B. Goodman (that would be you), is a former mob lawyer and a recent spokesperson for Bombay Sapphire Gin -- a job that reportedly paid you a salary of $100,000. In fairness to you, you did donate these earnings to charity. However, when asked by a group of fourth-graders what possession you would favor if marooned on a desert island, you replied "a bottle of gin." And when asked about your hobbies, you listed boozing as your favorite. In justifying these wretched and cataclysmically irresponsible remarks, you replied, "I'm the George Washington of mayors. I can't tell a lie. If they didn't want the answer the kid shouldn't have asked the question."
Your truly stirring forthrightness and honesty has not been limited to your unabashed endorsement of alcohol. In 2005, you opined that graffiti artists should have their thumbs cut off on television: "You know, we have a beautiful highway landscaping redevelopment in our downtown....These punks come along and deface it....I'm saying maybe you should put them on TV and cut off a thumb."
But rest assured, Oscar, I am not writing to you because you're a dick and a louse -- the world is overflowing with such people, and my lifelong policy has been to simply ignore them. I'm writing to you because you're a hypocrite, the most cowardly and useless creature on Earth. Your hypocrisy is more overt than the house edge for craps or Siegfried and Roy's sexual orientation or David Copperfield's unit or a showgirl's breasts...I could go on forever with these terrible analogies, but you get the picture.
In your time as mayor, your policies toward the homeless citizens of your city have been nothing less than genocidal. You actually outlawed the feeding of the homeless in city parks (a measure which was later correctly ruled to be unconstitutional.) In "justifying" your astonishing sociopathy, you stated, "This is not a punishment; this is to help people...The people who provide sandwiches have good intentions, but they're enabling people not to get the help that is needed."
The help that is needed? And where, precisely, would they go for that? Henderson? Laughlin? Hundreds of miles north to Carson City or Reno? You know perfectly well that your city is correctly notorious for its astonishing lack of shelter and resources for its homeless. The shelters are strategically placed far, FAR away from the tourist areas, in a dangerously violent place referred to as "the corridor." It is reported that these shelters hold only a few hundred beds -- a pathetic and outrageous figure, considering that at least 12,000 homeless men and women currently live within your city limits. When the homeless attempt to sleep in city parks they are arrested and jailed for "trespassing." So thanks to you, the homeless have not the right to eat or sleep or even breathe within the remotest distance of a
I'm sure you have at least heard of the Kurt Borchard book, "The Word on the Street: Homeless Men in Las Vegas", though I doubt you would impinge on your busy schedule of drinking and carousing showgirls to actually read it. Borchard has documented through years of meticulous research and fieldwork the utter IMPOSSIBILITY of self-reliance for the homeless in your city. The only work for which they can get hired is day labor, and the city's structure (including the location of the feeble "shelters") is such that a homeless person without reliable transportation cannot consistently get to and from work. Day labor offices typically open at 5:30 AM, and there is no shortage of illegal immigrants who pack into their shitty pick-up trucks and arrive prompt and rarin' to go after a good night's rest. The homeless citizens in your city, who have the LEGAL RIGHT to live and work (a right you refuse to recognize), are not so lucky.
Have you ever tried performing eight or ten hours of physical labor after a night of aimless shambling through a concrete jungle, unfed, dehydrated, and in constant fear for your life? Of course you haven't. You are the self-described "happiest mayor in the world!" You love your drink and your women and your money and the mob friends who helped get you elected.
And that's why you're a hypocrite, Oscar the Grouch, Oscar the d*ckhead, Oscar the misanthropic lunatic, Oscar anything-but-a-Goodman. If you are as honest as you claim to be, if you were asked directly how you feel about the homeless, you would reply, "f*ck 'em. They did it to themselves!" And no one can deny there is an element of truth in that sentiment. A vast majority of homeless have been ruined by addiction to alcohol -- the very lifeblood of your city's economy, and by your own admission, your favorite pastime on Earth. The only difference between you and the most devastated transient slowly dying on your streets is that you've been a bit more successful at moderating your self-destructive vices.
In an editorial on homelessness, the Las Vegas Sun writes, "Already this year, 48 people in the Las Vegas Valley have succumbed to life on the streets. Most local programs do what they can, but the need is overwhelming. With a consistent source of federal support, the majority of homeless people could again begin having goals beyond survival."