On Blizzard Saturday we finally left the house for some midnight x-c skiing, and made our way down streets, sidewalks and alleys to Jack's friend's house, where a party dubbed Festival of Meat was still in swing. The snow had stopped and thankfully the meat was mostly put away; there were even some veggie pot stickers not to mention a big stereo TV playing some Underworld concert and a Barbarella-inspired oil lamp and nice people -- one of whom spoke Swahili, and another who was impressed when he showed me a gang sign that I recognized as being for "Folks"*. (I showed him gyana mudra and axed if that meant anything in gangdom and apparently it does not. So I told him to introduce it as soon as possible). All were thrilled by our arrival on skis (ha, the wind had died down and it was easy going) and razzed Jack about his beard, which features two prominent vertical grey streaks (only one soul noticed the handlebar attempt). Apparently he's usually clean-shaven. And a towhead (but like some reverse Lipizzan, he's gone dark). Hmmm....
Today I was loathe to move the car, it was in such a good spot. But I did, as riding the bike in the thick grey snow/salt/gravel/grease potpourri would have been even worse. As I drove past the plastic shit holding parking spaces -- apparently city-owned garbage cans are in this year -- I entertained a thought I've had for many winters: I imagined commandeering a team to rearrange all of the objects holding spaces when the car owners are at work. In the early evening we'd stake out the street, and record everyone's reactions when they couldn't find their stuff. Shooting them, so to speak. And letting god sort it out.
Now *that* would qualify as publicly-accesible performance art. Maybe I could even get a grant....
*All Chicago gangs fall into two communites: Folks (pitchforks up) and People (pitchforks down). The division dates back to a rift between Jeff Fort's El Rukns (formerly known as the Black P Stone Nation) and Larry Hoover's Black Gangster Disciples (see http://www.geocities.com/OrganizedCrimeSyndicates/ElRukn.html). So the next time you see some graffiti, look for the telltale fork.
From http://www.19thcircuitcourt.state.il.us/juveniles/gangs.htm :
m Use the slogan “All is well.”
m ALWAYS represents to the LEFT, i.e., hat worn or tilted to the left, arms folded to the left, pant leg folded on the left leg, hand inside the left pocket, earring worn in left ear, etc.
m Their symbols include 5 pointed stars and crowns as well as moons.
FACTIONS OF THE PEOPLE NATION
m Black P Stone Nation - Their colors are red and black, and their symbol are a crescent moon and a pyramid. Many times they will wear Chicago Bulls clothing.
m Latin Kings - Their colors are yellow and black, and their symbol is a 5 pointed star or crown. Members will wear Chicago Bulls or LA Kings apparel.
m Vice Lords - Their colors are red and black, and their symbols are a 5 pointed star or the playboy bunny. Members wear Chicago Bulls clothing.
m Conservative Vice Lord Nation - Their colors are red and black, and their symbols include a 5 pointed star and the playboy bunny. They also wear Chicago Bulls apparel.
m Other People factions include Bishops, Cobra Stones, Cullerton Dueces, El Rukn, Freaks, Gaylords, Insane Popes, Insane Unknowns, Jousters, Kenmore Boys, Kents, King Cobras, Latin Brothers, Latin Counts, Latin Dragons, Latin Pachucos, Latin Saints, Noble Knights, Party Gents, Party Players, Puerto Rican Stones, Spanish Lords, 12th Street Players, Villa Lobos, and Warlords.
GANG AFFILIATIONS AND IDENTIFIERS
m Use the slogan “All is One.”
m ALWAYS represent to the RIGHT, i.e., hat worn or tilted to the right, arms folded to the right, pant leg folded on the right leg, hand inside the right pocket, earring worn in the right ear, etc.
m Their symbols include 6 pointed stars and crowns as well as devils.
FACTIONS OF THE FOLK NATION
m Gangster Disciples - Their colors are blue and black, and their symbols include a 6 pointed star or pitchfork. Members wear LA Raiders and Detroit Tigers apparel and anything with the script letter “D.”
m Satan Disciples - Their colors are black and canary yellow, and their symbol is the devil with a pitchfork. Members wear Detroit Tigers clothing and anything with the script letter “D.”
m Orchestra Albany - Their colors are gold and brown, and their symbol is the letter “O” over the letter “A.” They wear Oakland A’s and California Angels apparel.
m Latin Lovers - Their colors are red and yellow, and their symbol is a double “L” inside a heart. Members wear Kansas City Chiefs apparel and Chicago Bulls clothing (minus the “BU” in Bulls.).
m Brothers of the Struggle: Black Gangster Disciples - Their colors are black and blue, and their symbol is the 6 pointed star and pitchfork. They wear LA Raiders apparel.
m Maniac Latin Disciples - Their colors are blue and black, and their symbols are a 6 pointed star, pitchfork, a heart, and a playboy bunny. They wear LA Raiders and Detroit Tigers apparel and anything with the script letter “D.”
m Other Folk Nation factions include Ambrose, Black Disciples, Black Gangsters, Black Souls, Campbell Boys, Harrison Gents, Imperial Gangster, Insane Dueces, Latin Disciples, Latin Dragons, Latin Eagles, Latin Jivers, Latin Souls, La Raza (the race), Milwaukee Kings, Morgan Boys, Party People, Simon City Royals, Spanish Cobras, Spanish Gangster Disciples, 2-6 Boys, and 2-2 Boys.