When Gwen Goodwin ran as a candidate in a Democratic primary for the NYC City Council in 2013 she ended up losing spectacularly to Melissa Mark-Viverito. Since she is a serious loon, Goodwin did not react reasonably to the loss: She sued. In particular, Goodwin accused Mark-Viverito of a conspiracy that put a black-magic mural on her building that cursed her and robbed her of energy; Mark-Viverito had earlier led an urban-art campaign called Los Muros Hablan (“the walls speak”), an effort to celebrates Latino culture by painting murals on walls, and as part of the campaign a five-story image of a bodiless rooster atop wooden poles was painted on Goodwin’s building, and “[a]ccording to neighbors of Puerto Rican and other backgrounds, in the Caribbean culture, this constituted a curse and a death threat, as a swastika or a noose would symbolize typically to many Jews or African-Americans,” said Goodwin. I don’t think that comparison puts her in a particularly favorable light. In any case, Goodwin alleged that she endured “emotional distress” from the spell, which distracted her from running a winning campaign: “This intimated me and caused me fear. I’m a Christian. I don’t believe outside my religion, but strange things were happening” (yes, there’s a contradiction there, but never mind). As evidence, she claimed that she suddenly got a blood clot in her foot and that a close friend began “acting crazy” right after the mural went up. We haven’t even bothered to check what eventually happened to the lawsuit.
Diagnosis: Just based on this story alone we can imagine some alternative explanations for Goodwin’s lack of success in the primaries. We would probably prefer not to have her as a neighbor either.
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