The Los Angeles comedian Faith Choyce and I have co-written a series of ten YouTube soliloquies for a first season of her video blog entitled “And One More Thing.” The first one is about eating pets. Give it a watch!
Monthly Archives: August 2011
My article this week is about a region of Maryland where the government set a few rules and let private developers go crazy. Most notably, the rules they set affected race and income, which are issue that never seem to go away:
Consider the numbers: there were fewer slaves in 1860 America than black people living in cities with poverty rates above 40 percent in 1990. That kind of census statistic seems almost impossible to believe, unless you’ve seen several generations grow up in one of these poor neighborhoods. Henry Richmond, the founder of 1000 Friends of Oregon, said it best: the fact that poor black neighborhoods still exist means that around 1970 we began another 100 year fight against discrimination. But this fight’s harder to see, since it’s not as explicit as a Jim Crow-style law. Instead, it involves zoning, planning, and housing regulations that have made the suburbs more attractive to developers than the city, thus dropping the price of slum housing to cheap levels. This means that if you moved to the city because it was affordable, your investment never paid off. Your families were working poor fifty years ago and they’re working poor today.
Interested? Read the rest here.
“Look at those blithering imbeciles! Human and robot alike, fools one and all, wasting what pathetically little remaining cerebral ability they’ve allotted themselves after trying days of mindlessly undisciplined busywork. I cannot pity such imbeciles, so much as I must find a way to put them out of the misery of their pointless lives. But finally, I have found a way. They will rejoice when they see what relief I will finally bring to them. They will, at once, collapse in eternal bliss…
“Now they will understand why I’ve toiled all these years. NOW, THEY WILL LOVE ME FOR IT!!”
In the blink of his omnipotent eye, an angry God wiped the earth of modernity.
And though gone was the era of convenience, soon rose the era of a wrathful God’s most monstrous abomination to salt the Earth of humanity and its little remaining technologies.
That which we archaically called the Leviathan.
I try to tackle the question of our time, and think I’m on the right path…
But the answer is simple, and starts with a series of studies conducted way back in 1969. Stanford psychologist Philip Zimbardo chose neighborhoods in the Bronx in New York City and in Palo Alto, California. He placed in each a car with no license plates and with their hoods up, as though they had been abandoned.
Within ten minutes, a young family (mom, dad and a son) showed up in the Bronx and stole the battery and radiator. Within 24 hours, the car was reduced to stripped, dilapidated remains, which became grounds for freeform destruction. The remaining windows were shattered, scrap metal was ripped from all sides, the upholstery was wrecked. Finally, the post-vehicle street sculpture became a filthy playplace for unsupervised neighborhood kids. And surprise! Most of the vandals were white and well-dressed.
But that just scratches the surface. Read on here if you want to see some truth.
Some people you’re going to know already if you’ve read Bicycle Cop Dave. Which you should.
For example, you know the guy in the foreground.
But you don’t know the guy in the background.
His name’s Esteban.
That’s all for now. The next time you’ll hear about this, you’ll be seeing Page 1.
Beat L.A., generally, follows the exploits of the downtown beat cops Officer Markus Brand and Officer John Paul (J.P.) Reese.
If I had to use two words to describe Brand, they would be “somewhat jaded.”
If I had to use two words to describe Reese, they would be “recently unfocused.”
Manoel Magalhães’s done right by these boys.
If you’ve at all kept up with the FourStory comic “Bicycle Cop Dave” by my friend, the mystery writer Gary Phillips and the awesome artist Manoel Magalhães, you’d know that Dave exists in a particularly seedy, especially gritty version of Los Angeles.
But I’m going to be expanding on this universe a bit myself, in the upcoming comic “Beat L.A.” which will come out in September. This week, I’d like to show you a little preview of things to come.
Behold, a week of sketches by Manoel Magalhães’s while we were putting this together! You obviously recognize Dave.
As far as I’m concerned, Gary’s set some seriously strong ground work.
It’s my turn, now, to show you just how corrupt this city can get.
Not sure if you had seen the link on this site, but the amazing artist (and close friend of mine) Josh Dunlap illustrates another online comic I write called Tuna Carpaccio P.I.