Comment on this post

Down the path to mutual destruction — Sunday Column for News-Press & Leader

When the queen of upbeat soulful talk and self-empowerment gets the
blues about the state of the world, you know something is wrong, really
wrong.

“The world is a mess. We all know it and talk about in our
private lives,” Oprah Winfrey posted on her Facebook page last week as
part of her promotion for her new “Lifeclass” show on her OWN cable
network.

“It’s depressing and overwhelming at times to look at how much potential
we have and yet we’re constantly bombarded by images and information
that speaks to the lowest common denominator. We can do better. We can
be better. I know it’s true.”

So do I.

The challenge is to figure out how we get from where we are to where have to be.

Think
about this: Oprah was unseated from her No. 1 ranking this year on
Forbes’ list of the world’s most powerful celebrities by Lady Gaga.
Justin Bieber ranked third.

Talk about LCD, lowest common
denominator — it is pretty sad when you think about it, when you think
about how we have allowed ourselves to be trivialized for commercial
exploitation and reduced ourselves to being party to a culture that
celebrates outrageous misconduct and demeans age-old virtues.

This
weekend at the L.A. Convention Center — the white elephant loser that
is going to be rebuilt to justify putting in a football stadium to
enrich a billionaire and add to the circus atmosphere of downtown — is
hosting two events: A medical marijuana expo and a star-studded
porn-queen convention.

“The combination of Hempcon and EXXXOTICA
is a virtual playground for inquisitive adults,” an organizer declared.
“We are getting an amazing reaction from the people of Los Angeles. Our
show always does well in L.A., but we are expecting even greater results
with EXXXOTICA next door.”

Potheads meet Sex Freaks — what could better symbolize the decline and fall of Los Angeles?

Enhanced by Zemanta
This entry was posted in Glendale-Burbank and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Down the path to mutual destruction — Sunday Column for News-Press & Leader

  1. Anonymous says:

    Potheads and sex freaks????? Are we insane?
    Why did the Rams and Raiders quit us so many years ago and obviously are not going to return?
    I vote THUMBS DOWN on this lying, cheating deal. Go home AEG. We don’t need you around here.

  2. Gary Dell'abte says:

    Hi Ron, some good points, yet hasn’t the Porn Industry always been based in the Valley? I believe since the 1970′s. (The porn industry was so influential back then that they were one of the main reasons why VHS was used over Beta.
    The Sex Industry has always been deeply rooted in all of Los Angeles. I believe the Movie LA Confidential touched on the prostitution rings of that era. Where there is money, there is sex. Shall we discuss sex in the Catholic Church? No sex and religion don’t mix–
    The Sex industry has always been around in some ways. Funny, depending on what reports you read Porn is a 10 Billion Dollar industry (the NFL stadium you want to block can be apart of a 9 Billion Dollar Industry. Maybe we should not build stadiums, but porn studios and Tax the heck out of them). It’s not just “smut peddlers” like Vivid or Hustler either. “Consumer demand is so strong that it has seduced some of America’s biggest brand names, and companies like General Motors, Marriott and Time Warner are now making millions selling erotica to America.” (Via this 60 minute report) http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/11/21/60minutes/main585049.shtml
    I like this quote the best: “”It employs in excess of 12,000 people in California. And in California alone, we pay over $36 million in taxes every year. So it’s a very sizeable industry,” says Bill Lyon, a former lobbyist for the defense industry.”
    I think the problem is maybe we shouldn’t “hide from sex” or “brown bag it”, yet be more honest about it with ourselves, family, friends, and community. Maybe a little more European, if you will.
    Around a $10 Billion industry and it must be just a few computer geeks watching it in the basement of Mom and Dad’s home.

  3. Gary Dell'abte says:

    Hi Anonymous on August 28, 2011 11:50 AM,
    So AEG brought Sex and Pot to California and Los Angeles?
    AEG is the cause of racism, sexism, drugs, alcohol, global disaster, Adam from eating the apple, etc.
    Maybe we should all look at ourselves first. That would be a good start.

  4. James McCuen says:

    Comparing the existing Convention Center to the proposed convention center:
    1. How much will the new debt be for the City?
    2. What will the annual debt obligations be?
    3. How much time will be extended on the new debt.
    4. What if projected revenues on the Convention Center fall dramatically short?
    Number 4 is a real possibility.
    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-stadium-legis-20110827,0,7256100.story
    Then all the baloney that Councilman Rosendahl stated about his concerns about our current debt service and his switch onto voting “Yes” for the “non-binding” MOU make no sense at all.

  5. James McCuen says:

    AEG does not have anything to do with the Porn and Hemp industries holding their shows at the LA Convention Center.
    But the Citizens of LA need to look at the before and after financial position the City will be in vis-a-vis the debt on the convention center in an unbiased independent manner. That is what was good about having the State analyst commenting on the financial projections scenario.
    Even in good times, these projection scenarios have not always panned out. Just look at the Hollywood and Highland center originally built by Trezec Properties at a completed cost of $650 million.
    Trezec took one of the largest write-downs in history for the region and ended up selling at a loss to CIM Group for $201 million.
    All of us can agree that there is much more financial uncertainty today than there was in 2004 when the Hollywood Highland complex was completed.
    And we need to take a look at the worst case scenario. That is the prudent thing to do for something involving taxpayer funds.

  6. Tedhills@sbcglobal.net says:

    Gary 12:05 pm — Yes the seventies
    are still influential tho’ they were very young
    then.
    I know one of these people, my own child. Perhaps that life has had everything to do what I
    (grandma of eight) feel about that kind of
    society. My only comment is “I am sorry – too
    bad you didn’t listen to me”
    Now I say the same thing to all of you today
    looking for happiness in the wrong places.

  7. anonymous says:

    Hey-I never thought I’d say it, but I like Lady GaGa. She was interviewed and spoke about a high school bullying experience, how she laughed with them as they laughed at her. All the while she was crying inside. It really struck a chord. She appeals to that audience–the misfits and the bullied. I applaud her.
    As for the sex and pot, that is sad. My personal thoughts are that “Dr” Kinsey should have been imprisoned. Being funded by the likes of Hef says plenty. Studies on the orgasmic response of four year olds, conducted by known pedophiles (which Kinsey just happened to hand stop watches to) should be a clue too. He opened the door to where we are today with regard to erotica. I do not see it as good. In fact, there is nothing progressive and “free” about objectifying the act/action. More European, in my experience, is not erotica in America today. They do also have it, most definitely–but they also have a real respect and what is demonstrated in the mainstream is open signs of affection, not erotica….like an elderly couple holding hands or young teen gals looking out for each other, not competing, while flirting.
    And, yes, then there’s the sports fans. No problem with that. However, they sure do have a violent streak. But, then, I’ve seen parents fight at their kids’ Little League games.

  8. Gary Dell'abte says:

    anonymous on August 28, 2011 1:01 PM,
    Have you ever seen European Porn (German?) Makes what our American Companies produce seem very PG.
    And sports and violence. What about Religion and Violence? The Crusades only killed a few people. The Middle East has and always will be a place of war (since the start of man, to the end of days).

  9. Gary Dell'abte says:

    Tedhills@sbcglobal.net,
    Hi and thanks for the insight. It seems like you are distant from a child and I know that must be tough (I do not have children, yet could only imagine not having a relationship with my children or own parents–Must be so hard and difficult).
    I guess at the end of the day, if you are an adult and a law following person, you should have the right to make your own choices. Free will is something we all should hold and protect (even though it might cost us some relationships in the end).

  10. anonymous says:

    Hi Gary-Please re-read my post. I definitely acknowledge it exists in Europe–no argument there. My take on a prior comment is that stated (paraphrase)there is more openness about it–implying that porn’s far more acceptable in Europe. Not so. There is, however, a different dynamic that is seen that seems to extend beyond generations and gender. That’s what I was pointing at.
    And, in my next paragraph, I do mention sports and violence. There certainly seems to be more of that lately (unless it’s the same and just getting more press), even at those Little League practices.
    Regarding religion and violence, absolutely. For a nation that is suppose to separate the two, we seem to have fallen a bit short. ‘Can’t blame us too much–sometimes it’s not easy to separate. Our “acceptance” is illustrated by the cults we “allowed” in sixties, such as the satanic group known as The Process Church of the Final Judgement. They were not allowed entry into England. Here, they were embraced (some opine, even by Charles Manson) and eventually became Best Friends Animal Sanctuary (soon to occupy the Mission Animal Shelter). And, of course, what’s going on in the Mid East goes without saying. Yet, it does point towards what makes an economic boom good? Just because porn generates so much money and jobs, is it good?

  11. Gary Dell'abte says:

    anonymous on August 28, 2011 2:50 PM,
    Hi, My experience in most of the world is there is a more acceptance of sex and “openness”. When I was able to study sometime in Europe, I found this to be true. Also, my trip to Brazil (a extremely Catholic County) the same (and, thankful for that–). So, I disagree (and believe most Europeans and South/Latin Americans) would too. They consider us Americans as Prudes and we are.
    Violence has been apart of human nature and always will. The Romans didn’t have “thug Raider fans”, yet they let each other fight to the death (and would even sell out their “stadium”. There was even “club seats” and “corporate skyboxes”. Somethings never change.
    And if you don’t want to drive jobs, economic growth, and tax revenue from the Sex industry, shall we drive it from the War on Drugs? How effective is that going?
    Lastly, some on Mr. Kaye’s site attack AEG and their Founder Mr. Philip Anschutz as a Ultra Conservative, yet now, he allows Porn and Drug to be apart of DTLA. So what is it? Is Philip Anschutz a right wing nut job or a sex crazed smut peddler who loves to smoke pot? Really laughable.

  12. anonymous says:

    Oh-sorry Gary-I forgot to mention that I agree with you on “look at ourselves first.” I guess that’s part of the point I was making. We evolved to what we are today-not due to AEG, but those freedoms allowed under our Constitution. Unfortunately, I do believe it has also become the downfall of our society (and we must protect the Constitution). Yes-we must look at ourselves. The question is, how much freedom is too much? Where does one draw the line? Is such a line possible to draw?
    The Courts rule child porn online as illegal. However, posting crush videos and pit bull fighting online is not. Should the pedophiles sue for violation of the 14th amendment? Afterall, animal abuse is illegal too. And, for the record, I’m glad internet child porn is illegal. Does anyone know if the electronic freedom group fought that one?
    And, I’ve always been baffled as to why prostitution is illegal, but porn isn’t. And didn’t Koretz push for condom use in the porn film industry? Does he “get” that these companies rarely obtain film permits? ‘Sort of makes sending those must wear condoms FilmLA monitors out their way.
    Then there’s the First Amendment. What about cyberbullies? Children have killed themselves due to the torment cyber bullying has brought on. Ah, but unless there’s a direct threat to one’s life, post those blogs.
    So, yes, we must look to ourselves. But, I also think we need to draw the line between freedom and abuse of that freedom. Our laws are a reflection of who we are and what we hold dear, oops-except for the ones passed as double taxes, favoritism towards one group, unrealistic regulations and whatever else those campaign fund greedy elected officials are up to. Sigh.

  13. anonymous says:

    Gary-I think some countries see us as prudes and others do not. Yes they are more open-I’ve spent many Springs and Summers in France (spanning decades), with side trips to Switzerland and Germany. I’m just saying that the mainstream folks do not smile upon the porn industry and there is an openness about affection (not porn) that I don’t see here. I like that. What’s funny is I wouldn’t think twice about going topless in the south of France. However, the moment an American is walking the beach, I feel like covering up. Europeans seem to leave us alone (though I could be in nun’s habits two blocks away from the beach and they’ll flirt up a storm). Yet, you know the Americans on the beach. They are the ones gawking.
    In defense of Ron (not that he asked me) I think he was pointing towards the hypocrisy of the present Council–liberals embracing a conservative. So much of what Council votes for is contrary to what Anschutz is about. I didn’t see it as much more than that.

  14. Gary Dell'abte says:

    anonymous on August 28, 2011 3:24 PM,
    Hi, first off, sex offenders of all kinds should have the toughest laws enforced on them. Really, there is a reason why in prison, sex offenders are needed to be kept away from the general population. Even to drug dealers, bank robbers, and murders, they are considered the worse of the worse and even criminals “take care of them” inside prisons.
    What adults 18 years or older do and in the privacy of their homes with other consenting adults, is their business. How dare anyone tell me what I can do in my own home, as long as it is protected by the law? Should anyone tell me what church to go to? What Political Party to vote for? What music to listen to or what employer I should be employed by? That is a scary road to go down to.
    Is the “sex industry” for everyone? No, and you have a right not to see it (and I would fight for that right of yours). It is also easy to turn the radio channel, tv channel, not buy that DVD rental from Netflix, etc…We all should have the right to do and not do certain things. Of course, under the law. Some people think Gambling should be legal (with 24 hour drinking allowed-Nevada). Others don’t, and have very strict rules (their next door good old Utah). Both are connected to the 1-15 so if you are confused, just drive back and forth. America is beautiful that way.
    Check how big the Porn Industry is, once again, 10 Billion a year is spent here. In Reference, NFL football is a 9 Billion a year industry. How many people watch NFL football? Superbowl Sunday? Just to give you some reference. Major corporations have their hands in the sex industry. See the 60 minute report I posted above. This isn’t some “pervs” and “scumbugs” in the Valley.
    And I know the Porn Industry has had a few outbreaks of STDs (and worse off, HIV). Yet, they have their own checks and systems in place to shut down productions. I would love to see the reports of HIV rates/ratios of Adult Performers versus non-performers. They get tested a lot more then the general population. Anyone a health expert here?

  15. Gary Dell'abte says:

    anonymous on August 28, 2011 3:24 PM,
    Hi, first off, sex offenders of all kinds should have the toughest laws enforced on them. Really, there is a reason why in prison, sex offenders are needed to be kept away from the general population. Even to drug dealers, bank robbers, and murders, they are considered the worse of the worse and even criminals “take care of them” inside prisons.
    What adults 18 years or older do and in the privacy of their homes with other consenting adults, is their business. How dare anyone tell me what I can do in my own home, as long as it is protected by the law? Should anyone tell me what church to go to? What Political Party to vote for? What music to listen to or what employer I should be employed by? That is a scary road to go down to.
    Is the “sex industry” for everyone? No, and you have a right not to see it (and I would fight for that right of yours). It is also easy to turn the radio channel, tv channel, not buy that DVD rental from Netflix, etc…We all should have the right to do and not do certain things. Of course, under the law. Some people think Gambling should be legal (with 24 hour drinking allowed-Nevada). Others don’t, and have very strict rules (their next door good old Utah). Both are connected to the 1-15 so if you are confused, just drive back and forth. America is beautiful that way.
    Check how big the Porn Industry is, once again, 10 Billion a year is spent here. In Reference, NFL football is a 9 Billion a year industry. How many people watch NFL football? Superbowl Sunday? Just to give you some reference. Major corporations have their hands in the sex industry. See the 60 minute report I posted above. This isn’t some “pervs” and “scumbugs” in the Valley.
    And I know the Porn Industry has had a few outbreaks of STDs (and worse off, HIV). Yet, they have their own checks and systems in place to shut down productions. I would love to see the reports of HIV rates/ratios of Adult Performers versus non-performers. They get tested a lot more then the general population. Anyone a health expert here?

  16. Gary Dell'abte says:

    Sorry for the double post, I got a message that the Blog’s servers crashed.
    anonymous on August 28, 2011 3:48 PM, yeah, it’s like going to the now vogue “topless” pools in Las Vegas. To me, a man in my thirties and have seen it all (or most of it), not a big deal and I like being a way from the kids (it is Vegas after all), yet we do get the gawkers and it is horrible and tacky.
    I guess it goes back to what we agree on, to start really moving forward and progressing as a community, city, state, and country, we all first need to get a lot better individually. We are all far from perfect.
    I hope we all can always enjoy the freedom of open forum and discussion like this.
    Best regards and enjoy your end of the Summer.
    Gary Dell’abte

  17. anonymous says:

    Gary-I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean for this to become a heated argument, if that’s what it is. You hit the nail on the head, though, when you wrote: “as long as it is protected by law.” That’s what I mean. Freedoms aside-it seems laws are inconsistant – allowed in some areas and not others. I do think there should be laws passed that are presently not. Ditto on the repeal of other laws.
    Looking to ourselves, I do see porn as a sad effect on freedom and it does make some addicts. And, yes, that is their freedom. The question might be, has that freedom encouraged crimes that wouldn’t have been committed? Would those people be criminals anyway? If so, to the same extent? That brings us back to laws…as long as it’s legal, fine. I just think some things should be illegal–like videos of smashing and burning animals is okay to post and view, but child porn isn’t? Posting animal torture online should be outlawed. I don’t think our Founding Fathers considered mass media when writing on that piece of paper (was it paper?).
    And, it occurred to me why I would see some things overseas and you others. It could be areas we visited. As a single lady traveling alone, I never ventured into porn districts at night…and rarely during the day (unless I got lost). Scattered about would be porn (much like 7-11′s here), but not like it would be in certain districts.
    In any case-I think we sort of agree. So….as long as it’s legal is fine. I’m glad to have the freedom to follow my morals, to decide who I associate with, etc…..as I’m sure you are too. Peace.

  18. anonymous says:

    Oops-Hey Gary-I didn’t see your last comment until after I hit “submit.” Thank you for acknowledging the freedom of our open discussion. Sorry if I misinterpreted your demeanor. I so agree with your point. As the ol’ saying goes-beware of finger pointing since three are pointing back at the pointer.
    Thank you for the happy summer wish….and, for you, the same (except I won’t say my age).

  19. Anonymous says:

    3:16 p.m., AEG does not own the Convention Center YET. Get your facts correct before you start mocking people on this blog for calling AEG owner an ultra conservative. However, he is not much different from the catholic priests who vowed to serve God even a they molest kids. He is molesting the city of LA by ripping off the people who’ll be stuck paying the debts on a deal he negotiated with our corrupt politicians.

  20. James McCuen says:

    Just to set the record straight, yes Mr. Anschutz is an ultra right-wing anti-gay out-of-state Billionaire.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/philip-anschutz-the-westerner-407105.html
    In terms of being described as above and being responsible for drugs and porn, no there is evidence that Anschutz is involved in that.
    However, the argument that he couldn’t be both ignores the great hypocrisy of many public right-wing evangelicals who get caught with their pants down with a hooker or male prostitute and/or doing drugs.
    Of course the ultimate hypocrites are the Mayor and City Council. Especially Jan Perry as she and her colleagues profess to have a righteous boycott against Arizona at the same time doing business with anti-gay extreme conservative.
    The problem isn’t Anchutz or his company, it the corrupt elected officals working for Billionaires instead of the people of Los Angeles.

  21. Anonymous says:

    You would think that because Rosendahl has come out that he is gay more times then I want to count he would not be supporting Anshultz who is against gay rights. I find that extremely odd. The 13 Westside Neighborhood Councils are having a town hall with the Gangster Mayor on Sept. 12th. Will they have the guts to ask the Mayor about the AEG NFL stadium and why all the lies on paper and to the media when a State rep testified Friday that its not a financial win for the City?

  22. Anonymous says:

    They’ll be kissing his butt!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Ron, you have a wonderful talent for writing about our society and our problems. Thank you.

  24. Anonymous says:

    “While we have certainly had more than our share of catastrophes – earthquakes, wildfires, mudslides, riots and Mayor Villaraigosa – even L.A. has never had an earthquake with a hurricane chaser in the same week” – from Doug McIntyre’s column which places the Mayor in the disaster category where he belongs, unlike LA Times’ fawning Jim Newton who believes there is a legacy somewhere. Yeah! a legacy of the worst corruption in City Hall.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Is it any wonder the religious Muslims want to kill us all?
    What a picture some of us present to the world.
    How far is too far? I don’t know, but I think we have gone way too far already…

  26. Anonymous says:

    Too far is as allowed by the agencies who should be collaring these criminals. Won’t happen.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Just bringing it back to the original discussion and summarizing two articles brought up earlier:
    1. State recognizing that AEG projections are probably overstating putting the taxpayers at greater risk:
    LA Times Article:
    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-stadium-legis-20110827,0,7256100.story
    2. AEG’s owner ultra-right wing Billionaire Conservative homophobic:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/philip-anschutz-the-westerner-407105.html
    Showing the hypocrisy of LA’s elected officials with their self-righteous boycott of Arizona (which has many holes in it) and then doing business with Phillip Anschutz.

  28. Wayne from Encino says:

    2012 will be the next meet and greet Mr. Dumbtanich for his run for D.A.—JUST SAY NO!
    And when he runs one of his AEG employees to fill his shoes at City Hall East in 2013, JUST SAY NO! The NFL since 1994 HAS JUST SAID NO!
    Nancy Reagan started the JUST SAY NO!
    For mayor–I’M GOING TO WRITE IN THE ONLY POSSIBLE CHOICE–AEG!!!!!!!!!! YES–THE FIRST CORPORATION TO WIN AN ELECTED OFFICE! WHY THE HELL NOT! Then when they fuck us like Villaraigosa does, we can sue them FOR FRAUD, DECEIT, AND CORRUPTION, UNLIKE OUR EMPTY SUITS (AND SKIRTS) WE HAVE IN THESE AEG-PURCHASED CLOWN SEATS OF POWER.

  29. Anonymous says:

    With the economy being so horrible and tons of non profits hurting a good solution to make money is to have tshirts made with the slogan
    HELL NO TO AEG
    NO CLOWNCILS FOR MAYOR
    GANGSTER MAYOR
    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH CITY HALL!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>