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Why I Love LA and Say the Things I Do

I have a big problem choosing sides in our political wars so I take a safe position on sidelines and throw spitballs at whatever targets emerge.

My problem with one side is they act like they just discovered we’re not all equal and have come to the conclusion that those with less should suffer the consequences of their inequality. In other words, it is every man, woman and children for themselves, a kind of existential “Hunger Games.”

On the other side are those who think we are equal or should be equal, something they would like to achieve symbolically without giving up their privileges, a kind of existential “Animal Farm” where some are more equal than others.

So I’m left in a kind of suspended animation, hovering over seemingly polarized opposites — yet from above they look like they are just two sides of the same coin of the realm.

As one of those who shares an affinity with those less lucky, what we are doing as a city, a state, a nation, a planet isn’t not good enough under the circumstances. Not by a long shot, not with 7 billion people choking on their exhaust fumes, dehydrating from the lack of clean water, starving from not enough food, slaughtering each other in the pursuit of domination and advantage.

So when I hear all the time from those with power, those who make the decisions and those  who influence the decisions, that the perfect, the great, is the enemy of the good so we should compromise and make whatever progress we can even if we know what is called the “good” is nowhere near good enough given the circumstances.

I only know that settling for the mediocre without striving for something better is not good enough.

Striving for something great, sharing in greatness, is what great communities, great nations, great civilizations do. Or they sink into mediocrity and inevitably decline into oblivion, leaving only relics and artifacts, clues to what was achieved and what might have been.

My story is the LA story.

I traveled the world, a wandering Jew, for half my lifetime and spent the last half trying to do what I could to light the flame of freedom and justice and equality and greatness that I saw in the incredible brilliance and horrifying darkness of this place we ironically call the City of Angels, when it’s always seemed like purgatory to me where we are all working out our destiny.

The joke of my life is I suffer from verbal diarrhea and written constipation, compulsive talking and total writer’s block. This is my therapy, striving to let what arises from below reach my brain and take form as written words and sentences and paragraphs.

Don’t take that statement more seriously than I do. Everybody I know in LA is struggling through their fundamental contradictions of identity, sexuality, emotionality, intellectuality, every —ity you can think of.

It is precisely the myth of absolute freedom, the dream of manifesting in the world the person you are deep inside, that is at heart what the spirit of LA is to me. It’s why I love LA and worked so long with what skills and opportunity I have had to make it the place where everyone’s interests, values and needs are respected  and some kind of balance is achieved.

We are in this together whether we like it or not.

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12 Responses to Why I Love LA and Say the Things I Do

  1. Wayne from Ventura visiting Koretz-Occupied Encino says:

    I watched the cars get towed away today on Ventura Blvd at 3:30pm as the greedy filthy pigs and piglettes of our City Hall Gang continue their rampage against ALL OF US POOR FOOLS who are STUCK in this City or passing through. Today, a woman was trapped in between two tow trucks because she had ‘the nerve’ to try to drive away with only the $85 ticket AND NOT HAVING HER CAR TOWED AWAY for an extra $245! No, not in CORRUPT and ROTTEN-RUN KORETZ-OCCUPIED ENCINO! The woman was forced to come up with $220 bucks to the tow truck pig or the LAPD officer (standing by dutifully) was going to order her to BACK AWAY FROM HER CAR SO AS NOT TO INTERFERE WITH THE TOW TRUCKS DUTY TO TOW AWAY HER CAR FROM THE TOW-AWAY ZONED AREA!
    After watching this ABUSE OF A WOMAN I drove over to Koretz’ field office and spoke to one of his assistant Field Marshalls about this crap. The Koretz office worker ACTUALLY AGREED WITH ME! In fact he said he was working on a proposal to give us motorists SOME HUMAN CIVIL RIGHTS IN SUCH A SITUATION WHERE YOU GET TO YOUR CAR BEFORE THE CITY’S METER MAID PIGLETTE WRITES THAT TICKET AND ORDERS THAT TOW!!
    I drove down Ventura Blvd and I yelled at several people to warn them of what was comming—and several got away before the Tow-Truck/Meter maid brigade made to their cars! This City is being managed by crooks, thieves, and now abusers of women motorists! It’s time to stop this excessive tow away crap!

    • ex valley says:

      What is amazing that in the midst of complete lawlessness so prevalent in LA (people working for cash and not reporting income, insurance fraud, medi-cal fraud etc) the only laws that are enforced are the ones that cost you, regular joes and janes, pretty money. And I’m not even talking about the high and mighty like alarcon and his staff member. His staff member hit and killed a pedestrian and was not even charged initially. Or remember Rocky the DA and his wife.
      Some nice city you’ve got.

    • Sierra says:

      I had the same type of treatment many years ago in West LA on Pico Blvd.

      One thing to consider is to keep an inexpensive flip-video camera and record the incident including the traffic cop who will try to stop you from video recording.

    • Sierra says:

      ex valley reminds me that the former head of the City of LA’s ITA Dept got her husband a refund of his towing charge (and possibly a ticket). The ITA head finally resigned months latter when it was revealed that her husband was delinquent in paying rent to DWP to land he was using for a small business.

    • LA Moderator says:

      Next time Ron grabs a Kit Kat at the gas station by Candy Cat, he should check out the No Parking signs (during rush hour) spanning the newly burnished Winnetka Avenue Bridge.

      Originally, we thought extra lanes were put in by the grant writer (DOT/MTA?) so that the project would merit consideration as a shovel ready transportation/infrastructure priority. But under the bus were the residents who found their front yard curb parking restricted (in addition to driveways accessed from alley behind their homes).

      One day, they discovered one of two things. Either the brand new signs, or their car was towed. Zine may be trying to comp them (no more Gold Card Desk?) AND since DOT claims they complied with their (minimal) legal requirements for notification, waiting for a 2013 court date is probably pointless (just guessing, what with Municip…er, Superior Court cutbacks).

      We’re continuing to dig into the matter, and hope to have project/departmental spokespeople (if not the DOT GM) on record, and there may be some further arguments to reconsider the restriction.

      Water under the bridge, right?

      But maybe it’s more than just some upping of designation (i.e. Secondary to Primary Arterials) to whet the appetite, and speed the proposal’s funding.

      Turns out, a river runs through it!

      The project also has a nexus with the LA River Master Plan, and Winnetka Avenue is termed an “Arterial Green Street”!

      Oh I get it…Street Greening! Removing those pesky cars, letting the potholes take over until it’s more of a decomposed granite roadway (or bioswale)…all the more green!

      “Streets that incorporate native streetscape plantings, bike paths, pedestrian facilities, water quality improvements such as porous paving and infiltration medians, and amenities such as furniture, signage, paving, and public art. Green streets provide connectivity between the River and the community, and demonstrate a new environmental paradigm.”

      Don’t get me wrong…I love the idea of riding a bike from Canoga Park to Griffith Park and beyond (maybe hop on to the subway to the sea while I’m at it)…my wife enjoyed the kayak ride a couple weeks ago…

      But maybe, just maybe, a little more outreach would be nice before you tow somebody’s car away while the No Parking Sign is still settling in the cement.

  2. Teddy says:

    Ron, you write “We are in this togethr whether we like it or not”

    I agree. We are all equal in that we can make our own choices.

    But your personhood stops where I begin. Using others will
    not work.

    I feel that we are all being used here in L.A. by some who believe
    that by being elected, they are now in control. I will vote my vote
    to elect people who want to make things better for all of us, not
    jut themselves.

  3. ex valley says:

    Ron, I used to love LA. The trouble was that the city only cared to take my property taxes and providing very little in return. The significantly diminished quality of life in LA snuffed any warm feelings I used to have. I moved on both emotionally and georgraphically.

  4. Silly Me says:

    Okay. here’s a repeat of my corny poem from a previous RK post.
    Edits welcome–the welfare to the wealthy need an honorable mention too.
    There are union workers that work hard and wealthy who do not cheat the system. Sadly, they do not own the ones who sold us down the river for their personal gain.
    I’m not sure this city can be saved. It’s going to take alot more than one or two hard to vote in candidates.

    Ex Valley-I agree with you and have been contemplating “the move.”
    Teddy-so true. Once these “leaders” are elected, they feel entitled. Something about serving the people got lost long ago. It seems we exist to serve them and their donors.

    Silly Me says:

    July 29, 2011 at 5:14 am

    Good-bye LA, good-bye.
    You use to fly high to the sky.
    You even reached the stars;
    but now you are marred
    You’ve been sold to campaigns
    by those leaders with reins,
    whose caring they feign
    are for personal gain.
    It’s left you stained.
    And yet in your wake,
    there’s a glisten that makes
    me remember an LA where glory was our stake.
    Good-bye my LA, I loved you so.
    I grieve for you now for I must go.
    I grieve for those who knew you well,
    for the union’s swell has made you Hell
    to those that helped you grow.
    For those voters who lacked
    a united back
    it may be too late;
    you’ve sealed its fate.
    But how would you know
    as the leaders throw
    false hopes of an LA
    we once use to know?
    Good-bye my LA
    I loved you so
    But now you are someone
    I do not know.

  5. anonymous says:

    Ron, you say this writing is your “therapy”…
    well, it may also be your penance…
    must confess my schadenfreude when (re)reading
    your series “Who is Killing my Neighborhood”…excellent…
    suddenly, you seemed to comprehend
    the horrific monster bureaucracy of LA…
    welcome to reality…pay attention…courage…

  6. YEAH says:

    Ron, you also make up a lot of crap and cater more to emotions than truth and logic

    If you’d been more honest for the past 4 years, you would have a lot more people on your side in 2012, and wouldn’t get ripped weekly by guys like semichorus for masquerading nonsense as substance

  7. Wayne from Ventura says GREAT POSTS! says:

    The Poem was a go-getter! The LA Moderator is alerting everyone to that Bus lane crap and how the homeowners get screwed by these Caltrans, Metro type schemes! As for Ron’s writing style—He may be a Liberal, but he calls it the way he sees it! If the L.A. Times would do this 10% of the time, the Clowns at City Hall would get away with much less CRAP. For example, take the L.A. Times coverage of the Clowncil’s tax vote—it was placed way down on the LEFT bottom of page one of the “The LA Extra so no one would notice it! At least the Daily News, as gutted as their paper is PUT IT ON THE FRONT PAGE. This blog is the ONLY PLACE NEWS GETS REPORTED ABOUT THE SFV! The morning show on KABC has been heard quoting posts right out of this blog! KFI also read its. And everyone at Spring St. READS EVERY WORD.
    How else can the pension pigs know about their City’s imminent bankruptcy?

  8. ABCs says:

    YEAH = some yob/duffer working for or with the City…

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