Down in LA for the week, after giving my Contra Mundum talk on Sunday. (Thanks to all who came and thanks to Mark, Alex, and the Mandrake having me down here.) Car-less in Westwood and trying to not be overly bilious at this organization of space, bodies, and lots and lots of capital.
I'll try to write something proper on return, analogous to an older post on Knoxville. In this case, when I travel somewhere and feel spatially ill at ease and find myself becoming, perhaps unfairly, a stereotypical hater of an LA ethos that I don't remotely know. In the meantime...
This image, unfortunately shit quality from my phone, and the horror of viral marketing snarkiness. In an era of city planning in which benches are rendered nearly unusable f0r any and all due to "anti-homeless" devices (various partitions, dividers, odd sweeping plastic contours, all designed to make sure that you sit upright and for god's sake don't sleep or slump, with the added effect of making public displays of bench affection quite difficult, something like the hysteria of anti-skateboarding measures, the "skate stoppers" that make it so handrails can't be used by those who might actually need them because of a worry that someone might "misuse" it), a jokey advertising campaign (seen here on just such a molded bench) for District 9 saying what it all really means and has meant from the start. And a man designated by the city for all intents and purposes as non-human, somehow interpellated in the worst way, sleeping next to the bench. The corrosive effects of supposed political critique on a landscape already scrubbed clean and stuccoed to hell.