There is nothing new under the sun. – Ecclesiastes 1:9
Because some readers have complained about allusions they haven’t understood, we’ll try to cite our sources a little more often. (I’ll send a sticker to whoever finds the most recent Shakespearean allusion in our posts.)
As a fan of police dramas, I’ve been watching NBC’s Southland and enjoying it as something of a guilty pleasure. My biggest complaint about the show has been the unoriginality of many of the plot lines as many seem lifted from recent Los Angeles crime novels. The writers’ other source seems to be LA Times headlines.
This story seems familiar...
To wit, last night’s episode focused on protecting a witness set to testify against the “Marta’s Avenue” gang in Glassell Park. Led by a ruthless matron, the gang of heavily tattooed mustachioed thugs drops lots of “primo”s and “esse”s and looks pretty intimidating unless they’re about to be shot. Thankfully, no direct reference to any of our neighborhoods was made, but San Fernando Rd. is mentioned as being nearby. I can already tell you the next episode will involve a shootout with the LAPD after a driveby at a Cypress Park elementary school. While these stories may seem fresh to outside audiences, very good drama should be original. The Shield,for example, drew from themes of the LAPD Rampart scandal to create its own fictional universe with compelling storylines. Finally, The Shield had the wherewithal to create a fictional police district that brought together the disparate demographics of Los Angeles. Nuance is difficult in a one hour drama, but it’s unfortunate that NBC keeps portraying Glassell Park as a neighborhood ruled by a cabal of drug lords. I’d threaten to stop watching, but guilty pleasures are hard to drop.
On an unrelated note, we try to get something posted on a fairly frequent basis, but sometimes real life interferes with our ranting against supermarkets, County Supervisors, and NBC police dramas. We are more than happy to accept submissions from the community. Write a review of a restaurant we haven’t talked about, snap some updated photos of your neighborhood, or send us links to local issues that concern you. We may edit it, but we’ll be happy to properly attribute you as the author. Just send us your work at the contact link at the bottom of the page. Enjoy the long weekend!
Los Angeles Times columnist and Mt. Washington resident Pat Morrison has again opined on the eastside debate that is tearing our city apart (at least on the internet). If you’re passionate on this subject, Eastside Luv is hosting “Where You From?”, a poetry slam aimed at checking those pesky Echo Parkers who dare to refer to their neighborhood as the eastside. What I’m envisioning tonight is two groups of conceptual artists blocking off 1st Street and parking their scooters in a circle. By the dim glow of the headlights, the opposing camps will throw their checkered kaffiyehs into the ring and play “Quien es Mas Macho?” with a no-holds-barred dodgeball tournament. On second thought, a poetry slam at a wine-bar is probably more apropos.
I have one small gripe with this however: I’m very uncomfortable with a phrase that usually precedes a gang shooting being used in a comaratively trivial matter. For the poets, I suppose that’s why they call it poetic license, but why does Pat Morrison find this so cute? I’ve never met the woman, but her writing conjures KPCC’s Sandra Tsing Loh whose cutesy ironic tenor makes me want to swerve into oncoming traffic.
Yet I digress. The point of this article is to ask our local readers where they stand. Are we eastsiders whose unique neighborhood and cultural identity is being appropriated by transplant hipsters from Echo Park and Silver Lake? Do we have no claim to that part of town? Or are we something in-between? I know where a few of the local blogs we link to stand (LA Eastside will be meeting Eastsider LA at the flagpole after school), but what’s your opinion?
See you there, michilada in hand.
UPDATE: LA Eastside’s El Chavo has posted a nice defense of the event’s title along with a video from Rueben Tafoya’s reading last night.