Originally Posted by !@#$%!
haaa haaa haaa... i warned you about venice!
and yeah... well, LA is something else altogether. i don't think it reflects the country as a whole. it's more like... an outer planet or something. a strange, strange culture. very alien.
the violent gentrification btw is why i left washington dc. which i used to love when it was a run-down, bombed-out city. but now? just insufferable.
a lot of urban centers are like that of course. but maybe check out some suburbs/exurbs/small towns to see how "the other half" lives. i mean if you like the random anthropology of the unplanned excursion.
requires a car, though...
so you still here or is this a retrospective account?
all retrospective. been back a couple of weeks..
yeah a really, really alien city indeed. I sort of saw it as a distillation of everything dumpy I stumbled on across the country, but it's so brazen/shameless that it comes across as endearing rather than bizarro posturing completely lacking in self awareness like it does elsewhere. like austin is a joke (which I gathered before going there), and I'm not sure it has a sense of humour about itself in the way that LA does, as if its merits are attached to how much of a fucking shithole it is. mean this affectionately, I should add - could very easily live there.
it's odd to see, especially as compared with where I'm from -- gentrification is totally insidious as it is everywhere but here I suppose there's some sort of integration, like it's elevating a portion of an area/community to a particular socioeconomic level before they get pushed out too (boomers flocking to the inner cities clasping at their youth), whereas in the states I found it's just people moving outward, transplanting a similar if not identical culture atop a neighbourhood and forcing residents along. it's not 'regenerative' in any sense, it's just a constant thrust. any form of gentrification though I generally find pretty off; in aus as with anywhere it's totally mindless. your big cities just a very extreme instance of it.
and I saw a lot of that "other half" living and frankly that was what disturbed me, like middle class america seems like a totally incomprehensible hell to me in that stereotypical sense, especially across the centre of the country (texas, tennessee, good god fucking arkansas and mississippi) -- have never seen such a nightmarish conception of blind consumerism. seriously have nightmares about driving along those interstates with those enormous maccas signs for 500km ceaselessly.