Friday, February 27, 2009


Casualties in the Niger Delta water war have reached half a million, with famine displacing millions more. That’s the serious news for the day. Here at home, resettlement of Arizonans and Nevadans displaced by the failure of the Colorado River is said to be proceeding with minimal disruptions. But if you believe that, you haven’t been seeing the same feeds I have. Phoenix, Tempe, and Tucson are all coded Orange. The D-Backs are on the road until further notice, playing their ‘home’—did you hear the scare quotes?—games in New Orleans, if you can believe that. No water to too much water. Back in Arizona, the new suicide hotspot is the remains of the Hoover Dam. Oh, and if you’re not cleared orange, stay away from the Civic Center until 4 o’clock today. Visiting honchos of somethingorother in town for talks about the water problems in Arizona and Nevada. Surprised they don’t have the emirs of everywhere in the Horn of Africa here too, the way they’re killing each other for agua. But hey, if people over there didn’t have something to shoot each other over, they’d all wake up and realize they live in a place where people shouldn’t live, and then they’d all be here. Or in Canada. In any case, if your car doesn’t pass Orange, don’t drive downtown today. No word from Metro on whether there’s a security pinch for the trains too. Dodgers are up 3-1 in the fifth. Let’s see, what else…did you hear about this buyout thing? I tell you what, a whole lot of things have made me homicidal in my time, but man, that’s incentive. You kill someone, we’ll make your family rich! All over Cali, people are making lists of relatives they don’t like and matching them up with people who need killing. Do I sound like I’m against it? Pero no! Anything that derails a lawyer’s gravy train, I’m totally pro. 102 degrees at LAX, 107 in the Valley, 96 in Long Beach. UV index is thermonuclear. If you’re outside without a hat, you would not be found competent to take a buyout, know what I’m saying?

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Holy shit. Ho-lee shit. You know, I hate and despise vapid celebrity gossip as much as the rest of you, which is to say that I love it with an unrepentant passion that I am reluctant to share with people whose good opinion I value. But! Since I do not know you and therefore cannot reach any valid decision about the importance of your good opinion, I offer to you this juiciest of celebrity crime tidbit-tastic news. Carl Marks, loudmouth Marxist and film director of either genius or extreme imitative cleverness, has just been arrested for killing a woman who was either his girlfriend, or a high-class—by which is meant too expensive for you—call girl. Or both. The woman, a 26-year-old native of Edmond, Oklahoma who went by the name Andi Anton, was…well, she was an extraordinarily attractive woman. Yes. But she was also shot three times in a condo in Playa del Rey, after which she was not so pretty at all, or so I imagine, not having had the stomach to look at the crime-scene images. Can you believe this? Carl Marks killing someone? This is where communism gets you.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I look out over the cityscape. Did you ever do that, or did it make you feel like a tourist? Not me, ese. I look every chance I get and I think, people did that. People built those buildings and those roads and that harbor and turned the river into a concrete ditch. Then that wasn’t enough, so they made movies, and everybody wanted to come here so they could have copies of themselves that were just a little bit better than the original. Immortality via celluloid! Immortality in thirty-five millimeter! Immortality in Super-8! Except most of those you wouldn’t want your mother to see. Then it wasn’t enough to give live people immortality; we had to take dead people’s immortality and eat a little bit of it, regurgitate it in hi-def digital. Immortality via pixels! Immortality via phosphors! Immortality via packet switching and broadband immortality! All so we can let ourselves off the hook for being turned off by what we see in the mirror. I look out over the cityscape, and that’s what I see. I see an avatar of immortals who died not knowing they were immortal. I see the ghosts of stevedores and orange farmers. And I see a goddamn lot of drones and municipal cameras that ensure our safety by making sure that everyone knows what everyone else is doing. Isn’t that what it’s always been about? We’re all famous now.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


This is Walt Dangerfield. No it isn’t. Or it is if you identify me by what I call myself instead of what my mother called me. With whom am I speaking? I choose homage over identity! That’s Los Angeles. Here you change your name when you get off the bus. The rules are: fewer syllables, and don’t sound Jewish. These rules have been in place for more than a hundred years, and are not to be trifled with. Marion Morrison, the world would have been a different place if you’d stuck to your guns. Ha! You’re getting me, straight to you, and neither one of us knows who the other is. Media! Medi-a-ted! There is no straight! There is no face-to-face. All there is, is bandwidth. You see someone on the street, that’s not a person. The person is in the profile, and the profile exists only with the wilderness of switched packets and quantum servers. We’re all existing only in the moment between when a bit is 1 or a bit is 0. Uncertainty makes us, and the moment of certainty is when the tombstone is planted before you ever get a chance to think about your epitaph.