....LMB: "Wheeled American"....

May 08, 2004

I have finally re-acquired an automobile!

Although I live in the drivin'-est city in the drivin-est region of the globe, I was actually getting by okay without one. Every place I needed to get to was within walking distance of my home, or of the easily accessible (and largely unknown) LA subway.

So why did I get a car?

Two reasons.

The first is that I really enjoy driving (which from an ecological point of view is like admitting "I really enjoy stabbing baby ducks in the head"). Not hot smoggy gridlocked LA driving, but exploratory drives, long coastal jaunts, cool inky night cruises, etc. Guess as a teen I fell in love with the freedom and cool of solo drives with the windows rolled down and some serious rock booming through the speakers.

The second reason is that I can't get to many of the places I want to go without a car. Which means that I either have to beg for rides, beg for friends to come out to my neighborhood, or just kinda go without friends and restrict myself to pretty much a four block radius. All of which I'd rather not.

Honestly, I think I came out slightly ahead of the game. For a price slightly higher than the amount I was given by my insurance company, I get a car nearly identical to my old one, just slightly newer, slightly less driven, and in somewhat better shape.

Now I just need to get me a nice part-time job, and things'll start being okay again.

Posted by Jake at 03:28 PM | TrackBack (0)
Comments

I remember when I moved to LA in 1999, thinking that "Hey, it's a big city; it'll *obviously* have great public transport, y'know, like New York, London, Paris etc... oh, and hey it has a subway too!"

But living in Santa Monica, and working in Encino didn't exactly tie in with the subway layout. Oh well. I caved in and bought a motorcycle on a UK licence (somehow).

I still walked down to 3rd Street and the local area from my apartment and still find it unreal that people were shocked and appalled by the idea of ambulating ANYWHERE in LA. They'd drive to their next door neighbour rather than walk.

Posted by: Mark at May 10, 2004 05:30 AM
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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

Posted by Jake at 04:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
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