April 14th, 2014 | No Comment
Spatial Effects: Cars, Cities, and Social Movements

In his essay, “Garcetti’s Bridge to Bicycle Nowhere,” LA writer Joseph Mailander (2014) describes the harrowing bike ride across the half-mile Hyperion-Glendale Bridge between “the lands the freeways forgot,” Los Feliz and Silver Lake. The traffic signals there currently afford a brief, semi-safe interval between the roaring cars and trucks on the road. ”And how are they making this bridge safer?” asks Mailander. ”By making the traffic even faster and daring the cyclists to mix with the motorists even more.”
Just about everything I’ve read about urban development has faulted the car for …

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April 12th, 2014 | No Comment | Category: Reviews
Grow Up? The Answer is Never

Growing old gracefully sounds and seems so dignified and appealing. I have no idea what that would look like for me. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve certainly gotten better at handling responsibility, being a student, meeting deadlines, dealing with adversity and change, and knowing what all of that means in a larger context. At the same time, I became a better skateboarder in my thirties than I ever was in my teens, I’m more into music than ever, I’m still riding little-boy bicycles, and I still don’t own a suit or a …

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March 26th, 2014 | No Comment | Category: Reviews, Videos
<em>Veronica Mars</em>: Take the Long Way Home

No surprise: Veronica Mars: The Movie plays to the strengths of the franchise: Veronica’s chronically conflicted convictions, Keith’s ever-watchful eye, Logan’s inability to avoid controversy, the stability of Wallace, Mac, and Piz, and the loyal support of its fans. Full disclosure: I am one of the 91,585 Kickstarter backers of this movie, I watched it three times in as many days, I am a card-carrying Marshmallow, so spoilers and gushing abound below.
So, when the day comes to settle down,
Who’s to blame if you’re not around?
– Supertramp, “Take the Long Way Home”
Though the …

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March 26th, 2014 | No Comment | Category: Essays, Reviews
Mixed Metonymies: Mechanization and Culture

Meanings are malleable. Words bend and break under the stress of unintended use, abuse, or overuse. Like machine parts pushed past their limits, cogs stripped bare of their teeth, the language we use wears out, weakening the culture that carries it and our knowledge thereof.

Aldous Huxley (1970) writes, “In the days before machinery men and women who wanted to amuse themselves were compelled, in their humble way, to be artists. Now they sit still and permit professionals to entertain them by the aid of machinery” (p. 11). We use metaphors …

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March 22nd, 2014 | No Comment | Category: Reviews
What Means These ‘Zines?

I started all of this writing stuff making zines in junior high school. It would be difficult to overstate how much that experienced shaped who I have become. While the means of production and the channels of distribution have changed since my days at the copy shop, there are still some zines circulating. Here are a few of the standouts I’ve gotten recently.

The first issue Andy Jenkins’ Bend zine I got was #7, which came in the mail over 25 years ago. That issue changed my own preset limits of what a zine …

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March 20th, 2014 | No Comment | Category: Essays
Cool by Committee: Cultural Capital and Art

“Nobody wants to be uncool,” writes Chris Kraus in her book Video Green (Semiotext(e), 2004, p. 24). She’s writing about the trials of graduate school, specifically MFA programs and the inherent ambiguity in determining the value of art. The rigor of graduate work is part of the gatekeeping and cultural encoding that make the art world go ’round, that make cool art cool. Kraus continues,
…this two-year hazing process is essential to the development of value in the by-nature-elusive parameters of neoconceptual art. Without it, who would know which cibachrome photos …

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