Q: What’s In Mel’s Heart? A: Tequila!

So far the writers of blogging.la have taken the high road and avoided chiming on the Mel Gibson controversy.

I’m kidding – as far as I know, we have no mandated high road. As a matter of fact, I doubt that many other writers here will agree with me on this. (and since I bet most readers are sick of this story’s oversatuation, I’ll save most of it for after the jump).

In short, I think the public flogging of Mel Gibson, particularly the calls to ostracize him from Hollywood, needs to stop, for a few different reasons.
Continue reading Q: What’s In Mel’s Heart? A: Tequila!

Ex-LAist Editor Reviews LA Blogs

It’s been a while since Jason Toney stepped down as editor of LAist which to be perfectly honest is good news because I really like his personal site which was all crickets while he was on board over there. Since then his blog has picked back up again. I never felt that his voice was able to show through at LAist and it felt like whatever he was trying to say was getting smushed into the -ist mold so him writing more on his own blog again is a good thing for sure. I’ve never argued that I’m not in my own little world – I try to break out of it from time to time, but for the most part I’ve got too much stuff going on daily so it’s really great when I find a blog that I can relate to but that covers topics I wouldn’t be reading about otherwise. I’ve always felt that Jason’s Negro Please was one of those sites. Of course LA blogs are part of my world, which is why his post today reviewing some of the more widely read blogs in this city is so interesting. He includes Losanjealous (my favorite la blog that I’m not involved with), LA Observed, Angeleno, FishbowlLA, and of course LAist and even has some things to say about us. He also points out a list of blogs that he’s not covering because they are either too niche or solo projects, although he seemed to have missed LA Voice and LA foodblogging which are definitely staples IMNSHO. Jason and I had a bit of a stand-offish relationship for a while but I tend to think that was more the weight of the -ist network on his shoulders causing it because I actually think he’s a pretty good guy. That said, I was psyched to see he didn’t totally trash us in his review:

“I think they’ve really found their stride. In full disclosure mode, during most of my tenure with LAist, I thought we were the better local site. I always felt blogging.la was scatterbrained and not really about LA. Often it was like reading the message board a bunch of friends shared to give tips or anecdotes that only those friends would care about. But in reading today, they were chock full of interesting information. Still anecdotal but much more oriented towards the audience at large instead of the contributors within…”

There is more to it than that but that’s the jist of it. One thing that I’ll be endlessly amused by is when people look at what we’re doing on blogging.la or any of the Metroblogging sites and suggest that we be doing something different. Some people assume we’re trying (and failing) to be a local events listing, or alternative to the alternative weeklies, or even a round up of local news when in fact we’re purposefully not trying to do any of that. Our goal has always been to pool a few people in the city, and have them contribute their slice of life. There are plenty of sites out there that focus on events, or covering the news – if I want to know whats in the LA Times today, I’ll check out the LA Times. If I want some insight behind some of the bigger stories there is no question that LA Observed should be my first stop. We’ve never set out to be the end all be all for everyone (Hell, the Times isn’t even the endall be all for everyone), we write about what is interesting to us, sometimes that is interesting to other people too and that’s what it’s all about. Point being the web is a big place, with lots of people doing different things – no one is being forced to read Blogging.la but we’re happy that some people choose to.

Can You Smell The Satire?

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2006/08/onion2-thumb.jpgNews of the anticipated and impending arrival of The Onion’s Los Angeles edition has certainly been covered by others, but today at Spaceland, the 6 a.m. gathering point for the regular Tuesday morning bike ride of the IAAL‚Ä¢MAF, bleary yet sharp-eyed members took quick notice of the brand spanking new box installed in front of Spaceland in Silver Lake, one of a purported 1,000 locations that will distribute some 50,000 copies to greater L.A each week begining August 3.

The Anti-Zuma Dogg Act

Tune in to LA City View on Channel 35 at 10am to catch the LA City Council consider a motion brought to my attention by Venice activist “Zuma Dogg”:

did you hear about tuesday’s agenda item? voting on a “new code of conduct for public comment” including things like: no standing, must remain seated at ALL times (like in “mommie dearest”) — no loud talking, no repetitive comments, no signs (really? i thought that was protected expression) — plus, they can kick you out for good for repeat offenses (which is extremely subjective.)

I call it “The Anti-Zuma Dogg Act”.

While I’m not sure what the City Council refers to it as, it is listed on their agenda as an amendment to the rules “under Chapter II, Public Notice, Attendance and Comment” that include Rules of Decorum and Enforcement of Decorum.

My question, do we need more rules regulating free speech when addressing our elected officials?

Details after the jump, or download the .pdf with the full text by clicking here.
Continue reading The Anti-Zuma Dogg Act

Hare Hare, Krishna Krishna

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A friend and I realized on Sunday evening that we had totally spaced on the Festival of the Chariots in Venice on Sunday. I’d spent the day at home, with the exception of a leisurely Sunday walk through the canals, catching up on some freelance work and watching tourists from my roof. I really have no excuse here – I live only a few blocks south of where the festival is held each year on the beach.

Last year, I also forgot about the festival – but was reminded in the best way possible when I was on my way to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market, riding my bike down Main Street. I was headed down to hand out CODEPINK fliers at the Market, when I almost ran into the floats coming down Main Street in Santa Monica. Fascinated, I immediately followed the parade, caught a few flowers, and then, after I finished shopping and fliering the market, went to the beach and visited every single booth, trying to figure out exactly what Hare Krishna was, beyond a pop-culture reference and a song in the musical Hair.

This year, however, LA Frog did an admirable job of covering the festival, complete with some very interesting commentary. And next year, I’ll have to remind myself to go watch the parade, be dazzled by the colors, and finish it up with a vegetarian snack.

Photo is from the Festival of the Chariots website

E3 Is Not Dunzo…

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On Sunday, Joystiq reported that next year’s E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) had been cancelled by the Entertainment Software Association.

And as it turned out, while the convention as we know it has indeed been cancelled, it will be significantly downsized and return in July instead of May:

GameSpot is reporting that ESA president Douglas Lowenstein has confirmed that E3 2007 will now take place in July.

After the announcement of its downsizing, GameSpot contributes an anonymous analyst saying that the new E3 will “give publishers more time to polish their holiday releases. Publishers apparently weren’t pleased at rushing their schedules to have late-year releases ready for the show each May.”

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In addition, E3 v2.0 will be rechristened as the E3 Media Festival, and it won’t be held at the L.A. Convention Center:

Speaking to the Wall St. Journal, ESA head honcho Doug Lowenstein said that E3 will now be called the “E3 Media Festival.” And, instead of hordes of fans and press attending, the event could now cater to around 5,000 (we’re assuming big press only). Also, no more convention center:

The smaller version, tentatively titled the E3 Media Festival, could occupy suites and conference rooms at two Los Angeles hotels with a target attendance of about 5,000, said Doug Lowenstein, president of the ESA, which voted to make the change Wednesday.

More after the jump.
Continue reading E3 Is Not Dunzo…