New blog about sex, etc. from Antebellum Gallery

Antebellum Gallery, the Hollywood fetish gallery owned by photographer-director Rick Castro, has entered the blogosphere. Surprise-surprise, it’s for adults only.

Keeping track of sexuality (and sex) in all of its permutations as it is represented in popular and fringe culture, Castro’s blog might just be a perfect addition for the enlightened age that Obama’s presidency seems to be struggling to usher in. (Now if Obama would just grow a pair.)

Recent posts have been about the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s 2010 list of honorees who will receive stars on The Walk of Fame, this Sunday’s celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Tom of Finland Foundation at Faultline Bar and reaction to the latest sexually-charged Calvin Klein ad campaign.

My favorite post so far: One Straight Guy’s View of Bisexuality— a video by Minneapolis Youtube star Rocci Berrini, who espouses about topics of the day from a slacker’s POV.  And his seemingly clueless, common-sense, pro-gay marriage stance is actually one of the best (and funniest) arguments yet against the right’s clueless bigotry. Fight fire with fire, I say.

One more time: LA Times revamps their interactive neighborhood maps

mapping_la_hoods_hedNo good deed goes unpunished was the case when the Los Angeles Times initially unveiled their interactive map of LA neighborhoods a few months ago. Much bickering about neighborhood boundaries ensued, and so nearly 100 border revisions have been made, along with the addition of a lot more information about neighborhood demographics covering topics like personal income, education, ethnicity and, interestingly, marriage statistics.

For example, Silver Lake has among the highest numbers of unmarried males and females in the city. I’m guessing this may be an indication of the prevailing sexual orientation of area residents, long known as a gay bastion. It led me to wonder if sexual orientation was a demographic included in the map (although such data is not officially collected,) would marriage statistics fluctuate accordingly once same-sex marriage is legalized (again.)

Anyway, LAT assures us the map will continue to be a work in progress as they go on collecting information and reader comments.

A Building Wants to Be My Facebook Friend

solair

From the inbox:

Solair added you as a friend on Facebook. We need to confirm that you know Solair in order for you to be friends on Facebook.

Actually, I don’t know Solair. In fact, there are very few buildings in Los Angeles that I consider friends. Do I accept the request, or ignore? This is a decision not to be taken lightly, as I do not want to hurt Solair’s feelings.

What would you do?

How the hell did I miss Postopolis! LA: Bloggers, Media, Arts & Design Converge

In Downtown Los Angeles for the remainder of this week, at the Standard, the rest of Postopolis! will be going down–an event I probably heard about six weeks ago & promptly forgot or overlooked–criminally so. This event is hella more interesting than this short descriptive quote would seem to infer: “A live 5-day blogathon of back-to-back discussions, interviews, panel talks, slideshows, films and parties with scheduled and unscheduled guests, themed around landscape and the built environment.” Baroo?densityfieldsmaterialsandapplications

Let me explain. Last night I missed Fritz Haeg, whose Edible Estates replaces front yards–the classic American symbol–with fruit & veggie gardens (and who’s now transferring that idea into the animal realm with Animal Estates–very cool). Dwayne Oyler of OylerWu stopped by–they’re responsible for “Density Fields” at Materials & Applications in Silver Lake (pictured). I also missed Michael Dear, a professor of geography at USC, whose research delves into urbanism in LA, its proximity to Mexico, and homelessness in the city.

The good news: it goes on for four more days. Don’t miss the peeps behind the Fallen Fruit Collective, Mike The Poet, folks from curbedLA, GOOD Magazine & DWELL Magazine, and more. Stop in for a full day, or just for one talk. Full schedule behind le jump.

Continue reading “How the hell did I miss Postopolis! LA: Bloggers, Media, Arts & Design Converge”

Los Angeles is #1 on Twitter

According to Twitter Grader, Los Angeles has the highest number of Twitter users in the U.S.

Twitter is the popular microblogging service that allows users to send sort updates, or “tweets,” in 140 characters or less about what they’re doing. Some, are quite interesting.

From @davidmarkland via @igenexis, only London outranks Los Angeles worldwide.

Rankings are by total number of twitter users (based on the “Location” setting).

All those techie people up in San Francisco? They come in at #4.

So, has there been a technology shift in California? Is Los Angeles a more hip and connected region than the Bay Area?

Let’s find out. Retweet this post with the heading: “SF sucks at Twitter.”

  1. London
  2. Los Angeles
  3. Chicago
  4. San Francisco
  5. New York
  6. Seattle
  7. Toronto
  8. Atlanta
  9. Boston
  10. Austin

Click here for the full Top 50.

Time Warner Cable’s Los Angeles Servers “Under Attack”

If you are in the Los Angeles area and Time Warner’s Roadrunner is your ISP, then you’re lucky to be online right now.  I know I am.  After three days of intermittent service outages and several phone calls, I was finally told by Time Warner’s Internet department tonight that the company’s Los Angeles area servers have been “under attack” for days or even weeks.  Presumably, that means by hackers.  No concrete estimate from Time Warner as to when they will have the problem under control.

If you’re a Roadrunner customer and have been experiencing these service outages, I recommend that you at least call Time Warner and request credit for lack of service.  In my experience, whether or not Time Warner says otherwise, they never grant such credits unless customers call to request them. Oh, and expect to be placed on hold for a while when you call.

Celebs in public and on twitter, how will it end?

Happy dogs on leashes at intelligentsiaThis morning I went to Intelligentsia to grab some espresso, which if you follow me on twitter you know is part of my daily routine. When I got there I noticed that a guy at the counter had a cute dog with him, and since my wife Tara has a thing for cute dogs in coffee shops I snapped a photo for her and quickly posted it to flickr. As the pic was sending I looked back up from my iPhone and saw the guy with the dog looking at me, he looked disappointed, but also vaguely familiar. As he put on his sunglasses and walked out I realized he was famous and probably thought I was taking a photo of him. I felt like an ass, but it was too late. I told a friend I was with about my faux pas and he, not being from LA, pointed out that in any other city the guy would have been mobbed for autographs and I shouldn’t feel too bad about it. It’s a good point, and one of the things I love about LA, but I still felt like a dick.

Skip ahead a few hours and Tara points me to a virtual throwdown happening on twitter between Ashton Kutcher and Perez Hilton. Not so much because of what they were saying, but because of how people were reacting and how she thought they might keep on reacting. She tweeted about it and said “I really hope that Twitter is still accessible to real people conversing and not just watching Celebs chat with each other.” Her fear, and a very valid one, is that suddenly her stream would be filled with normal people @replying to celebs trying to become “friends” with them, rather than just being themselves and talking to their real friends. If you want to see what I mean, just look at how many people are replying to Ashton or Demi. Soleil Moon Frye only joined twitter 13 hours ago and look at this!. This got me thinking about how that relates to my coffee shop experience earlier in the day.

Continue reading “Celebs in public and on twitter, how will it end?”

Local businesses to benefit from quashed internet porn law

The San Fernando Valley’s billion dollar porn industry received a stimulus package of sorts today from the Supreme Court in Washington. The court turned down without comment the appeal of Mukasey vs. ACLU. At its heart was a law, never enacted, which, for the past 13 years, had claimed to have been striving to protect children from viewing  sexually explicit websites, “unless the sponsor used some means, such as requiring a credit card, to keep out minors,” according to an article in today’s LA Times.

Judges, as well as the Supreme Court in 2004, had repeatedly blocked the law from taking effect, siting First Amendment concerns. By refusing to consider the appeal, the article said, “the outcome preserves the Web as a wide-open forum for free expression.”

T-shirt: Print Liberation

LA Times marches on

There are several Youtube videos of Sam Zell, the Chicago real estate magnate/Los Angeles Times-owner, clutching a lecturn and snarling at journalists in his employ about his “philosophy” in vulgarity-strewn upbraidings at the various newspapers he owns. In one posted last February, during a Q & A with writers and editors from the Orlando Sentinel, Zell tells a reporter “fuck you,” prefacing the epithet by saying “You need to, in effect, help me by being journalists that focus on what our readers want, and therefore generate more revenue…”

This statement alone exhibits the essential nature of Zell’s misunderstanding of, and disregard for, journalism and shows his ill-suitedness for owning any organization that disseminates news.

But In spite of the bad rap that Zell gets (and deserves,) the LA Times isn’t a bad paper. It still has Continue reading “LA Times marches on”

KCRW music programming upgrade

A little more than a  month ago, Jason Bentley became the host of KCRW’s flagship music program, Morning Becomes Eclectic, (9 AM to noon, weekdays,) also taking over as music director of the public radio station that makes its home at Santa Monic College. It was only by chance that I heard the announcement in mid-November from the morning DJ/music director he replaced, Nik Harcourt. (Harcourt still has a Sunday evening slot.)

I’ll be honest; even though Harcourt’s passion for music was obvious, I was not a fan of most of what he played and I was not a regular MBE listener. But Bentley’s eponymous evening KCRW program (nee Metropolis) was a favorite, and when he sat in occasionally for Harcourt I found myself repeatedly checking the real time playlist on their site to get the artists’ names. Whenever he subbed on MBE, he didn’t play the same sort of music that he played at night (it had a dark, electronic slant,) but I was definitely more attuned to his taste than I was to Harcourt’s.

December 1st was day one for Bentley, and the entire feel of MBE changed radically at the very beginning as he cued up the hauntingly beautiful “Sense of Touch” from Mark Isham’s soundtrack for the movie Crash. I was immediately hooked and since then, I’ve been tuning in regularly; if I miss the morning broadcast, I can listen in the evening on KCRW’s online station, although it’s trimmed to a two-hour version of the original three-hour program. All past programs are also streamable from the KCRW archives.

Metro’s Twitter Goes Bilingual

Your ATM does it. Your kid’s toys do it. Even Disneyland does it.

Now, Metro joins the club by tweeting in both English and Spanish. That’s very nice of them, unless you don’t want to read the exact same update twice. The tweet pictured above popped up this morning – four minutes after an identical update in English. Nobody likes a repeater. Nobody likes a repeater.

Maybe it’s time for Metro to run separate accounts?

Tal vez es hora de metro para ejecutar cuentas separadas?

Rick Warren does NOT liken gays to pizza

Los Angeles humorist Steve Young posted a satirical piece on his blog saying Saddleback Church pastor/same-sex marriage foe Rick Warren had compared gays to pizza.

This morning, The Raw Story web site picked it up and ran with it as fact as their  lead story. By this evening the story had disappeared from the site. Still, it was more needed levity in the face of Obama selling out gays by giving an international platform to a divisive religious leader who believes they shouldn’t be afforded marriage rights. (I’ve come to accept Obama as just another political pragmatist. We’ve been down this road before with the Clintons, so it’s either laugh or grit my teeth until my gums bleed.)

Riffing on a recent NBC Dateline interview the Prop 8-supporting pastor did with reporter Ann Curry wherein he compared being gay to incest, adultery, etc., Young made up a funny bit about Curry coming forth with statements she said Warren made after the cameras stopped rolling.

… After the camera stopped filming he went on to make the comparison of gays to pizza, I must say, I was startled.

“Just because I like pizza it doesn’t mean I should marry it,” said Warren. “Biologically, I am predisposed to enjoy the immaculate melding of mozzarella cheese, red sauce and thick crust baked to tasty perfection. But that doesn’t mean I should enter into a lifelong commitment with Sicilian or plain, nor bed it down, nor bring children into the world and have them have to explain to their classmates why their mom’s crust is not as crisp as it once was.”

Young is a funny guy who was one of the original hosts on LA’s liberal talk radio station KTLK AM 1150, as well as a writer on TV sitcoms. He also wrote the weekly op-ed column “All The News That’s Fit To Spoof ” for the LA Daily News, according to his web site bio, “until they realized it was there.”

Pasadena Now’s pay scale revised for outsourced writers

In yesterday’s NY Times, op-ed columnist Maureen Dowd reminded me about Pasadena Now owner James Macpherson’s decision earlier this year to outsource local news coverage to India. At the time, the LA Times said he would be paying a pair of writers in India a total of approximately $20,000 a year to be “glocal” news sleuths who cover things like Christmas tree-lightings and Pasadena city council meetings from afar for the daily online magazine.

Dowd traveled to Pasadena recently and interviewed Macpherson about the numbers. He appears to have revised his pay scale.

He fired his seven Pasadena staffers — including five reporters — who were making $600 to $800 a week, and now he and his wife direct six employees all over India on how to write news and features, using telephones, e-mail, press releases, Web harvesting and live video streaming from a cellphone at City Hall.

“I pay per piece, just the way it was in the garment business,” he says. “A thousand words pays $7.50.”

In a related story, ReadWriteWeb recently explored the world of paid bloggers and social media consultants, asking 20 top-tier workers in the field about the numbers they were seeing. For bloggers…

The low end of the scale was $10 per post for very short posts. Almost everyone else said they were paid $25 per post. One person said they were paid $80 per post! One respondent said they were paid $200 per item of long-form writing; bloggers often do other kinds of writing as well.

Pay increased for in-house/full-time bloggers, with the big money being reserved for consultants. No mention was made of outsourced writers.

Your Metblogs Authors: can they pwn the Trivia Bowl?!

Just a heads-up to ask all our readers to focus their collective brainpower on the small parcel of Burbank on which we, the intrepid authors of bLA, shall be competing in our first-ever Trivia Bowl this evening (an annual trivia competition organized by the Asian American Journalists Association). I for one suck at trivia, but I’m sure that my compatriots, including Frazgo, Matt Mason, Markland, Will.I.Am, Ruth666, Mack Reed and a few bloggin’ friends and dedicated readers, shall more than make up for my unhealthy preponderance of memory devoted to obscure facts about proto-Renaissance art and Ukranian egg decorating.

I’d say some of us would twitter the event live, except that I think that might make it too easy for me someone to cheat, so you’ll hear radio silence from us until the event is over.

I’m interested to see how well we’ll perform again teams that are mostly comprised of lawyers & journalists. As someone who’s fused her memory so inextricably into the Web (I keep so much of my data and information archived here on the wunnerful world of the webernet that I scarcely can function without it), I suspect I may actually be able to recall very little when severed from the hive mind. I guess we’ll see. As a philosophical discussion, I’m curious as to whether I could make the argument that the Internet has actually become a part of my memory, and, as such, my self.

All that BS aside, cross your fingers for us! We’ll be sure to report back.

Consume LA: Lennon’s birthday; Vote No on Prop 8

READ: The Supremes’ Greatest Hits, The 34 Supreme Court Cases That Most Affect Your Life by Michael G. Trachtman.  This is the book that Sarah Palin wishes she had read prior to her embarrassing exchange with Katie Couric. Talk about an ejeekation– shazzam! I been learnin’ a lot about activist judges from this ‘n. I thought Dread Scott was a Bob Marley song until I read this here book. Available at Skylight 1814 in Los Feliz.

DONATE: TO DEFEAT PROP 8. Obama carrying California is a slam dunk. So for Californians, the Good Fight this election is working to defeat Prop 8. Bigots hiding behind their “religion” are waging a newly successful campaign to pass Prop 8, a ballot measure which, if passed, would write discrimination against gay people into the California constitution, eliminating their right to marry. Despite what the proponents of Prop 8 insist, civil unions do not provide the same rights as marriage. VOTE NO ON PROP 8.

REMEMBER: Today would have been the 68th birthday of John Lennon, a man who had the world in the palm of his hand due to the popularity of his band, the Beatles. Instead of just coasting on his success and indulging his whims (aside from his famed “Lost Weekend”– actually it was two years of debauchery he enjoyed in LA during his separation from  Yoko in the mid-1970s) he used his fame to promote humanitarian causes around the world. Remember too that although the Republicans are still (STILL!) mad at the hippies, they’re even angrier at John Lennon for giving voice to an enlightened, evolved morality that made them quake in their hypocritical boots; and for that Richard Nixon tried (unsuccessfully) to deport him. Power to the people!

TAKE ARIANNA’S ADVICE: Arianna Huffington, Los Angeles’ most treasured citizen (I’ve decided to make it official,) has somehow found time during the manic run up to the November election to have a balanced life, finding time for herself away from the internets, blogosphere and incessantly overlapping news cycles to just stare out at the air.

As she demonstrated at the Democratic National Convention with her HuffPo Oasis, where she provided free massage, aromatherapy and mountains of chocolate to weary delegates and pundits, she advises a few moments a day away from your daily grind. Try to unplug, disengage and STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER.  She’s even got Obama on board for chillin’.

SHOP: Don’t buy any vain indulgences for yourself this month. Do the right thing and donate to help defeat Prop 8 on November 4th. Everything you want now will be on sale post-election anyway.

Thumbnail: johnlennon.com