To: White People of Los Angeles, Re: The Bus
EDIT: My PT usage is generally relegated to Hollywood, downtown LA, WeHo/Beverly Hills, and eastern parts of the Valley.

Why am I consistently one of the only white people riding the bus every frickin’ day?

For that matter, why is it that by and large the only other white people riding with me are either passed out or carrying their worldly possessions in a Ralph’s bag?*

I hear a lot of white people in LA complaining about traffic and smog and parking and asshole drivers and the price of gas. I’m not saying you should all go carless, God forbid. Riding the bus means you don’t have to do the driving or look for a space or pump gas or deal with any of the aforementioned a-holes on the road because your car is at home and not adding to the pollution and the traffic. Personally, I ditched my SUV because it was always breaking down on me, but I like taking Metro because of the much-needed downtime it gives me between appointments. Today I was able to finish reading the first volume of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus** while running my errands, something I couldn’t have done if I was in my own car.

But I digress. I know you’re out there white people of Los Angeles, and I know you’ve heard about this thing called public transportation. Trust me, from one white person to the rest of the 1.7 million white people out there, it’s not dirty or scary or just for us folks without cars.***

Use it. Love it. It’s good for the environment and you’re kind of paying for it with your city taxes anyway, so you might as well.

Photo by Poppyseed Bandits. Used under Creative Commons

*Concerts and sporting events notwithstanding.
**Support your local comic book store.
***Well, maybe it’s a little dirty.

43 thoughts on “To: White People of Los Angeles, Re: The Bus”

  1. I see a few more white people on the Big Blue Bus 5 and 7, especially when Santa Monica College is in session, but I concur. Especially since the fare for the bus is less than the gas cost alone of driving the same distance.

    Plus I get lots of reading in.

  2. In my area taking the bus means you have to drive a few blocks and then hope you find parking. Once you get on the bus you are stared down and treated like dirt because you are a)white and b) don’t speak the language. The bus was dirty and smelly. Racism is such an ugly thing no matter who it is directed at.

    What little bus service we do have doesn’t go anywhere I need to be. My brave experiment to go to the Santa Anita Mall was an eye opener. Took 3X as long as it would to drive.

    If we can get a mass transit that works like the Bay Area, London or Paris I’d consider. But until then its pretty useless around here as it takes forever and doesn’t go anywhere I need to be.

  3. Dude, Frazgo, I’m white and I ride the bus all the time. I’ve never been treated poorly by any riders because I’m white, and half the people on any given bus can’t even speak Spanish. The buses are usually mostly clean, but obviously they aren’t going to be as clean (on the inside) as your car. And it relieves you from the stress of driving as long as you don’t add to your own stress with useless paranoia and thoughts of race.

    So I say man up and learn to live with people who aren’t white. Maybe it’ll make your bus rides better.

  4. After a reality TV star plowed into my Prius one night in December (true story), sending it to the body shop for a month, I had to take the bus. Living in West Hollywood, this was easy. Buses that go up Sunset and Santa Monica Boulevards took me to most places I wanted to go. I could even walk to the 25-cent DASH bus to go to the Grove. The DASH buses are a great, underused bargain – I just wish they went 24 hours a day. Right now, at 8am to 6pm, they only really serve the retired.

    Otherwise, it’s true – if you don’t live in an area with a convenient bus route (or at least a route that takes you where you need to do), buses are slow and useless.

  5. I think there are two Race issues here. One is the aforementioned white-people-as-the-minority fear… the other is that people are in a race in the car. Driving a car fast should mean you get places faster, and then allow you time to relax because you’ve saved time. However the nature of our society seems to be that we create more and more “efficiency” and then just pack our days that much more so that we get home exhausted, stressed, and cranky. (Not to mention disconnected)

    So it took you more time to get to the mall on the bus…I just think that is a reminder of how unrealistic our expectations for time efficiency are. Taking the bus could get someplace faster… or maybe it could get you someplace slower. There are more important things in your day than how fast you can get somewhere… and maybe riding the bus one day will remind you that reading the Buffy Omnibus Part 1 is one of those things.*

    *Support your local comic book store


  6. “a mass transit that works like the Bay Area”

    oh, really, you don’t want to say that. SF Muni looks great on paper, and can be wonderful for leisurely trips, but otherwise… meh. The 3rd time in a month that you’re over an hour late to work b/c a train has derailed in the tunnel and all the surface busses are unboardably overflowing because of it you start seriously wondering why you aren’t just walking. And often you do just that. I mean, the entire city/county is 8×8 miles, you’re almost always in pedestrian range from where you want to go. Gotta be one of the most bikeable major cities in the country.

    That said, BART does do an excellent job of getting people who live outside of the city into the city’s financial/business areas (and more). It amazes me that people still sit in their cars on the Oakland bridge for over an hour every morning while the BART could easily get them to work in 1/4 the time and has ample Park & Ride-ness all over the East Bay (so even if your commute is mostly by PT your neighbors will still see you leave the house in your car every morning and won’t worry that you’re poor and going to start impacting their property value).

    Of course the entire SF Bay Area public transportation system basically shuts down just after midnight so if you plan on getting really drunk you’d better still drive your car.

    If you’re going to say “we need a PT system like” another US city I think you ought to be using NYC as your model. It actually manages to maintain a schedule across its coverage area and doesn’t become useless during late night hours.

  7. I live in the valley and work in Culver City. If they had a train or some kind of half way efficient bus line running over the Sepulveda pass, I would take it. I’d rather be the only white guy on a bus than contiue to look in the mirror of my mini and see nothing but huge grill guards on a hummer driven by captain agro-rage.

  8. When I lived in LA (Monterey Hills) there were no direct buses to Glendale (when I was a reporter and needed my car) or to Hollywood (when I started at Columbia Square). Plus, working the night shifts (3-11 or 4-12) gives me not much choice as to whether I use my car or not.

    Back in the day when I DIDN’T have a car, I did used to take the bus all the way from La Puente to Wilshire. It was….meh. Not exactly convenient, but there was only one transfer, plus I didn’t have a choice then. However, I also disliked taking the bus because of leering perverts. Yech.

  9. I used to ride the bust to work, and it was a 4-5 time sink each day, which was great, as I could get a pile of reading done, uninterrupted. I will say that 95% of my fellow commuters were non-white, though. Seeing a white person on the bus (who wasn’t homeless or crazy) was pretty rare.

  10. And if I may chime in late… let’s not forget that you can extend the bus lines by bringing your bike with you. Most about every bus out there now is equipped with a two-bike bike rack, especially useful if your route encompasses multiple lines and you don’t wanna have to wait for the transfer to go that extra first or last few miles.

    With my gig in Westchester I’m all about line No. 439 on occasion, which I can get to either via Union Station or at 7th & Flower and it convolutes itself all the way to my office building near Sepulveda and Centinela (and back again). It is a beautiful thing.

  11. I do see white people waiting for the bus at stops on Sunset in W H and Bev Hills, but they look like they wish they weren’t there. If mass transit, buses and subways were more extensive and used by middle-class whites as a choice, all this would change. Hoping that will happen as the Expo Line expands, and people connect from there to buses. DASH sounds great, especially in Westwood, but it’s so hard to find and figure out schedules.

    One time I took the subway from downtown Pershing Sq. to Hollywood/Vine (roundtrip) just to check it out, a family of Hispanics were pushing my little boy on the down escalator, and when I scolded one of them (older kids) the father, who could have been a gardener or laboror and barely spoke English and would normally have been reserved, felt free to yell at me to not tell his kids what to do, or he’d show me, etc. etc. — and added, “If you are such a special lady, why can’t you afford a car?”

    There definitely is, at least sometimes, a contempt for whites who take mass transit. Maybe a holdover from Hispanic culture, where in Mexico, they respect the rich with light skins, but the rest are considered lower than them for failing. No, this isn’t racism, it’s Mexican culture.

  12. Yes! I take my bike with me whenever possible. This greatly increases my mobility.

    sure, it’s no BART (i should know; i lived in SF for four years) but the LA bus system isn’t so inefficient when you plan your trips ahead of time.

  13. I am a bus rider and i am “white”. I see other white people on the buss and red line.I would guess about 1/4 are white.
    But if people white or otherwise, don’t wnat to take the buss, so what? It isn’t like the busses are going with out riders. Try getting a set on the number 2, 4 or 704 any given morning

  14. Ah you seemed to miss one point, I don’t have regular bus service in my area and what little there is goes to places I have no reason to go to. The closest thing I could remotely come up with was that blasted mall in Arcadia. I really hate malls but that was the only thing remotely possible to see what the big deal about buses was about.

  15. Anyone who takes the Wilshire line should check out the Sept. 6th issue of City Beat — story on how the Editor Alan Mittelstaedt suggests renaming it in Henry Waxman’s DISHonor, for forbidding L A from getting any gov’t funds for mass transit ever since 1985, when there was a methane spill under the Ross Store on Third and Fairfax. It was in Zev Yaroslavsky’s then district as Councilmember, and he got Waxman to do this, to make sure there would be no tunneling west of Fairfax, ever. That’s why the current idiotic subway line I checked out goes north to Vine and Universal, instead of downtown towards Santa Monica along Wilshire as it was supposed to.

    Zev then got the easily duped voters of L A to pass a bond measure in 98 reaffirming no subways or more tunneling, going west. (The NIMBY’s who didn’t want all “those people” going through their neighborhoods didn’t mind too much, either.)

    That E-W Wilshire route is so popular the buses are overcrowded, and apparently many go by before you can get on. If only we had that subway… It would have made a lot more sense for an extension to then run north south along Sepulveda/the 405 to take pressure off this insanely congested highway (like poster Glenn above and many would love).

    Alan wants us all to remember to thank Waxman for the crowded Wilshire bus and no subways — special mention to Zev Y, who helpfully offered to lead “the people’s revolution” against congestion.

  16. As you can see, bus transportation varies in different areas of our city – not surprising. What is a problem is that you turned this into an issue involving race. Encouraging people to ride the bus is a good thing. But encouraging white people to ride the bus is just wrong. People, no matter if they are black or white may or may not want to ride the bus or other mass transit. THIS CHOICE IS MADE OUT OF PREFERENCE and hopefully not because they wake up one day and say “hey … I’m white I can’t ride the bus” – who does this ? No one I presume, unless they are a racist.

    I’m offended even by some of the comments to your post. Specifically the comment by WILL CAMBELL ABOVE which states: “There definitely is, at least sometimes, a contempt for whites who take mass transit”

    People need to wake up and stop being so boxed into there little reality. Just because you’ve encountered some problems with hispanics or others while taking public transportation on ONE OCCASION or another doesn’t mean that ALL hispanics and others resent you. There or other reasonable explanations, e.g. these people where having a bad day, and generally that everyone is in a damn rush while taking mass transit or driving for that matter.

    I believe in free speech. But speech that starts with baseless generalizations always breeds hate speech and people go too far, even if your intentions are good.

    LEAVE RACE OUT OF IT. I’m african american and take the bus, and I have a car. Living and working in Downtown LA, it just doesn’t make sense to take my car out of the garage most of the time.

    When I wake up in the morning to take the DASH or Metro, never has it crossed my mind nor have I really cared what ethnicity is riding transit with me… I’m thinking about getting to work! (and to Coffee Bean!).

  17. I am a dark Mexican who rides the bus when I can, and I get treated disdainfully once in a while as well (although not even close to as much as when I drive daily). It is not race motivated, some people are just pricks or idiots, and if some fool is ignorant enough to insert your light skin into his mistreatment, just take the pesron for the asshole that they are.

    But it saddens me that there are few whites on the bus (and I often take the ElMonte busway, which I thought would have a few hueros) as well as few middle class Latinos and Asians. It seems like blacks are the only ethnicity that take the bus at all economic demographics. I would bet (being a realist) that if more anglo folks took the bus that it would get a lot nicer and cleaner ASAP.

  18. Kathy: Will never made a comment about race. It was Jill, who wrote the comment following his.

    Regarding race, I’ve ridden the bus for years and have never felt any such disdain for being white.

    I will say the Big Blue Bus is definitely more white than Metro, and MTA buses heading eest in the am and east in the pm tend to predominantly Latino.

    That said, I think the larger point is that there seems to be a disdain among whites in general towards using mass transit.

    Indeed, some smelly creepy people ride the bus, but its unfair to judge the quality of ridership on one person per busload.

  19. There was a study out of the UCLA Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture released a couple of years ago touching on the fact that recent immigrants in Los Angeles are much more likely to take public transportation:

    The study found that 20.4 percent of recent immigrants use public transportation to travel to work, compared with 8.6 percent of long-term immigrants, 4.4 percent of U.S.-born Latinos and 3.2 percent of non-Hispanic whites. (link)

    With that said, I’m a Chicana and only started taking the bus when I got to college and parking was too expensive (or I forgot to apply for a permit). I take the Big Blue Bus which does have white riders.

  20. Kathy, we can’t leave race out of it. The reason people don’t take the bus is because there are black and brown people on the bus (oh and it runs really crappy, I have a whole series of videos that I will post shortly via my blog to demonstrate how much of a joke their service is) and they are scared of black and brown people.

    This is reality, not bad or good, just a truism.

    The person who wrote this post is telling other white people that it is ok to take the bus, because as a white person hey he knows. We all know.

    “There definitely is, at least sometimes, a contempt for whites who take mass transit.” Jill

    See Jill has one story and uses that to say why black and brown people have contempt for her, like that guy wouldn’t have gone off on anyone that talked to him about his kids.

    Because of people like Jill (just using a Jill as an example, not saying Jill is bad) we can’t pretend like race doesn’t exists, because some people are always going to take people who look like you (whether you be purple, orange, green, or rainbow) who are not Mother Theresa as a reason to justify some silly generalization in their own head.


  21. i just want to say that i’m seriously impressed with the level of discussion that’s happening here.

    i initially had reservations about this post because i thought people would try to turn it into a race “issue” when this is really just about riding the bus. i’m glad we’ve been able to stay on topic.

  22. I knew I’d be criticized by some, even called racist, when I made the first comment, but did it anyway because this sort of fear makes us still hide the topic under the rug. Those who deny that race, skin color, socio-economic status as perceived, had anything to do with that incident or many interactions we have on a daily basis is either deluding themselves or naive. There’s no doubt that if that day laboror and his family hadbeen at a predominantly white place, like the escalator at Westfield Century City or Sherman Oaks, first of all the kids would have been on their “good” behavior, and if they had endangered a little kid who happened to be white, no way would an immigrant laboror have gone off like that on a white woman when his kids were in the wrong. He’d know what the public reaction would be. Even at places where there are a lot of Hisanics in more marginal areas, like Target WeHo, everyone is on their better behavior and it’s all civilized. (By the way, this happened after rush hour, so I doubt they were in some huge time crunch.)

    At the subway stop, fact that I was well-dressed although casual, seems to have struck him as part of the absurdity of my being on the subway — his comments on my appearance as a “fine lady” were sneering, because he assumed I didn’t have a car. That is the bottom line: until well-dressed whites have reason to take the bus and subway and light rail (and I think there is a correlation, because once people are on a subway/rail they’ll often need to connect for the last leg by bus), like in most big cities, mass transit will be a separate world. Being “white” was only part of it — it’s the whole socio-economic package that mass transit in this city is wrapped in. (Except for pockets like the Westwood DASH.)

  23. Jill, I think you are too hung up on race, did this man use any kind of racially descriptive term about you (and “fine” does not count, one pertaining to your skin tone)? I also think this might be an example of you looking for a racial issue, as well as possible projection since you have assumed this man to be stereotypical examples of Latinos (not all brown folks with heaby accents are a gardener or day laborer), he sounds more like a prick than a racist unless he called you cracker or something. Like I said, I am mexican and get that kind of situation occassionally, many people are just jerks, and many people ride PT looking for a racial situation to validate their misconceptions.

  24. Jill I want to say that I don’t think you’re more racist than any of us. I have my thing. We all have our thing. You simply just aren’t scared of what you think.

    I don’t know if someone can be too hung up on race.

    I think in a way it’s just an interesting topic that people love talking about. In America a country that is one of the most diverse places in the world how can you not be hung up on it?

    The reason Indians were killed were because it’s easy to kill people who are different from you. Black people were slaves and viewed as only a portion of a human being because of slavery. The US made the exclusion act, because too many Chinese people were coming to the US. The Zoot Suit riots, the Bracero program those were all things based on class yes, but also race.

    Even Italians and Irish when they weren’t viewed as white were treated pretty shabby in the US, simply because of what they sounded and looked like.

    I think saying something that is true and how you feel is better than not saying something at all, because you’re afraid it might make you look bad, especially if you’re trying to have an above board conversation.

    How can you make society better if you refuse to talk about the naked guy rolling around on the the floor?

    To me I liken talking about race to talking about sex. Some people may have different opinions when it comes to sex. It might make people uncomfortable, but is not talking about it going to make it go away. No. Is self restraint going to make your sex life better? No. When you restrain yourself and pretend like you’re not who you are you start doing weird stuff like having sex with dogs or cats or filming your neighbors and replaying it over and over again for your private amusement.

    I think talking about race and expressing your views is a good and healthy thing.

    Just saying that, because dogpiling Jill for her real opinion? I don’t know. I can feel that happening and maybe I should have used a different example in my initial post here.


  25. Art, you’re right that making judgments about a person’s job or educational status is very subjective but we do it all the time, based on things like poor quality clothing and shoes, hands and nails, hair, and how they speak — and I think most of us do it all the time, it’s subconscious. But generally we can tell if it’s a doctor or accountant dressed down vs. a laboror or janitor especially given the context.

    However, context can be deceiving, like with the controversial case here last week of the bicyclist in Beverly Hills, who was a PhD student at UCLA, but because he may have looked kind of scruffy and windblown (who doesn’t on a bike), feels the cop treated him inferior to the woman driver of the expensive SUV, even though he was white. Implication seemed to be that “her kind” was paying his salary, so she deserved more credibility. Again, this is all very subjective, and it’s all a jumble of socio- economics, a lot more than race or skin (which I never talk about, either, except that was the topic). But each environment seems to have its own dominant groups.

    Again, I would actually LIKE to see that change with mass transit in L A, as it is in New York or Paris — maybe grungy, but not so class-based. (Especially at rush hour, when those who would only take a taxi or car at night have no choice.)
    What’s really important is finishing the light rail to Culver City, then Santa Monica, and getting the long-delayed subway finally built.

  26. David… Oops.. I meant JILL, not WILL. But I never said that it was a comment about race. It had more to do with the comment being unfounded.

    I think the perceptions that may linger inside of some of us, this so called perceived disdainment, is just that. These are feelings that we internally can create out of fear.

    I think that because there are more non-whites on public transit, the whites could feel singled out and uncomfotable and create these notions in their head that people are unhappy with them being there. These are natural feelings to have. But they may not be there at all.

    I’m sure blacks and hispanics have these same feelings when there are in a situation where they are the underepresented.

    NO WE ARE NOT COLOR BLIND – But we can evolve into a better society if we make race less of an issue and discuss topics in a way that obviously do not need race to be involved. If this topic focused only on EVERYONE taking advantage of public transit and race was left out, the important message would still be there. Race was was not needed to make your point.

    There are other logical reasons why whites or anyone for that matter don’t take pubic transit. (1) preference – some people really like their cars. (2) routes, etc.

    If a white person chooses not to take public transit because they are white, then that’s nothing but their own internal fear. Further, if for some reason, as a white person taking public transit, you feel as though you are being slighted by others because of your race, then get over it. Now you can see how it feels for that lone black student in a class or at a party.

    I’m always that one of few black people at a Bloc Party concert or at Coachella! And of course sometimes, I have been disrespected by a white person, but I don’t live my life with a chip on my shoulder, thinking that’s how all white people are like, that’s just stupid (and considering what my anscestors went through it would be easy to go this route). But I figured out a way to not live my life in fear and giving a shit about what others think of me.

    That’s life… get on the bus go where you have to go…it’s not that big of deal. There’s no need to worry about WHO is riding the bus.

  27. “The reason people don’t take the bus is because there are black and brown people on the bus… and they are scared of black and brown people.”

    And you accuse others of making sweeping and baseless generalizations based on color? Hate to break it to you, but you’re a racist. Worse than that, you’re clueless — and that transcends all color barriers.

  28. Lee, you’re obviously a white person so you should be quite. What do white people know about racism? Like they’ve had a hard day in their life. Come on.

    Are you really saying there’s no racism involved? That white people aren’t racist? I hate racism & would like to see it stopped, but there’s too many white people for that to happen.

  29. Why would you assume I’m white? You have no idea who I am or what my background is. But you get what you expect — if you believe life is hard, it will be.

    What do I know about racism? My father was a civil rights activist. Marched with Dr. King. Was jailed in Mississippi. Our house was attacked many times, especially when we hosted dinners for Dr. Abernathy and other black leaders. I was spit on and nearly run over more than once. I spent my childhood getting beat up by white kids because my dad helped black people vote. Then I got beat up by black kids because they thought he wasn’t doing enough. When I was 25, I was turned down for a civilian producer job with the Navy because I was a healthy white male — they needed a handicapped black man for the job. I have hired and promoted brilliant people of all colors, even when clients wouldn’t let them in the door. I live in a neighborhood where I have been verbally harassed for being a “white family keeping a black family from buying a home.”

    I never said there was no racism. There is an it’s ludicrous. But it’s also utter bullshit for someone to claim that ALL white people are scared of “black and brown” people. That’s as racist a belief as any.

    You want to compare race records, asshat, bring it on.

  30. “And you accuse others of making sweeping and baseless generalizations based on color? Hate to break it to you, but you’re a racist. Worse than that, you’re clueless — and that transcends all color barriers.” Lee

    I’m pretty sure I have prejudices. I hope when I do state them people will point them out to me so that I may know what they are and get a clue. I am also clueless on lots of stuff. I was only responding to the initial post which heading was “white people Los Angeles.” If it had said upper middle class people Los Angeles I wouldn’t have brought up anyone’s race at all. I have to be honest though, I would not bring it up because I wouldn’t want to make people uncomfortable and this isn’t really a political board, but I would still be thinking about it.

    To move back on topic.

    In regards to the bus though. No one wants to take the bus. Not really. It’s a class and status thing. In LA you’re judged by your car, now if you have to get on the train or the Dash we can talk about that, but the bus. That’s just in some people’s heads the lowest of the low in regards to Los Angeles, even black and brown people think that.

    I take the bus owing to me being “framed” by the police :)

    That’s what I call my license suspension, framing by the LAPD owing to my fabulousness.

    It’s weird. You get treated totally different when you take the bus or say you take the bus.

    When I applied to jobs, even at environmental places they doubted I could get the job done, because I didn’t have a car. I lost out on jobs because I told people I didn’t have a car (I lie now,) though I wasn’t late to the interview and I’m not late to things people pay me for.

    It’s a real eye opener. I don’t think when I am able to drive again that I will even bother to do it. I have the freedom due to my skill-set to pretty much come and go as I please, so I make my own schedule, so what do I need a car for?

    Taking the bus is good for the soul. You can protest or march or have stickers on your car or volunteer at organizations and listen to KPFK all day, but taking the bus, abandoning your car that takes you the closest to the heart beat of Los Angeles.

    It’s filled with all of the people that make the city work. It’s like the LA version of the movie Dirty Pretty Things. You meet all kinds of interesting people, from all over the world. People who just got here from Nebraska, people from El Salvador, a old woman from Texas who gives career advice, a old woman from Russia who told me that I need to get married before I got to old, tourists from the UK who are out of their mind,

    “We want to go to Watts, do you know where it is?” crazy British guy.

    I told him to get to the Blue Line.

    I suggest everyone take the bus. At least for a week. Not the rail, but the bus. Take it early in the morning and late at night.

    I get bored and I don’t sleep so sometimes I do odd things. One morning I took the Red Line (that train starts running at around 4:30am) to the 750 up through the valley it was early in the morning.

    It was so cool. The women who were Latina that I was on the bus with had a whole subculture.

    Behind the bus benches they sold food and coffee and baby clothes and toys.

    It was awesome at each stop a woman was selling something different.

    If you drove by in a car you wouldn’t even notice it.

    And it wasn’t even dangerous. It was safe. It was like a community. It was a community. So while some aspects of the bus suck, there are some aspects of life of LA you’ll never see if you just drive or take the rails or take the Dash.

    We’re very lucky to live in Los Angeles.


  31. Browne and Kathy, I very much enjoyed reading your comments, very inspiring!
    I often feel the weight of race and class on my shoulders as I move around the city. I don’t like it and try to shake it off, but it’s still there. Kathy, I think I need to take your advice and just not bother with those who feel the need to discriminate.

  32. Interesting, Cutter, to see you so impressed with the level of discourse in these comments. I’m actually mildly disgusted, but in no way surprised, by the predictable dull-witted racism exhibited by the likes of Jill and Frazgo. As a white guy who rides MTA buses frequently and has never experienced any kind of hassle over my skin color, I have to wonder what parallel universe’s transit system these people are using (or more accurately, finding ludicrous excuses not to use).

  33. I want to say while there have been some broad statements by some, for a board that’s not political or openly leftist. I find the people here at Metroblogging refreshingly progressive or maybe openminded is a better word.

    I can’t really deal with many of the other “LA” blogs, lots of closed minded posts with no one saying “that’s not cool,” but looking through this blog, it’s different.

    I can deal with intolerance if there is a balance of tolerance. I think some people forget freedom of speech also means you’re free to disagree with a comment you think is vile. You saying “I don’t agree and this is why?” Has nothing to do with censoring. That’s having a discussion. People will more likely say the F word and discuss how to perform oral sex than they are to just tell someone they disagree, people are a little more ballsy online (but usually not so much the people who seem the most sane, when nut jobs say some thing, not so impactful,) but in person, that person at work, almost no one tells that person to be-quiet.

    If you look at this thread and the topic of it and the many people who have different views. It’s a good group of people here. We all can’t have the same view, but I think this spot has enough diverse views to have an elevated conversation.

    Again I think everyone is doing very well here considering the focus of this blog pretty much is about doing fun stuff.


  34. Funny how people keep repeating that we should “leave race out of it”. But you can’t. Race and class (ooh, i said the R and the C word both in one sentence) come hand in hand in the US – and the simple reason that a disproportionately fewer number of whites take the bus is certainly a result of that.

  35. This topic would have made better sense and caused less discourse if it were titled “EVERYONE SHOULD TAKE THE BUS” – Because isn’t that really the point… to get us Angelino’s regardless if we are black white mexican, asian, etc. to take the bus!

    But I think maybe this blogger had something else in mind, to stir up some discourse, to bring the worst out of us. To keep us THINKING about issues in terms of black and white. People have been thinking in these terms for hundreds of years, let’s do something different, let’s evolve!

    [Someone above said “no one wants to take the bus” I am ONE of many people that take the bus out of preference and not out of need. So I guess that debuncts that idea!]

  36. Kathy, you get it! You see through to the core of me. I’m really a very mean-spirited person who wants nothing more than to see people fight over race issues on an Internet message board.

    To be completely honest, I don’t have the brains or the foresight to manipulate people on that level, and quite frankly I’m surprised that people have responded this passionately to what I thought was a fairly innocuous post.

    And FURTHER MORE, I’m VERY disappointed with the lack of response to my Buffy the Vampire Slayer references. I’d really appreciate it if you would all step those up, please.

  37. “This topic would have made better sense and caused less discourse if it were titled “EVERYONE SHOULD TAKE THE BUS”

    That’s too easy, everyone in LA says stuff like that. There are like 1000 posts with on various blog with that topic. Cutter’s way of putting it made it way more fun and interesting.

    I think the topic was real and non-poseur b.s. and just cuts to a core issue. LA in general so fake, I know it’s a cliche, but it’s true. I think the reason we are this ways is because unlike in NY and other big cities we don’t have to come within each other’s space.

    In LA you can actually avoid having a real conversation with someone all day. You can actually avoid confrontation. That’s why LA invented the word “issue.”

    Maybe if we stop calling things by fake names and started calling things by their real name we could fix it. An issue you talk about. A problem you fix.

    I haven’t read the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus, but I can talk about Secret Headquarters I love that place.

    I took the 2 MTA bus to see Peter Bagge there. Me and Peter talked about how SNL sucked now and wondered what’s the hard-on that Lorne Michaels has for Harvard in regards to his writing staff. People from all women colleges and state schools can’t be funny?

    I also got some video of Tone Rodriguez a cartoonist with the Simpsons doing a sketch.

    Awesome place Secret Headquarters is here’s a video of Tone Rodriguez.


  38. yeah, i love that they double as an art gallery. it’s a beautiful space and i enjoy just going there to browse.

  39. Secret Headquarters is such a simple idea, but brilliant. A graphic novel/comic bookstore that is classy.

    I think that graphic novels is a paradigm of how print media can survive.

    We have to look at print as not just information, but art.

    It has to be produced in an artful way.

    Every time they have an event I think the place is going to be mobbed, because I’m thinking oh everyone is going to be at this event, because it’s Peter Bagge or you can get a sketch done of yourself by a working illustrator for 25 dollars, and I’m truly shocked. They get a good audience, but I am surprised it’s not more popular.

    Oh this is going on tomorrow…

    GILBERT HERNANDEZ presents and signs CHANCE IN HELL and CATHY MALKASIAN present and signs PERCY GLOOM at Book Soup for non bus riders the MTA 2 will also get you there get off when you see the abandoned Tower Records….

    I do not work for Book Soup, Fantagraphics or any marketing company. I’m simply stating the above, because I think it’s cool. I’m into books whether they be fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, whatever the way most people in LA are into movies.

    Oh yeah I’m into drinking too. That’s how the whole bus thing happened, but it was a good thing.


  40. Cutter, maybe I missed something …. what was your point? To get White people to ride the bus, why just white people? Why not other people as well. There are as many black and hispanic and asian people driving their cars around this city destroying the environment as there are white people. So, again, what was your point… oh to get white people to ride this bus. Now I see… that would change the world! :)

  41. No one with a brain would use the Bus.


    Because it’s highly vulnerable to crime. There is zilch enforcement, whatever gang banger decides to board has a free shot.

    Simple as that. It only takes one bad day for you to get dead. And you have zilch control over it.

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