TV: Los Angeles Now

home_pic.jpgThis is a city that only has to talk about itself, and it speaks about the world.

So speaks the PBS series, “Independent Lens”, in Los Angeles Now. My TiVO picked it up, randomly. It features over two dozen Angelinos, from all over the city, including two of our favorite authors: Norman Klein (“A History Of Forgetting”) and Mike Davis (“City of Quartz”). And it covers so many of the concepts of layers – of history, of culture, of geography – that make up Los Angeles. It was about how there were so many new, competing myths in Los Angeles, layered over and drowning out the old Anglo-American culture of the mid-20th century. It was about how “individuals and groups construct their own Los Angeles out of the zones and areas that are meaningful to them,” a quote I think also applies well to Metroblogging. We create our own Los Angeles in our posts out of the everyday places and events that are meaningful to us on this blog.

There are no upcoming showings in the next two weeks on KCET or KOCE, but I’m sure PBS will run the special again. The official PBS page links to viewing times. And, if you know someone who is moving to L.A., you can buy them the DVD before they get here. I think that it did a wonderful job of showing the city as it is, the cultural mosaic rather than the melting pot.

4 thoughts on “TV: Los Angeles Now”

  1. Wow, thanks for the tip, Jillian. I don’t really watch TV (except for a period some months ago where I got strung out on Heroes episodes posted online), but this sounds totally worth seeking out. I always say Los Angeles is whatever city you want it to be. (Me, I like to think of us as “sunshine gothic,” but that’s just me. Yeah, the world is ending, but that’s no reason to ruin your day.)

  2. To truly understand Los Angeles, one must get out of that stone-age, narrow-minded, homogenic Least Coast paradigm of what a city is. Los Angeles is many things, consisting of many layers, some interconnected, some disconnected, but all existing simultaneously.

    Those who see and experience the fewest layers, no matter who they are, are at a loss.

  3. Militant, I must state that what is now Los Angeles’ freeway system–one unlike that which Robert Moses created when he tore apart and re-stitched New York City–was based on a system of trails that were a couple millennia olde. the info can be found in a book, “Ancient L.A.,” by one of Mike Davis’ students, Michael Jacob Rochlin. (The book was endorsed by Davis as well as then-state librarian Kevin Starr.)
    To be sure, I wish L.A. could be Los Angeles. (No typo there, mind you.)
    Unfortunately, for all its attempts at being cosmopolitan in other as well as its own fashions, it remains a bit of a hick town.

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