Eastside 101: Cry Now, Smile Later

day_in_ela.jpg
Click here for a larger version of the comic strip

When I first started this Eastside 101 series of posts back in June I warned that I might raise an army to defend against further intrusions by the Westsider Cultural Empire, but there hasn’t been a need just yet. I sense that some people are starting to recognize the implications of appropriating the term Eastside from the communities east of the river and are thus not so quick to erase our history. To them I say ‘Thank You’. But since there’s a steady stream of jerks moving to LA that just don’t care I welcome the creation of independent guerrilla cells to do their part for the cause.

Just today I received the awesome comic strip above in my email, an excellent example of an action in defense of the Eastside. It’s done by multimedia artist Al Guerrero (he grew up on the Eastside but now lives in Silver Lake), and its his first ELA themed strip. Not only does he tackle the media for its role in writing us off the map, he manages to throw in global warming and still keeps it humorous. Its easy to get angry about anything, but I appreciate it when someone makes the effort to laugh it off. It’s more work but it keeps the insanity at bay. I hope you all will join me in encouraging Al to do more of these, I know I’m looking forward to them!

Link to all the Eastside 101 posts

23 Replies to “Eastside 101: Cry Now, Smile Later”

  1. Fredo, I think the confusion arises when people assume that any part of LA that isn’t “the Westside” must be “the Eastside”; so they apply that term to places like Silver Lake and Echo Park, which may not be “the Westside”, but are still to the west of downtown.

    This tends to irritate people in places like Boyle Heights, El Sereno, and East Los Angeles, which are east of downtown, who’ve been calling their own area “the Eastside” since long before the hipsters migrated to Silver Lake.

    Having the name appropriated like that ticks them off.

    This confusion can be seen most clearly when people start debating what is the “dividing line” between Eastside and Westside.

    The thing is, there’s a lot of stuff in between the Eastside and the Westside that isn’t really either one. You can’t really draw a “dividing line”, because the two areas aren’t contiguous.

    Those of who live in the Valley find these debates endlessly amusing. :-)

  2. The worst of it is that for a long time, East L.A. has been marginalized,ignored, misunderstood, feared, and pretty much made to feel like we don’t exist by the media and others.
    One of the few claims to fame it has is to be known historically
    as the “Eastside”. Adding Insult to injury is to discover that the
    very people who’ve been turning up their noses at us, (especially the SNOOTIEST of westsiders) now appropriate our name without even an aside. The feeling is kind of like someone pulling the chair you were sitting on out from under you while saying “Oh Buffy! Here’s a chair
    I found that we can sit on, NOBODY was using it!”

  3. Mr Satan, in all my years internet-ing I’ve never had the occasion to use this acronym but I can finally say, you had me ROTFL! The buffy chair analogy is hilarious!

  4. Indeed, MacArthur Park was “Westlake Park” before it was renamed for MacArthur.

    Just as Lincoln Park was “Eastlake Park” before it was renamed for Lincoln.

    Ah, the good old days, when people still knew how to read a compass. :-)

  5. Chavo, I’ll give you the precedence of the whole eastside/ELA thing on the web. But you darn well know that any bonafied EastLosSider like yourself has been correcting cats from highland park, montebello and echo park with the whole “that aint East LA” thing at house parties and gigs since the early 90s.

  6. Another geographical falsehood perpetuated by ignorant westsiders is that Long Beach is somehow part of Orange County. Or even that it’s “like” Orange County. East LA is distinct from Silverlake, and Long Beach is distinct from OC. Completely and totally.

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