Amoeblog

Police Story, Part 2

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 17, 2008 12:21am | Post a Comment
2008-Winter

It is a Friday night and I’m driving with my girlfriend. We are heading to The Spot, which is a Mexican restaurant  called Villa Sombrero in Highland Park. We call it The Spot because it is our spot; it has the perfect margarita and good food, which is a rarity. The L.A. area Mexican restaurants seem to sacrifice one for the other. It’s either you have great drinks and lousy food or visa versa. We have our favorite waiter, Jesus from D.F., who is a character in his own right. I couldn’t even begin to explain him-- he is an experience and probably the best waiter I’ve ever known. Going there signals the start of our very short weekend. After the first sip of my margarita I am reminded that my workweek is over and I have the day off the next day. It doesn’t matter how broke I am or how inconvenient it is going there. The Spot gives us a sense of humanity. That we do not just exist to work and pay bills.

I make a left on to Cypress Ave. I see two police cars on opposite sides of the street, not even a block away from my house with their flashing lights on. I wonder if it was more fallout from an incident that happened on February 22nd, in which undercover police gunned down a twenty two year old. A few days before that, there was a hit on a thirty-six year-old veterano while he was holding his two-year old granddaughter, followed by the police, killing one of the hit men in nearby Glassell Park. All over the city there has been an increase of gang and gun related deaths. The most recent was last Thursday, a drive-by shooting and subsequent death of a twenty year old on Ave. 59 in Highland Park, not too far where we are going to eat. I hadn’t even reached the point where Cypress turns into Eagle Rock when I saw at least several more police cars.

Every person the police has pulled over looks the same. All are Latino, young, male and pelon with custom cars. Most of them don’t look the part of a gang member yet still they are pulled over. It is incredible how many police are out tonight. By the time we hit the restaurant I have seen more than fifteen units under a two-mile stretch. At a light I watch the young pelones bum out. It’s not so fun to go out on a Friday night after being humiliated by some cops.

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THE GOOGLE GATE BRIDGE AND THAT AD SPACE ON YOUR FACE

Posted by Billyjam, September 6, 2007 09:53am | Post a Comment
golden gate bridge
I found it surprising that, despite the $5 toll each car is charged to cross its span from Marin into San Francisco, that the Golden Gate Bridge is  still financially strapped and is currently facing a projected deficit of a whopping $80 million. But even  more surprising to me was the news, following an August 24th meeting,  that the operators of this national landmark (one of the top five attractions in the United States) are seriously considering getting corporate sponsorship to cover the historic bridge's overwhelming bills.   What this means is that like SBC Park or Pacific Bell Park or AT&T Park (or whatever name it happens to go by)  that likely soon the Bay's most famous attraction may be renamed something like the Verizon Span, or the  Google Gate Bridge, or perhaps something like "the Golden Gate Bridge brought to you by Pepsi."   Now according to the overseers of the bridge, who will meet again this month to make the final decision on the matter, they are assuring all concerned that they will not do anything "tacky"  like the aforementioned renaming in their handling of this proposed "corporate partnership."  But frankly  I have my doubts and I worry that this type of proposed sponsorship may set an unhealthy precedent with US national monuments and landmarks, and that soon Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and even the White House will be up for corporate partnership. (If you have any funny or ironic ideas of what sponsors might be matched with what national landmarks please add them in the COMMENTS box below. And if you wish to voice your concerns about the proposal for the GG Bridge email districtsecretary@goldengate.org).

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Men In Black: Black Flag and N.W.A. - L.A.'s Musical Influence On The World Part 1

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, April 19, 2007 11:56am | Post a Comment
N.W.A. and Black Flag had much in common. Their music spoke of oppression, police brutality and the party life. The cops continuously harassed both groups. Riots sprung at both group's shows, making it hard for the groups to perform. On top of that, they were practically neighbors. Compton is just a few miles away from Lawndale.


BLACK FLAG

Black Flag played hardcore punk that woke suburbia from its sleep. When the rock clubs banned Black Flag from playing their venues, they created alternative venues for their shows and created the first D.I.Y. touring circuit for alternative rock bands. Black Flag released hundreds of records on their own label (SST Records) by other influential punk rock groups. They were the godfathers of the 90's grunge movement as well as every hardcore punk band that came after them. Black Flag saved punk rock from dying a premature hipster's death, yet unfortunately introduced the whole knucklehead element into the punk scene. Circle pit, anyone?


N.W.A.

No disrespect to Too Short or The Geto Boys, but there would be no gangster rap in mainstream media if it weren’t for N.W.A. They achieved massive commercial success and mainstream appeal without the help of radio airplay or MTV. They helped expose society to "ghetto life," putting South L.A. and Compton on the map. Lyrically they helped inspire the revolt of 1992 (Some of you called it a riot; some of us call it a revolt!) and amputated the east coast stronghold held on hip-hop for many years, focusing attention not only on the L.A. rap scene but on other federations of rap music such as Houston, Atlanta and the Bay Area.
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