Damn the Man,  SoCal

The L.A. Scene

One of the great injustices in the current unemployed’s list of hoops through which to jump is the new-and-improved prospective employee-vetting process. Yeah, they ask for normal things like your resume and portfolio, but they also ask for the equivalent of a college admission essay and “what makes you interesting in 140 characters or less.” In the past I’ve tried to make myself sound more interesting than I am by detailing exactly how much coffee I consume on a daily basis, but so far no takers.

For one particular job in media I saw the other day, the prospective employer requested I list my favorite magazines and newspapers, just to demonstrate that I am “with it” as far as current events go. To be honest, NPR is my meat-and-potatoes for news and intelligent discussion, but I also sample a few other outlets as well.

When I started to list other magazines and newspapers I read, however, a pattern emerged. New York Magazine. The Bold Italic. The Atlantic. The New Yorker. Bitch Magazine. Salon. These all have one thing in common, and if you can guess what it is, I’ll give you a cookie.

It became apparent that I would have a problem with the L.A. media scene.

I leaned back in my office chair, wracking my cobwebbed brain for one L.A.-centered source of information I regularly perused.


Let me be honest; it’s hard for me to get excited about things that happen in L.A. The whole L.A. scene makes me want to curl up on the couch and never leave the house and the safety of my curated collection of books. Tans, Botox, expensive cars, shallow pursuits, the worship of celebrity, youth and beauty…ugh.

I don’t care where the Olsen twins were spotted dining on Melrose. I don’t care about where celebrities prefer to hike. I especially don’t care about the Real Housewives of Orange County or any of their ilk.

As I sipped my third cup of coffee for that morning, I searched relentlessly for one single source of L.A. media that might interest me. Los Angeles Magazine? Eh. Los Angeles Confidential? Eh. I browsed their pages, looking for something, anything that nabbed my attention.


I did, however, learn that we’re nominating our first poet laureate, so…that’s exciting.

I felt enough of a furrowing in my brow to set down my coffee. We have a thriving art culture and enough museums to keep me occupied until the apocalypse. We have a lively music scene and plenty of dive bars hosting little-known musicians for the price of two drinks. We have pretty competitive universities. We have the beach. We have sunshine. We have the best Mexican food north of San Ysidro.

Where is the magazine that reflects Los Angeles as more than a temple for wealth and celebrity worship?* Where is the magazine that reminds the world we’re not just another vehicle clogging up the 405? I knew that I could not be the only person here craving some kind of intellectualism from the City of Smog. Still, I could see how an article on kayaking down the L.A. River pales in comparison to, say, coverage of Bay-to-Breakers.

After some more thought, I went ahead and submitted anyway. After all, we are second from the bottom on the list of jobs-per-capita, below even Riverside (Los Angeles’ redneck cousin) and Detroit (!).

And Detroit is looking pretty good right now.

*If there is already an amazing L.A. magazine and Google didn’t tell me about it, please point it out to me and disregard this entire post.



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