About alienation

All imperfections and irregularities are strictly intentional to make it as unique as the person who wears it.

Memorial Day

Evergreen Cemetery, Boyle Heights

Evergreen Cemetery, Boyle Heights

The official and American observance of Memorial Day is to honor people who died while in the military service. In the Japanese American community, Memorial Day was adapted to be a way to honor the ancestors. Those who know some Japanese call it “haka mairi” which means “visiting graves”.

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Fight Against a Rent Increase (your deadline is Friday morning)

I got a letter from CES telling me that a 4-month moratorium on rent increases is coming up for a vote of the City Council of Los Angeles. The vote is tomorrow, May 7th, 10:00 AM, and they’re asking people to show up.

Please contact your council representative (or all of them) explaining why you cannot handle a rent increase. The inflation rate has been effectively negative, and wages have declined. People need a reprieve. See the link above for full details and instructions on sending a letter.

This is what a police state looks like


A police state looks calm, if you’re not being oppressed.

Grassroots activists and advocacy journalists in Southern California have been decrying the rise and proliferation of “sobriety checkpoints” for the past two years, saying they’re victimizing undocumented immigrants. See the list of links below for recent historical info. Ryan Gabrielson has done some great research, and has two stories, one at the NYT, accompanied by a video, and one at Mother Jones, revealing new and scandalous facts that point to systematically supported, police-coordinated theft.

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Choose Your Illusion?

The winds of educational change are blowing, but who the heck knows what’s going on? The LA Unified School District is holding elections where people can vote on different proposed plans to let private companies or the present public administration manage 36 underperforming LAUSD schools. It’s barely in the news. Is it because it affects almost entirely only working class people of color? (KPCC, Daily Breeze, The Wave.)

These votes don’t actually choose the plans, but, they will poll the stakeholders to get a sense of what they want to see at their schools. The school board makes the final decisions.

LAUSD has a web page with all the proposals. On that list are several eastside schools: new Esteban Torres HS, Garfield HS, Lincoln HS,

What do people think about this whole thing about bringing in outside management? Have you read any of the proposals? Are you voting?

[I added a link to the proposals and clarified who will run schools.]

Who Felt the Quake? Who Has Money?

Quake Reponse Data, Mapped

If you go by the raw numbers on the USGS.gov site, one might conclude that rich people felt the quake more than working class people, even though it happened in Inglewood.

The USGS.gov site has a cool feature where you can submit a quake report describing how it felt. You fill in your zip code, and some info about how much things were damaged, or not. During the recent quake on Sunday night, they collected more than 4,000 reports.

As you might expect, this received data was biased to come from upper-middle-class people, and probably younger people. I’ll leave it to the comments to speculate about biases. Details and links after the jump.
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Gustavo Arellano at Borders in Pico Rivera, Tonight

You know who he is. He’s all over the local media. He’s written a book about himself, Orange County: A Personal History, and it’s reputed to be serious. He’s going to be signing it at Borders in Pico Rivera, at the corner of Washington and Rosemead, relatively convenient to Eastsiders. Starts at 7:00 PM. La Bloga has details. (He’s in OC on the 18th at Libreria Martinez, his home turf.)

Superior Music

Superior (from LA Curbed)

The Superior market in Boyle Heights has good recycled music playing on their PA system. Recently, it’s been 60s oldies, and in the past, it’s been 80s KROQ music (or what we think of as KROQ music, but stuff they didn’t play much of back then). This music reminds me that life can be cyclical and linear at the same time. I’ve had my shopping experiences “imprinted” by their sly use of music, and my eroding sense of “hip” upended by having these songs played while I’m buying food. With these blatant efforts by this corporation to appeal to aesthetic snobs, can (d|r)e/gentrification by an intellectual record collector vanguard be far behind? Shopping/music highlights:

Produce section, “Buzz Buzz Buzz“, The Hollywood Flames.

Produce section, “Love Will Tear Us Apart“, Joy Division.

Meat section, “She’s Not There“, The Zombies.

One song I hoped to hear, but didn’t, was 96 Tears by ? and the Mysterians. That would have been so ethnic. 😐

(I was hoping to publish something more substantial for my first post, but this will have to do. Image swiped from Curbed LA.)