Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Los Angeles "Skid Row, Explained", by Johnny Harris


The 405 from the Angelino Hotel, 2012

Johnny Harris, independent journalist, films “Skid Row, Explained”.

He mentions the Netflix (UK and Ireland) documentary “The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel” miniseries, which I may review later on the TV blog. Here’s an introduction from the director and executive producer Joe Berlinger.

No it wasn’t dark energy.  The Cecil Hotel sits inside Skid Row, which Los Angeles politicians decided to contain in the 1970s. The area had at one time house LA’s main rail station bringing in all kinds of opportunists a century ago.

So they put “edges” around it and policed it heavily, controlling the “undesirable” elements. You can see how that contributes to police attitude toward minorities today (BLM, and the whole Rodney King and then OJ sequences in the 1990s).

The idea of a “containment” zone may have contributed to the idea of “Chaz” autonomous experiments in Seattle and even Minneapolis.

Harris could well choose to look at these communities and the unrest that leads to them. Generally, his videos seem to show empathy toward minorities and document past policies that deliberately excluded them, including overseas (like in Hong Kong). Explaining Myanmar could be interesting.

Harris mentions a sponsor Express VPN, which allows you to log on as if you were in the target country.  My own most recent visit to Los Angeles occurred in 2012;  previous visits in 1967, 1969 (job interview), 1975, 1978 (interview), 1980, 1985, 1986, and a pitchfest for early 2020 was scuttled for me by the Covid epidemic, might still happen. 

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