(NEW EDITION) City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles

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(NEW EDITION) City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles

(NEW EDITION) City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles

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It's quite well-done and very informative (at least to an ignoramus like me), but Davis goes overboard now and then in seeing a conspiracy to repress the poor behind everything. MTV… going back to a high school lifestyle after twenty… They would sell their life away only to do it but what they don't know, is that they've already done, spending it gulping down illusions the way bad weeds gulp down sour waters.

The book’s judgements are sharp: on the failings of government, the venality of capitalists, the racism of privileged homeowners in high-end or gated communities, the neglect of the poor, and the failure of working people to organise effectively. million which the Getty family recently paid for a sixteenth century work by the little-known painter Pontormo was many times the city's annual budget for culture in Southcentral and East Los Angeles. While the film ends with a fleet of hospital drones flying from Elysium (shooting location: Vancouver) to Earth (shooting location: a poorer neighborhood of Mexico City) to dispense super-sophisticated biotech medicine to the needy billions, Davis's work, instead, speaks of the practical necessity of understanding the mechanisms of power in a city, and the absence of any deus ex machina beyond ourselves.the Lakewood Plan and the Bradley-Burns Act gave suburban homeowners a subsidized ‘exit option’ as well as a powerful new motive for organizing around the ‘protection’ of their home values and lifestyles. Embedded in the chuckle that such a line elicits are seeds of dissent that Davis's ensuing deconstruction of the city's cultural renaissance further nourishes. Environmentalism is a congenial discourse to the extent that it is congruent with a vision of eternally rising property values in secure bastions of white privilege. For a leftist, his arguments about the geographic marginalization of the Los Angeles' poor and their exploitation, neglect and abuse by civic and religious hierarchies will be fascinating and sadly unsurprising. What is the solution: Better urban planning, less development/more development, forced integration, what?

The difficult social question is how people can come together — if and when they come together — around the resulting contradictions, and work to overcome them. Gustavo Arellano, "Column: Revisiting Mike Davis' case for letting Malibu burn," November 14, 2018, The Los Angeles Times. I also love that the first chapter is the literary chapter – the inventing, debunking, mythologizing of L. Banham celebrated the city for its sheer diversity and inventiveness, and even made a film, Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles, which as of this writing you can watch on YouTube. City of Quartz" is so inherently political that opinions probably reflect the reader's political position.

Bleating loudly about the plight of the proletariat and 'affordable housing', the pro-growth camp (led by the California Building Industry Foundation) comprises developers opposed to inclusionary housing, builders opposed to unions, realtors opposed to housing integration and landlords opposed to rent control. The Red in Tooth and Claw SP808 remix is ethereal, haunting and deeply beautiful in its re-imagining of one of Rosetta's classic tracks. Such a casually carceral landscape, Davis urges us to see — where anti-homeless sweeps and "fortress" style security gates outside McMansion enclaves are now perfectly normal (and even considered idyllic) — is more indicative of a sick and twisted society than even the most depraved serial killer could muster.

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