London Riots 2011 & Los Angeles Riots 1992

The media has been underlining the similarities between the London Riots 2011 and Los Angeles Riots 1992. Both are brutal and bloody. But perhaps one specific difference that can be highlighted between the two riots is what happened to the particular individual that sparked them. In the case of London, Mark Duggan died, while in Los Angeles Rodney King survived and still lives to tell his story. Thus, I think the anger in London's case is more intense.

I have some vivid memories of the Los Angeles Riots, because the fires slowly moved to my old neighborhood around Hollywood, transformed some stores to ashes, and almost did the same act to my local library's temporary building. But most of the time, I stayed home, and watched the news with family.

One image I still remember from the L.A. riots was a person wearing a ski-mask, and holding a gun. I didn't see him in-person, of course, but on TV news. He was standing on a parking lot of a popular electronic store, pointing his weapon to different directions, unable to recognize where or who his real and immediate enemy was around him. He was wearing the body language of someone in a war-zone.

1992's place in the memory of Los Angeles is, no doubt, cataloged under nightmare, horror, racial unrest, social inequality, catastrophe, class divide, and other categories. It could happen again.


To display the recent London Riots images above, image-location links from
Boston Globe's The Big Picture section are used.


Into the Weekend

Expectations unfold when our gestures flow into words we prefer not to say, then stretch into busy freeways that hush on the windshield I'm looking through. As always, the day is our conversations, hanging on to familiar phrases. Tonight, we surrender again to a glossy menu with carefully written descriptions. I know you'll pick a dish that'll eat a subject we won't talk about, and I'll pick something to drink that'll make us feel as thirsty as a weekend that might be worth waiting for.

Rest Stop

On July last year, I attended a family event near Bakersfield. This was taken from the last rest stop, on my way back to Los Angeles. I remember it was hot, and the temperatures this summer cloned last year's, maybe even hotter. But surprisingly, the stop wasn't crowded with the usual vehicles summer travelers use around these parts, such as vans, campers, or trailers. That's why it felt quiet, but not restful because of the heat, the kind that emphasized California's dry climate.

A Blue Duet

Thanks to Otoliths for including my work: A Blue Duet.

This is the announcement from editor Mark Young:

Issue twenty-two of Otoliths has just gone live.

As always, it presents the broad church of creativity the journal is renowned for, with new work from John Martone, Elisa Gabbert & Kathleen Rooney, Richard Kostelanetz, Philip Byron Oakes, Karen Neuberg, dan raphael, Márton Koppány, Martin Burke, Stephen Nelson, John M. Bennett, Morgan Harlow, Sheila E. Murphy, Anny Ballardini, Raymond Farr, Ray Scanlon, Marco Giovenale, Ryan Scott, Tom Beckett (interviewing Kirsten Kaschock), Kirsten Kaschock, Erica Eller, Jim Meirose, Howie Good, Enola Mirao, Jean Vengua (on Dion Farquhar’s Feet First), Walter Ruhlmann, Jill Jones, David James Miller, Michael Caylo-Baradi, Catherine Vidler, Jillian Mukavetz, Zachary Scott Hamilton, Jill Chan, Glenn R. Frantz, Felino Soriano, Iain Britton, Mark Cobley, bruno neiva, Brenda Mann Hammack, Toby Fitch, Tony Rickaby, Grzegorz Wróblewski, Lisa Samuels, Kevin Opstedal, Gustave Morin, Rich Murphy, Laura Wetherington, Jeff Harrison, J. D. Nelson, Charles Freeland, Rosaire Appel, Ann Vickery, Isaac Linder, Bobbi Lurie, Sam Langer, Rose Hunter, Spencer Selby, Jason Lester, Michael Brandonisio, Bob Heman, Keith Higginbotham, Connor Stratman, & Marcia Arrieta.