Richard Rushfield is a contributing editor for Vanity Fair, the co-creator of L.A. Innuendo and the author of On Spec: A Novel of Young Hollywood. His JournalSpace site launched yesterday; today he snarks about this morning's Weekend Calendar section of the LAT.
But seriously, across the Times, a new wind of change is blowing. They have figured out how, finally, how to bring this musty old paper to life at last. Just have Dan Neil write the whole thing!
Not less than a week after the actually readable and recent Pulitzer winning car critic authored the cover story of the Sunday book review, they've got him on duty with the Weekend Calendar's cover story, something about driving around and listening to the radio. Now if they could just get him to write the business and local news sections, they'd have a paper!
The Neil article is complimented by an extremely insightful sidebar by rock critic Robert Hilburn, who compiles a list of Song for the Road. Among the prize-winning critics suggestions for road music: "Born to Run" "Highway 61 Re'v" "Thunder Road" "In MY Car" "Route 66" and "On the Road Again." I've said it before and I'll say it again, rock critics do not get paid enough for their work.
Also, the self-styled L.A. watchdog (ex-screenwriter, ex-real estate agent and Mike Davis fact-checker) who goes by the name Brady Westwater unveiled a Blogspot site called LA Cowboy. He credits a dare from Matt Welch at last weekend's American Cinema Foundation-L.A. Press Club blogging panel, and says via email he intends it to get some "hard-core political debate going on in this town." From today's post:
Two events have finally pushed me over the edge into the living hell that is blogdom. First, both the process and the end result of the Grand Avenue competition for redeveloping Bunker Hill around Disney Hall, which I will delve into later.
Second, was Laura Chick's audit (and she is our watchdog of a city controller) of El Pueblo, which 'runs' Olvera Street and the historic buildings for the city around the Plaza. The initial story of the audit was followed by a second story in this week's Downtown News about just fired employees allegedly breaking into the El Pueblo offices and shredding files and possibly even destroying computer hard drives. And there is a reason why I am interested in 'Pueblo-gate'.
When I wanted to do an art show in one of the vacant buildings several years ago, I tried to find out who was in charge. And it only took one day to discover that there were large numbers of city employees being paid to do ... absolutely... nothing... and that many of them were not even bothering to show up at their non-existent jobs while they worked their real jobs.