No more slouching

I always enjoy sitting down with the LA Weekly Best Of L.A. issue, and I'm sure I'll get to the new Armageddon-themed one that runs an imposing 376 pages. However, the opening line — "'There is something uneasy in the Los Angeles air,"' Joan Didion wrote about the Santa Ana winds that blow through our flammable canyons" — inspired John Rabe of KPCC-FM to call for a media-wide suspension of Didion references.

Despite the quality and quotability of her work, and through no fault of her own, KPCC's Off-Ramp program today declared a 17-month moratorium on the use of Joan Didion quotes in pieces about Southern California.

"Enough already with the slouching, and the unease," Off-Ramp host John Rabe said in his weekly newsletter to listeners. "Didn't anybody else write about California?!"

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Reaction was mixed. CityBeat reporters were seen rushing to Borders looking for Carey McWilliams volumes. The LA Times formed an internal committee and appointed an "Ombudsman for Didion Overuse and Community Solutions." And Mirthala Salinas was heard to say, "Joan who?"

Bill Boyarsky, Erwin Chemerinsky, Connie Rice, Jack Kyser, and even Shirley Bebich Jeffe could not be reached for comment.

Violations will be swiftly and firmly dealt with in the weekly Off-Ramp newsletter.

Off-Ramp previously banned the practice of opening celebrity profiles with a description of what and where said celebrity was eating when the interview was conducted. The moratorium had little or no effect.

On a recent show, former Weekly writer Marc Haefele suggested that Ross McDonald deserves a lot more attention than he gets. Off-Ramp airs Saturday at noon.


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