Tag Archives: LA Weekly

The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

A Texas delegate on the first day of the Republican National Convention, 2016. (John Moore / Getty Images)

This week, we’re sharing stories from Lawrence Wright, April Wolfe, Mayukh Sen, Dan Jackson, and Ben Kuchera.

Sign up to receive this list free every Friday in your inbox. Read more…

The Faces of Deportation in Southern California

José Mares was one of 161 undocumented immigrants netted in the L.A. sweeps that ICE conducted in early February, the first significant enforcement surge of the Trump presidency. The sweeps were part of a nationally coordinated surge of 680 arrests in 11 states. Yet it was not the size of the raid that’s notable but, rather, how abruptly ICE had jettisoned the “felons not families” guidelines for removal established under President Obama.

Trump appeared to endorse the sweeps a few days after Mares was deported, tweeting: “The crackdown on illegal criminals is merely the keeping of my campaign promise. Gang members, drug dealers & others are being removed!” It is the “others” he mentions that most concern advocates for immigrant rights.

ICE under Trump is going after low-hanging fruit, migrants with final orders of removal for a petty misdemeanor offense, according to lawyers who work with the recently deported in Tijuana. Last month, the Department of Homeland Security issued new immigration enforcement guidelines that make a priority of following no priorities. The guidelines call for hiring 10,000 additional enforcement agents, increasing the holding capacity at detention centers and reactivating a program that deputizes local law enforcement to help make immigration arrests.

In LA WeeklyJason McGahan reports from the front lines of Trump’s immigration policy. where the administration isn’t deporting migrants who threaten public safety, but regular, tax-paying, working class people of Mexican-descent—often breaking up their families. With jobs and loved ones in California, the deportees linger in Tijuana, trying to figure out how to adapt to life in a country they’ve spent little time in, as their children are left in America with one less parent.

Read the story

The Wild Times of Billy Idol

Before there was pop-punk, there was Billy Idol. More than any other artist of his era, the man born William Broad brought the style and attitude of punk rock into the American mainstream, via massive hits including “White Wedding” and “Rebel Yell.”

For this, he was both celebrated and vilified. Fans adored Idol’s bad-boy image and his music’s cagey mix of aggressive guitars, dance beats and pop hooks. But to his detractors, he was a fraud — the “Perry Como of punk,” in Johnny Rotten’s famously dismissive phrase.

Throughout his career, Idol has seldom addressed such criticisms directly. But in his latest album, Kings and Queens of the Underground, and a new [2014] memoir, Dancing With Myself, both released last October, the veteran singer clearly is shoring up his legacy. Both the book and the album’s title track explore at length his role in the birth of British punk, as lead singer of the band Generation X and part of the crew that launched the Roxy, London’s first punk-rock club, in 1976.

Andy Hermann writing in LA Weekly about the musical highs and personal lows of the singer with the snarling lip and studded leather wrist-guards, Billy Idol. Hermann’s piece ran in February, 2015.

Read the story

The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

President Lyndon B. Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rosa Parks at the signing of the Voting Rights Act on August 6, 1965. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Below, our favorite stories of the week. Kindle users, you can also get them as a Readlist.

Sign up to receive this list free every Friday in your inbox.

* * *

Read more…

Stereotyping in 170 Milliseconds

During a Skype conversation, Quadflieg explained that MRI-based brain studies show stereotypes are activated in about 170 milliseconds. No matter how open-minded we fancy ourselves, these biases kick in without our realizing it, she says.

In a 2011 study in the journal Neuro­image, Quadflieg reported that the areas of the brain associated with body recognition had to work much harder when the test subject was shown a person who didn’t fit his or her expectations — for instance, a woman in a pilot’s uniform.

Quadflieg says a process known as “implicit stereotyping” allows these split-second biases to kick in despite political or personal beliefs. When a woman defies these biased expectations, “You’re very good at coming up with reasons for why that might be: ‘Oh, her dad was a professor, too.’” But with a man, “They just think, ‘OK, yeah, there’s a man who’s good in math. Big deal.’”

Jessica P. Ogilvie writing for LA Weekly about the difficulties faced by women in Hollywood.

Read the story

The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

Below, our favorite stories of the week. Kindle users, you can also get them as a Readlist.

Sign up to receive this list free every Friday in your inbox.

* * *

Read more…

The City Opens Up At Night: How LA’s Underground Bike Scene Took Off

The underground bike scene in L.A., most people agree, took off thanks to a single group: Midnight Ridazz, whose origins can be traced to a chilly evening in February 2004, when six cyclists and two skateboarders were hanging out in Echo Park and spontaneously decided to tour the fountains of downtown Los Angeles.

Their 18-mile adventure became known as the first Midnight Ridazz ride, a name devised by its eight participants. One was Don Ward, now a well-known face of L.A.’s cycling community. At 6 foot 8 inches, he’s better known by his nickname “Roadblock,” given because he would step into intersections and use his huge frame to block cars until all the cyclists, sometimes many dozens, had passed through.

“We called ourselves ‘the Mommas and Papas,’” says Ward, now 41.

For the original eight, the fountain tour was something of an epiphany. As the Mommas and Papas explored downtown, they realized something: At night, the city opened up to them. They suddenly had free rein on the roads, the freedom to discover L.A. on their own terms. They could pass through the richest and poorest neighborhoods in a single evening.

Chris Walker writing in LA Weekly about LA’s flourishing underground cycling world. Most of the action takes place on city streets after dark, in a “vast community [where] competition and prestige run deep.”

Read the story

The making of the album, on its 40th anniversary:

This is not a blues city. L.A. is about the concealment of appearance, but the blues is about its unraveling. The blues is the opposite of bullshit. And the psychic unrest of L.A. Woman is prominently placed on the album cover, which drops in April ‘71. Jim Morrison is shunted off to the side like a dwarf Russian woodcutter or an American werewolf about to ruin Paris. The border is blood red; the faces of the band, choleric yellow.

“Jim was seduced by the luxury and indulgences of fame,” Manzarek says now. Always bespoke and bespectacled, he has a voice as smooth as soy milk. In 1971, he splits time between a two-bedroom near the Whisky and a small penthouse on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. “The more boorish the behavior, the more Morrison’s crew liked it. We confronted him, and he said he was trying to quit drinking. But he was a guy who would say, ‘I feel lousy. I need a drink.’ Conversely, ‘I feel great, I need a drink.’”

“L.A. Woman Was the Doors’ Bluesy Masterpiece, and Jim Morrison’s Kiss-Off to L.A.” — Jeff Weiss, LA Weekly

See also: “In Which There’s A Girl In New York City Who Calls Herself The Human Trampoline.” — Nell Boeschenstein, This Recording, April 8, 2011