by Dan Johnson
While LA ponders the merits of asinine, millionaire backed ballot measures that do nothing to improve the quality of life in this city, I’d like to propose one of my own.
Introducing Measure BS, an initiative to end the use of superlatives and sensationalism by community bloggers writing about business, development, food, fashion or any other trifling facet of 21st century life.
Are you disturbed by the glib manner with which the people who keep tabs on our city dispense trite hyperbole like “amazing,” “most __,” or “groundbreaking?” Do you wish ad-revenue cycles and unchecked ambition hadn’t perverted our local blogosphere into a 24/7 clickbait bonanza? Do you just wish people could be real and not worry about getting an illusory “scoop” or being the definitive voice of a readership that exists only in demographic profiles?
It’s exciting to see our city grow and ponder all the new businesses that emerge like little opium poppies to be distilled into “content” that briefly intoxicates the hoi polloi into a sense of reassurance.
We may be absolutely fucked in a city devoid of natural freshwater sources and the entire western world may be collapsing, but there’s an artisanal tin cup manufacturer across from a Siberian/Filipino restaurant in eye shot of a proposed fifty story Chinese financed mega residential tower, so everything’s going to be OK.
Hey, I enjoy the rigmarole of the spectacle as much as the next guy, but recently I’ve had some doubts. This lingering voice in the back of my head has expressed some skepticism while wading through the week’s waist deep flood tide of “new” and “exciting” blog announcements.
Looking around Downtown Los Angeles, I want to ask this: is anything really a “game changer?”
Here are things I would consider to be game changing: three new subway lines opening tomorrow, an inventive and effective plan to stop the meth trade, a desalinization plant, a cold fusion reactor, free housing coupled with job skills training or a heavy upgrade to LAUSD. Our proposed ballot initiative wants Los Angeles to have something good that isn’t a gimmick. Measure BS will force hyperbole pushing bloggers to make amends for their sins of exaggeration with a once yearly gauntlet of mediocrity.
On the second Tuesday of August, the Sheriffs will round up bloggers and force them to scale the US Bank Building, ride the sky slide down while screaming “weeeeeeeeeeeee!” for the amount of time it would take to ride a slide that was of an actual impressive length. Then they’ll gather down on 5th St where they’ll be hooked up to an actual Street Car and forced to drag the hulk of trackless, spark-spewing metal along the route of the promised choo-choo.
At every empty parking lot, the pain train will stop and bloggers will be given an opportunity to pitch the “exciting project” that may or may not be slated for that space. Those who have been fully broken and admit, “Nothing! Nothing is coming here!” will be released.
Upon completion of this trial of atonement, the punishees will be taken to El Patroncito at Hope St and Venice Blvd where they will be tasked with creating a promotion-free review. Samples will be heavily edited as such:
“The stretch of Downtown between the Toyota dealership and the hospital where Marvin Gaye was declared dead feels primed for expansion as an exciting new Mexican quick service restaurant, El Patroncito has opened.
bucks the trend of composite plastic bucket seats and scornful glares from the kitchen with heavily themed décor that reminds patrons that authentic Mexican food must n’t to be served in drab holes in the wall to be considered authentic.
Customers craving weekend menudo or mole in Downtown will have a new option in the restaurant marked with the sign “la cocina mexicana” (we should hope it is a Mexican kitchen given that it is a Mexican restaurant).
For the frugal, a la carte tacos, tostadas, sopes, burritos, huaraches and quesadillas come in below seven dollars!
Look for this space of Downtown to grow
rapidly as those eager to live near budding businesses and the promise of the 10 Freeway buy up land and install a Cheesecake Factory!”
I award El Patroncito a “1” on the binary despite their having neglected to put any rice on that veggie burrito and further encourage you, the discerning ones, to Vote Yes on BS!