August 6, 2008


Do you want poppycock with that?: The City Council keeps serving up acts of irresponsibility. (Tim Rutten, August 2, 2008, Los Angeles Times)

If the Los Angeles City Council were a reality television show, picking the right title would be a challenge. "America's Silliest Local Legislators" has a nice sort of retro ring to it, but there's a certain appealing simplicity to "Empty Gestures" too.

Either way, this week's unanimous vote to prohibit the construction of fast-food restaurants in most of South Los Angeles for at least the next year would make an excellent pilot.

The ordinance's ostensible purpose is to combat the county's highest obesity and diabetes rates -- 30% of South L.A.'s adults are overweight, and 11.7% suffer from diabetes. It's also true that the roughly 32 square miles south of the Santa Monica Freeway have a higher per capita concentration of fast-food outlets than the rest of the city, but far fewer restaurants or grocery stores of any type in absolute numbers.

If obesity were such a big problem among blacks then it wouldn't be a racial slur to note that the Unicorn Rider is skinny, which our betters assure us it is.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 6, 2008 10:17 AM

I thought I had heard all the pet names Euro-Americans had for our neighbors of the darker persuasion, in various foreign languages, no less: "skinny" had escaped my notice. Law enforcement personnel in particular, seem to have as many names for black people as Eskimos are said to have for snow, but no "skinny."

Posted by: Lou Gots at August 6, 2008 11:31 AM

Mr. Gots:
You're not alone. I've "collected" oddball racial slurs for various ethnicities since I was a boy and I've never heard it. At first I thought they were talking about the non-bug aliens from Starship Troopers (the novel).

Posted by: Bryan at August 6, 2008 11:42 AM

I used to live in Costa Mesa/Huntington Beach and would fall asleep listening to the Santa Monica City Council on KCRW...

That was some good crazy right there. Jaw dropping nutcase Big Gulp of Liquid Thorzine type crazy.

This fast food thing is kid stuff...

Posted by: Benny at August 6, 2008 12:16 PM

So officially Iraq is freer that part of the United States - KFC in Fallujah:

"Only a short time ago the city of Fallujah served as stronghold for insurgents. Daily skirmishes, improvised explosive device detonations and public unease made operating a business in the city very difficult.

Today, with improved security throughout the region, the low price of 4,000 dinar, or $3.50, will purchase a full meal at the recently established Kentucky Fried Chicken in the Hey Al Dubat area of the city."

Posted by: Rick T. at August 6, 2008 12:36 PM
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