Follow the Money, and You'll Find a Billboard | KCET
Follow the Money, and You'll Find a Billboard
More than $600,000 was spent by billboard lobbyists in 2011. It's a sign of the times.
The humorist Ogden Nash famously rhymed I think I shall never see, / a billboard as lovely as a tree. / In fact unless a billboard falls, / I may never see a tree at all.. But the landscape in Los Angeles isn't the only thing you won't see unless the billboards fall, as efforts to commercialize the city's skyscape, cityscape, and even parkscape continue relentlessly.
Billboard companies see dollar signs where you might see a baseball backstop or the façade of a high-rise office building. Your unoccupied eyeballs are an asset, to be sold to the most aggressive advertiser.
City council resistance to kid-oriented advertising in city parks, more digital displays, and advertising banners hung from street lights is weakening. (Neighborhoods could apply to the recreation commission to make their playing fields "ad free" under one compromise proposal, shifting the burden to residents to get an exemption.)
The city council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee continues to flip-flop on signage issues as it drafts and redrafts a new ordinance that will likely be taken up by the entire city council in the spring of 2012. The committee's ambivalence is understandable, as activist Dennis Hathaway pointed out recently at Ban Billboard Blight:
When the re-revised and carefully loopholed sign ordinance gets to the city council, it's clear whose interests will be served. And the city's skyline will be forever changed.
What is knowledge? What kinds of things do we know, and how do we learn them? Philosopher and professor Tyler Burge, evolutionary biologist and podcaster Shane Campbell-Staton and theater artist Sylvan Oswald answer these questions.
The influence of the Texas Rangers on border militarizaton stretches from its creation in the 19th century, through the inception of Border Patrol and ties to the NRA, to the Minutemen movement that rose to prominence in the early 21st century.
How is it that the conditions that children are born into can differ so much between two adjacent neighborhoods?
What is a university? It's not just a place to find a job, it could be more. What is its role today and how can it be better? Get some insights in bullet point form.
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