3. Reasonable Qualifications | KCET
3. Reasonable Qualifications
I write about suburban places. I write about Los Angeles. And the two have been roughly equivalent since the city’s absurdly small central core became irrelevant to the city’s self-definition in the late 1920s. (Arguments... really good arguments... are being made by really good historians and geographers about the validity of this view. That interests me. Both the point of the arguments, and if there is a point in having the argument at all.) Where we are interests me, and the back-and-forth conversation of a past and a present. (Neither of which Los Angeles has had much use for. We’re always longing for the city that’s yet to be.) But my mood has darkened lately. Given a choice of pasts, we’re reluctant to choose (maybe because we’ve chosen so badly before). Arguably (more arguments), no past offers any service to what we’ve become. Arguably, the back-and-forth conversation is ending. (It had gone on, even though we had been deliberately absent. Sometimes two instances of domestic architecture across from each other on a residential street have had a more serious dialog about where we’ve been than all the city’s newspapers.) Pessimistic - bracingly pessimistic - Henry Adams (those Adamses) wondered almost exactly one hundred years ago what service history could perform. Or should perform.
I’m not a historian. I don’t live in the City of Los Angeles. I don’t drive. Reasonable qualifications.
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