May 18, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

It Could Still Be A Happier New Year…:

You don’t need me to weigh-in on the Connecticut shootings. You have all the voices that are likely still at work even as this piece goes to press. You have your friends on social media. But I will say that, in looking toward the New Year, there may be something forward-moving that comes from the gun tragedy in Newtown.

And that’s the recognition, perhaps finally clicking into place, that Connecticut is just like the previous gun tragedy and the one before that and the one before that.

A difference this time might be the timing. Coming off the election results, we’re seeing the illogic and lack of humanity on the other side – you know, “them” – in never before realized high-definition. And that might enable the Connecticut tragedy to cut like a saw through the crusty vomit tundra commonly referred to as the gun lobby and the NRA. But again, on this one, I don’t need to badger you; we all have the information.

Instead, let’s look at just three examples of how, eventually, things do turn. These aren’t anywhere near as soul-rattling as the shootings, but they point to people working toward things getting better. And we need to remind ourselves that humans do that, even as events in the news often support a theory of our species’ de-evolution.

Privacy Matters

We used to have our privacy “invaded”; now we just open the door and invite everybody in. We create mountains of personal data that we literally give away, maybe so we can have an ‘app’ that lets us play with cartoon birds. But a joint effort that consolidates the app industry and advocacy groups is now working to get some privacy back. The coalition includes the ACLU and the World Privacy Forum (didn’t know there was one, but glad to hear about it) and is working toward mandatory standards that would tell you exactly what personal information and access to data on your phone you’re giving away for nothing when you download “free” apps. It’s good news that something is happening on this matter, even if it won’t immediately get phone solicitors to stop interrupting my dinner.

Turn Out The Lights!

Two weeks ago a three-judge panel ordered the removal of 100 digital billboards installed across Los Angeles. The basis of the decision was that two large advertising companies had gone ahead and simply replaced standard billboards with the blinky-blink digital ones when existing laws had clearly prohibited changes.

There’s one estimate that loss of the digital billboards will cost the companies as much as $100 million in revenue annually. Still, does that pain equal what the public suffers when the world at large is turned into a carnival midway of advertising? If this decision stands, it means a lot more than just some aggressive dudes getting their wallets kicked. It means that sometimes good judgment and taste can win the battle against exploitation and making the world ugly and banal for a dollar. Let me go on the record as saying that I like that big donut on top of Randy’s doughnuts in Inglewood, so I do have my favorites when it comes to eye-grabbing outdoor advertising.

But searching for spaces where advertising can glue itself down in every available angle at which we view the world has become some kind of jihad to those who profit from it. Imagine life itself having the same visual aesthetic as sports TV broadcasts, where there is never a moment without an advertising message somewhere in the shot. Digital billboards bring nothing to our lives. That may not make them something that sucks the life out of us. But, yeah, I kind of think they do.

Apple Comes Home

In the first of those “Oh, God!” movies with George Burns, John Denver tells his wife he’s met God. She worries this will bother Denver’s boss at the grocery store where he works. Denver to wife: “Honey, my boss is in charge of Food World. God is in charge of… World World.” And so, perhaps, is Apple computers. That’s why it’s good news that next year Apple will bring some manufacturing of its hardware back to the United States. Immediately there were skeptics who thought it was all just a trick to make people feel better about Apple’s overseas fabricating plants, where workers have protested conditions and some have jumped to their deaths off the top of factories. I’m one of those skeptics. But here, it is the message that matters: We could make things here again; we should make things here again. Just the possibility that an uber-corp like Apple is taking that message seriously bodes well for the New Year.

in News
Related Posts

Only 10 Vaquita Porpoises Survive, But The Species May Not Be Doomed

May 17, 2022

May 17, 2022

Hope remains for the porpoise species not only survive but thrive with human help. By Stuart Wolpert The vaquita porpoise,...

The American Cinematheque Brings “Bleak Week” To Santa Monica’s Aero Theatre And The Los Feliz Three Theatre

May 17, 2022

May 17, 2022

33 Films From 18 Countries In One Week. By Dolores Quintana Sometimes when things are tough and you’re feeling down,...

Man Who Murdered His Family Members Pleads Guilty To Five Other Killings

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Escobar injured an additional seven other people as well.  By Dolores Quintana A man, Ramon Escobar, has pleaded guilty to...

The price of gasoline in Los Angeles County Has Experienced The Largest Increase Since February

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Gasoline prices in Orange County Have Also Increased By Dolores Quintana Regular self-serve gasoline in the county of Los Angeles...

Santa Monica Travel Summit Of 2022 Returns To Take On Tomorrow

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

The Event Was Held At The Jonathan Club On Santa Monica Beach By Staff Writer The 2022 Santa Monica Tourism...

City Council Extends Santa Monica’s Parklet Program: Santa Monica Beat – May 16th, 2022

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* City Council Extends Santa Monica’s Parklet Program * Santa Monica High School Students...

1221 Ocean Avenue Complex Sold For Record Price

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Sold for a record price of $330 million. By Dolores Quintana The Irvine Company has sold 1221 Ocean Avenue to...

Office Construction Is Starting To Rise In Los Angeles

May 15, 2022

May 15, 2022

Property vacancies are still affecting growth.  By Dolores Quintana In March, the Los Angeles Metropolitan area had 3.2 million square...

Santa Monica City Council Selects Doug Sloan as New City Attorney

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

At its meeting this week, the Santa Monica City Council appointed Doug Sloan to serve as Santa Monica’s next City...

Landmark Theater Closing in Former Westside Pavillion

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

Theater will close at the end of month By Sam Catanzaro The Landmark Pico theater at the former Westside Pavillion...

Community Policing at the Heart of Beat Four

May 11, 2022

May 11, 2022

The Neighborhood Resource Officer (NRO) Program thrives through community involvement and collective work. Today we hear from Officer Aaron Alpert...

Santa Monica High School Among Top-900 Schools in Country

May 10, 2022

May 10, 2022

SAMOHI ranked 829 out of over 18,000 total schools By Staff Writer Santa Monica High School is among the top...

Pico Marketplace Changing Small Businesses Access to Retail Space: Santa Monica Beat – May 10th, 2022

May 10, 2022

May 10, 2022

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* Pico Marketplace Changing Small Businesses Access to Retail Space* Grunion Fish Seen...

Video: Westside E-Scooter Injury Rate High Than National Rate for Motorcycles

May 10, 2022

May 10, 2022

The Westside’s injury rate for e-scooters is higher than the national rate for motorcycles, a new study has found. Learn...

Douglas Sloan Set to be Santa Monica’s New City Attorney

May 9, 2022

May 9, 2022

Sloan would be first permanent person to hold post in two years By Dolores Quintana  The next Santa Monica City...