Prior to the 1950’s, the urban core of LA, centered around Downtown, was relatively small. It was also much more compact and vibrant, however, than it became in the second half of the 20th Century. In recent years, there has been renewed interest in urbanism and walkable communities, and LA’s downtown, historic core is now revitalized and booming with new highrise construction.
While LA is just in the early stages of creating an integrated metro system, the region once had a vibrant street car system connecting the urban core with extensions to street car suburbs such as Santa Monica and Pasadena.
According to Curbed LA : “in 1945, a sinister corporation called National City Lines took over the thriving Los Angeles Railway, which served most of the sprawling region. Then, over the course of the next two decades, LA’s extensive streetcar network was eliminated and the iconic Red Cars that Judge Doom mentions were replaced with shiny new buses.
There has been a growing movement within the New Urbanist scene to retrofit car-oriented suburbs. There is even an excellent book on the subject titled Retrofitting Suburbia by Ellen Dunham-Jones. The book focuses primarily on retrofitting aesthetically unappealing, car-oriented suburbs that were built in the 2nd half of the 20th Century.
Despite opposition from suburban NIMBY’s this idea makes practical and aesthetic sense. Your typical American suburban commercial thoroughfare is lined with ugly strip malls with massive parking lots that are aesthetically unappealing, ecologically unsustainable, and unfriendly to pedestrians.
I spent an afternoon with Robert Stark in the podcaster’s hometown of Santa Barbara, California.
I arrive at his place around 1:00 PM: a magnificent vaporwave mansion in the Santa Barbara Hills, overlooking the city below. It is amazing to think that it is from here that Robert has recorded hundreds of interviews with fringe celebrities ranging from deplorables like Richard Spencer and Greg Johnson to oddballs like Xiu Xiu lead singer Jamie Stewart, and Leisure Suit Larry creator Al Lowe…
In the 1980’s, the San Fernando Valley was known as “America’s Suburb” (think the original Karate Kid and Fast Times at Ridgemont High). It has come a long way downhill, at least from a middle class perspective. LA’s stark income inequality is as visible here as anywhere else, with neighborhoods populated almost entirely by immigrants planted right next to wealthy, gated communities. The white middle class that once called the valley home have long since fled to nearby Santa Clarita. Here I’ve captured some of the destitution of Van Nuys Boulevard, moving into the neon of the relatively prosperous Ventura Boulevard.
“The awful thing is that beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and the devil are fighting there and the battlefield is the heart of man.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
In the months since my red-pilling, I have spent a great deal of time considering what it means to be “alt-left”. Normies may assume, like Trump , that the alt-left is simply the apparent opposite of the alt-right, and use it to describe groups like Antifa or Black Block, while some on the left, such as Swiss intellect Heinzi Freinacht,would adopt the term to describe a metamodern turn in leftist thought. The former definition I feel confident in calling a mistake, as it arises simply from the error of taking “alt” to be synonymous with “far” while the latter I find extremely interesting and intend to explore more thoroughly at a later point (I expect it has plenty of common ground with my own views, even if it places itself more squarely in lineage with the left); but the definition of “alt-left” I, for a number of reason, take as my own comes from those who first coined it– bloggers in the orbit of Robert Stark’s Podcast The Stark Truth, namely, Robert Lindsay, Francis Nally, and Brandon Adamson. To these bloggers, the alt-left represents less something separate from the broader alt-right as a niche within it: “The Left of the Alt-Right”, as Brandon Adamson subtitles his website Altleft.com. Yet even with this baseline definition in place, the term is still nebulous, with Lindsay calling himself a “liberal race realist”, and Adamson and Nally each having their own visions.
I ended my last post imagining a Politics as to the Alt-Right as New Wave was to Punk, a politics with a returned emphasis on beauty and creativity to follow a destructive, Dionysian splurge; a politics of renaissance and renewal. This I referred to as the hard-work of recreating, or replacing, the institutions eroded by liberalism.
In broad strokes, what is my vision for this reconstruction?
All hegemonic systems of value have an expiration date, and that of liberal universalism is fast approaching.
For decades the liberal crusade for equality went about deconstructing every institution with which the average person could orient their Identity, calling into question the unstated premises at the heart of these institutions, and highlighting their “myth” character, as well as the inequality masked or “naturalized” by those premises– preferring a “nurture over nature” explanation of every hierarchy existing within society. Its late and final stage– cultural-Marxist, millennial, “SJW”, Identity politics– brings the universalist doctrine into a totalitarianism by extending its egalitarian logic to the fullest extreme, suggesting every inequality is the result of a “social construct”, and vowing to “deconstruct” such inequality wherever it can possibly find it. In doing so it has brought to the West a pandemic crisis of gender, sexual, racial, and national identity, responses to which we should only expect to grow more volatile and polarized.
This is a blog about politics, sexuality, aesthetics, and how they are connected.
It is as personal a blog as it is political– as much a reflection on my identity and its contradictions as a reflection on the state of the West, and its contradictions.