Back in Los Angeles

I spent a wonderful two weeks in Oregon, where I tried to stay away from the news and did little but hang out with friends, watch movies, and sleep. I did get a chance to read a few books, among which was a very good collection of essays, recommended to me by my friend Cristina. It’s called Notes from No Man’s Land by Eula Biss, and it explores the topic of race in America with refreshing honesty. Of course, it was impossible to stay away from the news after the foiled Christmas day attack on Northwest flight 253, the bombing of Yemen, and the open calls for strip searching all Muslim men between the ages of 18 and 28.

The picture above is a reproduction of Pearblossom Highway by David Hockney. The artist probably never meant for his collage of polaroids to be interpreted like this, but increasingly I feel that the world is like this little stretch of highway; one part is for people whose travel is restricted in all sorts of ways, and one part is for people who are free to move about as they want.