Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Militant Avoids Trap!

The Militant, ever low-key, has taken pleasure in anonymously enjoying, and writing about, this city -- incognito, but on Saturday night there was a very real, potentially serious threat to his anonymity.

It all started last week when a local artist emailed the Militant a press release of an art event he and a partner were staging in Echo Park on Saturday. Neither the actual concept nor the location was exactly clear, but from what the Militant understood, there would be an oversized cardboard box on display in the park, disposable cameras would be handed out and visitors would interactively partake in the display, and musical entertainment in the form of a DJ and live band would be provided. Sounded interesting, and the Militant wanted to support some local non-gentrohipster artists in doing something unique not only in the community, but for the community, and coming away with something nice and unique to write about. But when the Militant arrived, he saw nothing. No box, or anything even related to cardboard. There was a family birthday party on the picnic tables of the park and locals taking a stroll around the lake (by the way, two weeks after the Lotus Festival, still no progress on the growth of the lotus bed). The Militant even scoured all corners of the park but still found nothing.

The Militant, who relies on his instincts, suddenly sensed a moment of Ackbarian warning and came to the following conclusion: this art event was a staged trap organized by a larger conspiratorial force to get the Militant to a public event and somehow uncover his identity (assumingly through kidnapping, extortion, torture or all of the above). There was probably some van parked on the street with a mobile control center inside, monitoring the Militant's every move with the aid of piezo-electric bugs and night-vision cameras. But the Militant was able to rapidly flee the scene, unharmed, before they even had a chance to capture me.

The Militant will, from now on, have to be even more cautious and vigilant when he goes out in public. Short of wearing masks (the Militant will under no circumstances submit to cosmetic surgery, just in case you were wondering...I mean, that's just sooo un-Militant), perhaps he should double the number of operative decoys in his militia who he assigns to attend public events. Either way, whoever you are, you couldn't catch me this time, fools!!! =P

While visiting Farmer's Market to conduct Militant research on his Iced Dessert report, he passed by The Apple Store at The Grove and saw a table full of people, all clamoring to get their dirtly little hands on the iPhone. The Militant was able to hold one himself (pictured, left - no the Militant doesn't have some bizzare skin condition, he just pixelated his fingers so that whoever is trying to get him cannot make out the Militant's fingerprints from the picture). The instant access of GoogleMaps and YouTube were impressive, though a little confusing in terms of zooming on the former, but the Militant also noticed that one can easily wear out their fingers by constantly touching and sliding on the iPhone's touchscreen, not to mention getting one's sweat and oils all over it. And as an iPod user, this thing is gonna get scratched, you just know it. Is the iPhone cool? Hellyeah. Is the iPhone awesome? Hellyeah. Does the Militant need one? Hellno. At least the Militant won't get iPhowned, like one Dallas woman did.

If the 'Pod is any indication, the Militant believes that five years from now the iPhone (not to mention the inevitable iPhone Mini and iPhone Nano) will be affordable enough that they'll be just as ubiquitous as iPods today.

Final Thoughts - The Grove
Much has been talked about the artificial urban environment of The Grove, as well as Universal Citywalk and perhaps LA Live! - the Militant saw throngs of people either shopping, eating, heading to the movies or just chilling on a Saturday afternoon, the kind of thing you'd want your tourist relatives to see. The Militant does believe though that this might all just be a dress rehearsal for the real deal we've yet to see in the future Los Angeles. Remember, just 20 years ago we were confined to indoor malls. Things happen quickly here. Perhaps places like Grand Avenue Park and the Militant's favorite project, the Hollywood Freeway Central Park will prove our worth in the years to come.

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