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The Passage of a Few People Through a Rather Brief Moment in Time #190 - A Little Bit Country

03.13.13

One or more persons during a certain period drop their usual motives
for movement and action, their relations, their work and leisure activities,
and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the
encounters they find there.

It's a bike ride.

Started by user nathansnider and user theroyalacademy.

It meets every Wednesday at 8:30pm
at California Donuts #21.
We ride at 9pm.
We'll endeavor to return before the last red line trains (around midnight).

On this bike ride, you might expect:
- inconvenient passageways
- oblique strategies
- Oulipian constraints
- disorientation
- reorientation
- "cover" versions of other people's rides, performed with amateurish enthusiasm
- amateurish enthusiasm
- pool halls
- bowling alleys
- karaoke
- geocaching
- full moon picnics
- traffic median tea parties
- rivers that no longer exist
- smell tourism
- Couchwick v2.0

Furthermore:
- usually 20-35 miles
- usually some hills
- a medium pace (probably not for beginners; certainly not a hustle)
- few stops, short stops
- but we're not in a rush; we don't need to run every light
- victory donuts!

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This week:

A Little Bit Country


Though ostensibly the most popular country artist of the moment, with
dubstep drops and nary a banjo in sight, it has become increasingly difficult
to characterize Taylor Swift's music as "country" in any meaningful sense.
Yet some -- including Swift herself -- would argue that it is the manner of
storytelling and context out of which she has come that defines her as such
rather than any specific stylistic signifiers. And, indeed, in a time when few
Americans live anywhere that is not firmly suburban, if not outright urban,
what meaning does the concept of "country" have at all anymore? Does it
not persist merely as a story itself, as a foundational American myth?

Let's not go overboard. For, while the mass cultural tides of television and
the internet erode distinctive cultures everywhere, resistant formations remain.
And we can find them even in a city like Los Angeles, which has always been
more industry town than Wild West -- that industry having at various times
been agriculture, oil, aerospace, and of course entertainment. Yet it is also a
city of convergences, of disparate peoples from disparate places with disparate
traditions: not a melting pot, but an open field. Just as the movement of images
erases the indigenous practices of certain spaces, the movement of peoples
also insert those practices into the margins and cracks of other, unexpected
spaces. And so Los Angeles is a place of pavement and smog, yes, but also a
place for horses and roosters. Those banjos you hear, however, are probably
hipsters, not country folk.

(~25 miles; mostly flat; a fair amount of off-roading -- it is the countryside after all)

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For the latest information about each week's ride, join our mailing list:
groups.google.com/group/the-passage-announcements

For more information about past rides, visit our website:
ThePassageRide.com

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Certain shifting angles,
certain receding perspectives.
 


Posted by theroyalacademy