One of the best parts about America is public radio and satellite radio. The joys of driving around in a Subaru, switching back and forth between presidential campaign coverage, nihilistic rap, and chill dub reggae… Been traveling through Michigan and Los Angeles over the last month, and noticed / remembered that:
1) Uber has completely changed the ability to travel around LA (and other sprawling cities) without a car. Uber drivers range tremendously in age, ethnicity, and background, and their profit margins are quite small. One Filipino lady driving a Prius claimed that “China owns the Philippines, and you never see a funeral for a Chinese baby, because they just get a new one sent over from the mainland”. Also, LA’s public transport is pretty chill and more people should ride that.
2) Unlike Shanghai, which is totally safe, American cities go from “OK to walk around in” to “Christ, there is gang graffiti everywhere and there’s a homeless dude with a baseball bat walking towards us on this empty street” in about two blocks. Fuck Google maps. I wonder how many people have gotten murked because that devil app led them down the wrong path.
3) Infrastructure and mental health in American cities is falling apart and people in the suburbs are still worried about non-issues like gay marriage and legalization. In the eight years I’ve lived in China, the PRC has built about, oh…150 high speed trains connecting major cities. America has built none that I am aware of. Chicago to NYC and LA to SF seems like obvious places to start.
4) Paying for dental appointments in cash is something that people just do not do. Also, dentists are not keen to accept new patients who pay in cash.
5) Going through airport security is not bad at all and TSA are doing a fine job. Not sure why people complain about due diligence. That said, American domestic airlines are far behind say, Emirates, Korean Air, etc, in terms of customer service, but I still feel confident in the pilots. Also, riding in small planes for short distances, e.g. over Lake Michigan from Kalamazoo to Chicago is hella fun.
6) 24-Hour gyms are becoming the standard and China needs to get on that shit.
7) Everything contains / is mostly made of some corn products. Even treats.
8) Race is a big issue but class is dividing America even more.
9) Poor people in China eat way more fruits and vegetables than poor Americans, who subside largely on a diet of corn-based processed foods and fast food.
10) QR codes are just not a thing in America, unlike China. Saw some QR codes, but seems like no one knows how they function. That’s cool, because fuck QR codes anyway. Also, more and more people have ditched landlines for cell phones, which seems like a bad idea in the event of emergencies / cyber wars.
11) China can learn a lot from America’s great urban planning mistakes of the 20th centuries. These mistakes include building cities for cars, discouraging walking by getting ride of sidewalks, getting ride of bike lanes, and breaking apart social capital. The Death And Life Of Great American Cities is a nice place to start.
[Kalamazoo from the window of a small plane]
Alright enough chat. Here’s some new tunes.
Damacha – tapt_new (coming out next week on Groove Bunny Records!)
Jessy Lanza, DJ Spinn & Taso – You Never Show Your Love (feat. DJ Rashad) [Teklife Mix]
DJ Paypal – bEbay (just an unbelievably good DJ, this guy…)
Dr. Dre – One Shot One Kill (feat. Snoop)*
*Can’t help but point out the influence of Yeezus / Death Grips on this album, specifically this track. And yeah the album slams, though much like the new Kendrick album, it does not contain many obviously single-ready / club-ready tracks, which <i>Chronic</i> and <i>2001</i> had plenty of. Perhaps that’s in response to the retarded number of purely functional, quick-to-expire West coast rap singles by DJ Mustard and Co.
Future – Blow A Bag (so many good tracks on Dirty Sprite 2…hard to choose)
Deadboy – White Moon Garden (Black Magick Mix)