Electric Eel


Issue 060
June 15, 2021

Everythingnow biblio

Dear Reader,

Today, a West Coast special:

It’s June 15th, and the state of California is scheduled to lift most remaining quarantine restrictions… And also today, Rosecrans Baldwin’s Everything Now: Lessons From the City-State of Los Angeles, is hitting shelves. L.A., Baldwin argues, isn’t just the place where the American dream hits the Pacific. Functionally, aesthetically, mythologically, Los Angeles is an independent territory, defined less by distinct borders than by an aura of autonomy and a sense of unfurling destiny. The NYT Book Review calls it “freewheeling and polyhedral,” and says that “Baldwin embodies the 19th-century flâneur: alighting here and there in space and time, spending a while, passing through, pulling over. A Baudelaire of Bel Air; a painter of post-postmodern life.”

To celebrate flânerie and the painterly postmodern life, we’re bringing you a series of post cards of sorts: weird and ethereal photos of L.A. by Mike Slack, interleaved with excerpts from Everything Now. Click here for the photo essay. Wherever you are –– city or suburb, wilderness or synthetic lawn (or, in the case of L.A., all of the above) –– we’d like to recommend a long walk, or drive, camera in hand and book in your backpack. L.A. might be open for business, but we’re here to promote some good old quarantine-era flaneur-ing around your environment, sans wallet, taking notes.

Happy picnicking; happy pic-taking ––

The Electric Eel