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Notebook on Cities and Culture S1E8: Can We Talk About Driving? with John Rabe

Colin Marshall sits down in the Los Angeles Central Library’s courtyard with John Rabe, host of Off-Ramp, KPCC’s weekend pointillist portrait of Southern California. They discuss the merits of recording in a library courtyard and in Cheech Marin’s house in Malibu; picking a road in Los Angeles and following it wherever it goes; the troubled history of Cypress Park and the truth about the Isabel Street shooting; the Los Angeles “churn” and the effect of constant neighborhood change on the historical consciousness; the historical bounty to be found in the Los Angeles Public Library’s photo collection; the city’s rising optimism and falling crime (and its lack of a mob); the McMartin preschool trial; his desire to live in a place with the word “gardens” in its name; his tendency to look ahead, not back, and to move randomly, not in patterns, and how that shapes Off-Ramp‘s character; his anger at drivers who slow down on the freeway with their brakes; his plan to banish citizens who break the social contract and institute a Waste and Fraud Corruption Lottery to give money to the rest; the lessons of Carmageddon; what makes radio documentaries sustain; and how, if you want to create radio, you should just break out your iPhone (or whatever you have) and record something.

Download the interview from Notebook on Cities and Culture’s feed here or on iTunes here.

(Photo: Karl Rabe)

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