GOOD

Group Aims to Bring World’s Fair to L.A. in 2022

A new crowdfunding campaign would kick off the transit-themed project.

Image courtesy of Los Angeles World's Fair

To many of us, World’s Fairs might seem like something mythical, an antiquated convention from a pre-internet age where people actually had to be in the same place to show each other new inventions, cultural products, or designs. Maybe, like me, you heard about the fair in Queens, New York from your parents or grandparents, or read about the legendary Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, detailed in works of fiction like The Devil in the White City or Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth. But now, according to the L.A. Business Journal, a group of “business owners, executives and county officials” have launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise money for the first stages of a futuristic, transit-themed World’s Fair in Los Angeles in 2022.


A World’s Fair is supposed to bring the best ideas from around the globe together in a fun, interactive environment. The L.A. project’s fundraising page points out a number of important technologies—like the telephone, the Ferris Wheel, the IMAX, and touchscreens—that were first unveiled to the public at World’s Fairs past. According to the Los Angeles group, these fairs “leave shimmering memories on the minds of countless millions and leave in their wake legendary art, vast urban improvement and a stunning inventory of technical innovation.” Organizers claim the event, which promises a Hyperloop, “Jetsons-style SkyTran,” and “3D printed gourmet delicacies,” would be a boon for culture and technology, create jobs for Angelenos, and “bring more visitors to the greater L.A. area than an Olympics and World Cup combined.” If they pull it off, the L.A. 2022 event will be the first World’s Fair in the United States in more than 30 years. CityLab reports:

LAWF—which has the support of the L.A.County Board of Supervisors and METRO Los Angeles, as well as corporate backing from the engineering firm Psomas—wants to build the first "decentralized" world's fair, with venues scattered across all 88 cities in Los Angeles County. The region's growing transit network (the latest expansions of which are slated for a 2023 completion) would serve as the fair's infrastructural and thematic underpinning.

“It’s really going to be transformative,” LAWF backer Loren Sokolow, told the L.A. Business Journal. “The pavilions are going to be multipurpose and will be something for the fair, but then, hopefully, transformed into something for the community.”

While the fair would be a truly massive undertaking, and is still just a distant hope in many regards, Curbed L.A. points out that the proposed event would also have to secure the nod of the Bureau of International Expositions, the organization that sanctions and endorses official World’s Fairs. (Apparently, George W. Bush, who you would think would love a good fair, withdrew our membership in the international group, finding it too expensive. We would have to rejoin as a nation.)

1964 World's Fair in Queens, NY. Image by PLCjr via WikimediaCommons

The last official event in the United States was the New Orleans World Exposition in 1984, which became the first World’s Fair to go bankrupt during its run. The New York expo in 1964 was not endorsed, and though it was still successful in some respects, it was mired by controversy and allegations of financial mismanagement. Among their corporate-friendly, tech-oriented goals for the new project, an important lesson L.A. planners could probably learn from the fair in Queens comes from organizers’ refusal to consider having a midway featuring games and entertainment at the ’64 event, thinking it not classy enough for their high-minded, respectable project. The lack of good old-fashioned funtime led to an Epcot-style boredom that hurt crowd retention, and caused the event to suffer financially. And though public transportation is a pretty cool theme for a World’s Fair, LAWF would do well to remember that fairs are supposed to be funyou have to give us the chance to win a teddy bear or grab a hot dog, even if it’s some kind of 3D printed superwiener.

With 52 days left, LAWF has reached almost half of its $100,000 initial goal. You can donate here.

Articles
via Chela Horsdal / Twitter

Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle" debuted the first episode of its final season last week.

The show is loosely based on an alternative history novel by Philip K. Dick that postulates what would happen if Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan controlled the United States after being victorious in World War II.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
via Mike Mozart / Flickr

Chick-fil-A is the third-largest fast food chain in America, behind McDonald's and Starbucks, raking in over $10 billion a year.

But for years, the company has faced boycotts for supporting anti-LGBT charities, including the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home.

The Salvation Army faced criticism after a leader in the organization implied that gay people "deserve to die" and the company also came under fire after refusing to offer same-sex couples health insurance. But the organization swears it's evolving on such issues.

via Thomas Hawk / Flickr

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes explicitly announced it was anti gay marriage in a recent "Statement of Faith."

God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.

The Paul Anderson Youth Home teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is "rage against Jesus Christ and His values."

RELATED: The 1975's singer bravely kissed a man at a Dubai concert to protest anti-LGBT oppression

In 2012, Chick-fil-A's CEO, Dan Cathy, made anti same-sex marriage comments on a radio broadcast:

I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, "We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage". I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.

But the chicken giant has now decided to change it's says its charitable donation strategy because it's bad for business...Not because being homophobic is wrong.

The company recently lost several bids to provide concessions in U.S. airports. A pop-up shop in England was told it would not be renewed after eight days following LGBTQ protests.

Chick-fil-A also has plans to expand to Boston, Massachusetts where its mayor, Thomas Menino, pledged to ban the restaurant from the city.

via Wikimedia Commons

"There's no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are," Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told Bisnow. "There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message."

RELATED: Alan Turing will appear on the 50-pound note nearly 70 years after being persecuted for his sexuality

Instead, the Chick-fil-A Foundation plans to give $9 million to organizations that support education and fight homelessness. Which is commendable regardless of the company's troubled past.

"If Chick-Fil-A is serious about their pledge to stop holding hands with divisive anti-LGBTQ activists, then further transparency is needed regarding their deep ties to organizations like Focus on the Family, which exist purely to harm LGBTQ people and families," Drew Anderson, GLAAD's director of campaigns and rapid response, said in a statement.

Chick-fil-A's decision to back down from contributing to anti-LGBT charities shows the power that people have to fight back against companies by hitting them where it really hurts — the pocket book.

The question remains: If you previously avoided Chick-fil-A because it supported anti-LGBT organizations, is it now OK to eat there? Especially when Popeye's chicken sandwich is so good people will kill for it?

Lifestyle

Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr and nrkbeta / flickr

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) dropped a bombshell on Tuesday, announcing it had over 900 emails that White House aide Stephen Miller sent to former Breitbart writer and editor Katie McHugh.

According to the SPLC, in the emails, Miller aggressively "promoted white nationalist literature, pushed racist immigration stories and obsessed over the loss of Confederate symbols after Dylann Roof's murderous rampage."

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
via Twitter / Bye,Bye Harley Davidson

The NRA likes to diminish the role that guns play in fatal shootings by saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Which is the same logic as, "Hammers don't build roofs, people build roofs." No duh. But it'd be nearly impossible to build a roof without a hammer.

So, shouldn't the people who manufacture guns share some responsibility when they are used for the purpose they're made: killing people? Especially when the manufacturers market the weapon for that exact purpose?

Keep Reading Show less
Business