A fact which I guess is even more true now that I live in Bakersfield rather than L.A.
Let us contemplate, for a moment, the fact that when one looks up basketball schedules on the L.A. Times website (that would be the Los Angeles paper, if you're curious), they give you the game times in Eastern Time.
This is probably actually because the L.A. Times just puts in some schedule-generated somewhere else, and Eastern Time is the national default for tv schedules, and so that's the way it is. Still, there's something eerie about watching a Los Angeles based paper print the times of its own home team according to the time of some other locale entirely.
It reminds me of the sense I had, growing up, that Los Angeles was not really a part of the national consciousness. Which may seem ridiculous, given the entertainment industry and all, but that wasn't the L.A. I lived. A lot of the people I went to high school with, I guess, had parents who made their livings off such mysterious things as residuals but up until that point I didn't really know anybody in L.A. who was involved in all that.
The more I think about it, the more ridiculous it seems that I would try to make that claim, that L.A. wasn't part of the national consciousness. We had the Lakers and City of Quartz and the riots and Joan Didion brooding about fires and flooding and water rights. We had L.A. Gear and, for a while, both the Raiders and the Rams, and the big one was coming one of these days.
So maybe my sense of the dominance of the East Coast was more a matter of the knee-jerk sense that a place you love is, however much consideration it actually gets, under-appreciated, the impulse that drives people to write passionate letters in defense of Kobe Bryant.
But I will tell you this. When I lived in Los Angeles, not so very long ago, half the people I knew had grown up there, gone away, returned. And yet, talking to strangers who weren't from there, when I said I was they would say, "Oh, that's so unusual," suffering from the widespread rumor that Los Angeles is a city of dreamers, of kids from Nebraska looking to make it big.
Whereas, I guess what I'm saying is that in some ways Los Angeles is just a city, a big city, a city that deserves to have its hometown paper print the tv schedules in accordance with the time zone in which it actually exists.