Southern California environment news and trends

Song of the Week, for LA's bag ban: "Bags of Dirt," by the Spin Doctors

bag ban

Molly Peterson/KPCC

Activists Mauricio Reza (L) and James Alamillo (R) perform a staged fight over a bag ban minutes before the Los Angeles City Council considers moving a prohibition forward. Forty-five jurisdictions in California have banned single use sacks.

Lots of more important things happened this week, but here at Pacific Swell we spent a lot of time on the efforts in the city of Los Angeles toward a bag ban. 

As we've blogged, LA didn't actually pass one. In fact, city councilmen collectively voted 13-1 to move toward a bag ban, probably in September, certainly later this year, and not to take effect before 2014. Nonetheless, LA is being hailed all over the place for its leadership in this regard. And they're hailing themselves, to boot. 

This week spin doctors controlled the larger public narrative about the city of LA's move toward a bag ban. Environmental groups and the offices of the city councilmen who passed the bag ban seem generally pleased with the idea that the bag ban is passed. At the same time, the arguments of the plastics industry got a pretty good hearing. City councilman Bernard Parks worried both in council chambers and on KPCC's own air about the contamination meat and other foods can bring to reusable bags. 

All that makes one of my favorite mid-1990's bands a perfect candidate for band of the week.

As for song, I chose one from the Spin Doctors' follow up to A Pocket Full of Kryptonite, the album Turn it Upside Down, which I'm pretty sure my little brother owned. Certainly there is no conclusive evidence I personally considered this music. 

The lyrics come from the Spin Doctors' own website.They reference bags of dirt, which, when you find a plastic bag in the LA River, that's what the bags look like. I'll avoid political comparisons (the more things change, the more they stay the same). But I will mention that empty soda cans are recyclable, too, just like plastic bags. 

The more things change, the more they stay the same
And the more it rains, the less I know
Why do these foreign skies change the way home?
Why do these hotel walls hang their strangeness on my own?

Oh mama, I'm gonna roll with a truckload of hurt
These wheels have rolled across I don't know how many bags of dirt

Barefoot in the back of the van
Tossing an arcing empty soda can
Long ways, long days, waitresses frayed
And underpaid we were harried and waylaid
We arrived that evening and not a moment too soon
Finding a place it was, you may say, cool

Oh mama, I'm gonna roll with a truckload of hurt
These wheels have rolled across I don't know how many bags of dirt

Listen to all of the songs of the week.

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