Last week we talked extensively about the LA Riots that followed the acquittal of four police officers who had beaten Rodney King. We revisited the infamous intersection of Florence and Normandie, where white truck driver, Reginald Denny was dragged out of the cab of his truck and also attacked. Both of these brutal beatings were caught on tape. Rodney King on grainy hand held video shot by a nearby resident, and Reginald Denny captured on live TV from news helicopters circling the area. How do these images work their way into our cultural imagery? And do the ubiquitous cellphone cameras make us safer now than we were 20 years ago? I spoke with cultural critic Mark Dery about these issues.
Mark Dery’s latest book is “I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts: Drive-by Essays on American Dread, American Dreams” and he’ll be speaking at Skylight Books on May 29.