I shouldn’t need to say this, but there’s one thing I’d like to make perfectly clear:

I am not a terrorist.

In fact, I’m not even close to a terrorist. I think terrorists are bad. That’s right, I’m anti-terrorism, as anti-terrorism as they come. I’m disgusted and saddened every time I hear of any terrorist activity anywhere in the world, whether it’s in Chechnya or Tel Aviv or here in the homeland. I hope we catch all the terrorists who are already out there and do whatever we can do to ensure that no new ones are created.

When you break it down, I don’t fit the standard profile of a terrorist in any way. I’m not a religious extremist. I don’t even believe in God. Sure, I celebrate Christmas, but just because I want the loot, not because it’s you-know-who’s birthday. I’m also not some psycho gun nut or explosive freak. I don’t even like violent movies, except “Pulp Fiction”, but that was just because of the witty dialogue. And has there ever been a terrorist from suburban New Jersey? Not one I can think of.

The one thing I do do, and I understand how this may have confused certain authorities, is that I occasionally travel alone to local L.A. establishments and take lots and lots of pictures.

Okay, I know what kind of world we live in, and I know that the bad people also travel to local establishments and take lots and lots of pictures. But, as I explained to the nice lady from security at the Beverly Center today, there’s a good reason for what I’m doing. I think our conversation went something like this:

“Sir, is that your car you’re taking pictures of?”


“You’re not allowed to take pictures of our establishment.”

“Okay, I’m sorry.”

“May I ask why you’re taking pictures?”

“Yeah, I have a blog, and I take pictures of cars that are illegally parked.”

“A blog?”

“Yeah, like a website.”

“And what’s this website?”

“It’s called Make Mine Mike.”

Okay, so I didn’t actually frame a fellow blogger. The truth is, I was working on something for my little piece of blog chicken on the side. See, every post at LAist needs to have a picture to go with it, and I can tell already that this requirement of the job might pose a bit of a challenge for me. I’m not normally the kind of person to be of concern to mall security for any reason. And believe me, I felt super-creepy driving up at the Grove at 7:30 a.m. last week, when it was totally deserted, then snapping a bunch of shots of the movie theater and taking off five minutes later. I know how it must’ve looked.

I also know that recent U.S. history is marked with several instances of people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time and may have been fingered for something they didn’t do. And I don’t want to be one of those people.

So I’d like this post to serve as an official record of my stance against terrorism and an explanation of why I may occasionally be seen around this wonderful city of ours taking pictures that may seem to be of little interest to anyone.

And if you have any questions about this activity, direct them to my real cyber-home, There’s a Monster at the End of this Blog.

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