In prior entries on "The Tyranny of New York" and "The Tyranny of Washington DC" -- deliberately hyperbolic titles, by the way -- I mused on the role those cities play on the national scene, exerting disproportionate influence on American letters and politics. The feedback I've received has included more than a few requests to tackle Los Angeles, where so much television and film is produced.

As a native Southern Californian, I am both intensely aware of LA and doubtful about my ability to see it from the perspective of an outsider. So before I give you my thoughts on Los Angeles and American culture, I wonder if you'd give me your thoughts as people who observe its cultural influence from afar.

What is the significance of LA for the rest of you? How does its culture affect your lives?

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