Celebrities are rejoicing after Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 606 - a so-called ''anti-paparazzi'' bill which toughens fines on anyone trying to take a pic of a celeb's child in a ''harassing manner''.
CALIFORNIA has a reputation of being full of muesli-eating, hemp-milk-drinking, bicycle-riding hippies. Based on some of the laws our Governor signed this week, it's a deserved reputation.
The most ridiculous is a new law forcing car drivers to maintain a distance of one metre when passing a cyclist on the road. The Three Feet for Safety Act replaces ''safe distance'' in previous laws. So glad we spent taxpayer money on this law, which seems super easy to enforce. I'm starting a new business … selling three-foot planks of wood you hang out of the car whenever you see a cyclist.
Celebrities are rejoicing after Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 606 - a so-called ''anti-paparazzi'' bill which toughens fines on anyone trying to take a pic of a celeb's child in a ''harassing manner''. Hollywood mums Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner led the charge - they appeared looking glamorous before the state government, and now their kids are safe from having their spirits stolen by the photographic spirit. The California Broadcasters Association opposed the bill - calling it ''overly broad'', and says it infringes on the First Amendment protected right to gather news in public, where celebrities ''have no reasonable expectation of privacy''. Again, super glad all this time and effort has been spent on a bill affecting 14 super rich people in Los Angeles, and a handful of soulless photographers.
Next - minors in California now have a law that forces online companies to remove any and all information, photos, etc, if the request comes from the kid. This law comes into effect in 2015, by which time we'll be driving flying cars. Finally, California's minimum wage is going up. By 2016 it'll be $10 an hour. I can't make fun of that - having a minimum wage well above the federal government's benchmark is a good thing for poor Californians.
Federal politics, meanwhile, is now a three headed beast - Democrats, Moderate Republicans, and Tea Party Republicans - whose hardline, ignorant conservatism represents everything wrong with US culture. Tea Party nutters remain determined to scrap Obama's healthcare legislation even if it means shutting down the government. Moderate Republicans who stand in their way risk facing a Tea Party crazy in their next party pre-selection ballot.
I've just thought of another use for the Three Feet for Safety Act. Or at least for my pieces of wood.
Tim is a writer, TV producer and proud former Canberra resident who has lived in Los Angeles since 1997. Twitter @timschildberger