Ryan Gosling Saves Journalist from Oncoming Cab, Thus Raising Awareness of Political Issues in US

There is a cringe-worthy cute-meet romance movie in this story, as well as some valid points about our celebrity-focused culture, and how it subsumes the the news cycle, pushing out important socio-political issues.

Political journalist Laura Penny is rather pragmatic about being saved from an oncoming New York taxi by a double-denim wearing guy who turned out to be actor/heartthrob Ryan Gosling. The Drive star reached out and grabbed her in the nick of time.

Penny–the author of Meat Market: Female Flesh Under Capitalism and Penny Red: Notes from the New Age of Dissent who has covered Occupy and writes for the Independent–is a contributing editor to The New Inquiry, and has contributed to The New Statesman, The Guardian, The Nation, Salon.com and Jezebel. She described the incident on Twitter:

I  literally LITERALLY got saved from a car by Ryan Gosling….I was crossing 6th avenue in a new pink wig. Not looking the right way because I am from London. Ryan Gosling grabbed me away from a taxi…Identity of no-idea-if-actually-a-manarchist-but-definitely-a-decent-sort Ryan Gosling confirmed by girl next to me, who said ‘you lucky bitch’

Penny has received numerous media requests which she has turned down because

it’s getting silly now…I really think it’s a bit of a fuss over not very much

and writes in her piece for Gawker on the incident

I am grateful to every other kind New Yorker who has saved me from oncoming traffic in recent weeks, good citizens making the streets of this fine city that much safer for random British writers who can’t remember to look both ways….People do lovely, considerate things for other people all the time. I don’t believe that the fact that A-list celebrities occasionally act like human beings is in itself news — it might have been slightly newsworthy had Mr. Gosling simply floated by on a cloud of his own cultural significance whilst a young woman got smeared into the tarmac, but lucky for me, even the most chiseled-jawed of us are usually boringly dependable in times of minor peril.

Gosling may not be a manarchist, he is socially active. He volunteered in Biloxi, Mississippi as part of clean up efforts after the 2005 Hurricane Katrina, has campaigned with PETA to encourage KFC and McDonalds to use more humane methods of slaughtering chickens.  The actor is also involved with African aid causes, and has traveled to Darfur, Uganda and Congo, as well as supporting  the Invisible Children charity.

And pulling Penny out of the way of a taxi isn’t Gosling’s first peripheral brush with Occupy. His upcoming film, Gangster Squad, about the Los Angeles Police Department in the 1950s, displaced Occupy LA for several days last year when they shot scenes at Los Angeles City Hall.

To Penny–who explained via Twitter she couldn’t do any TV appearances to discuss her five-second encounter with Gosling because the Manic Panic hair dye she used had turned not only her hair but her hands and face fuschia–the real heroes in America

are risking everything to make sure that the United States doesn’t slide further into bigotry, inequality and violence whilst everyone is distracted by the everyday doings of celebrities.

Exactly. But it would have been a fabulous opportunity for her to open celebrity-crazed minds to

war on Iran and war on women’s bodies and [why] Rick Santorum is considered a serious presidential candidate.

And in case you were wondering, Gosling didn’t say

Hey girl

when he moved Penny out of the way of the cab. He said

Hey, watch out!

Occupy LA Day 3: Sign Here!


This is the city. This is Los Angeles. Occupy LA has moved to the smaller north lawn of City Hall because a movie is shooting on the south lawn.

I don’t know the title, but I know that Ryan Gosling is hot!

exclaims an Occupy LA  volunteer at the media tent. Gosling didn’t stop over to say hi to the Occupiers, but the coordinator, multi-tasking at a computer, pack of Pall Malls and pad of paper as people ask her heaps of questions, said that she took a few extra breaks to catch a look at the Drive star.

The movie is Gangster Squad, a true tale about the Los Angeles Police Department’s efforts in the late 1940s and 50s to keep the mob out of Los Angeles. Sean Penn co-stars as the notorious Mickey Cohen.

City Councilman Richard Alarcon had dropped by earlier in the day. And Rocket Pizza delivered pizza! NBC, ABC, and both CBS stations had broadcast  trucks parked  and reporters scouring for interviews. There is no media blackout, but the media might get bored.

During General Assembly the announcer thanked the LAPD and the city council for allowing the Occupy LA to continue to assemble without permits, which are in the works. A huge round of applause went up and continued as the speaker introduced Vincent from Occupy Wall Street.  Vincent informed the crowd of almost 200 that the Occupy Movement was now in 70 cities.

Vincent said he was amazed at how organized Occupy LA was in only three days.

There are more people here tonight than we had in three days. You have a microphone, we didn’t have a microphone.

Tall, with a shaved head and full sleeve tattoos, Vincent said he is a anarchist and after he started doing Occupy WS, he saw how true leaderless government worked.  After much hand-waving and applause from the Occupiers, Vincent stepped back , Rose from La Puenta stepped up the mic with her story. A  single mom, Rose was late on a mortgage payment and the bank began foreclosure. She has decided to stay in her house and invited any Occupiers who would like to join her.

Come on down. There are fliers with my address.

La Puenta is twenty miles east of City Hall.

Next up, Brian from the International Workers of the World who began to explain how the consensus process works (basically if you like it or can live with it, don’t block it) which is designed to give everyone an equal voice and avoid power dynamics.

To keep groups from getting shut out, women of color. Queers.

Much applause and cheers from the LGBTQ in the crowd.

Then I overhead

How cute! A mom and her daughter just came with sandwiches they made!

My friends, Teresa the voter registration lady and her daughter Ava had arrived with a tin of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a huge stack of voter registration forms, which were very hard to find; there were none at three post offices, but luckily the post office at by the Grove, a celeb-studded outdoor mall had a huge stack.

I walked around with Teresa and her eight-year old as they asked people if they were registered to vote. The majority said yes, but those that weren’t happily took forms. Voting is important says Teresa because:

The three branches of the government are bought and sold, but the people can’t be. It’s not just electing officials, there are lots of propositions on ballots. And  judges.

Theresa also dropped off a stack of the forms at volunteer tables. One volunteer, who I had spoken to yesterday, asked her if she thought he should tell his boss–he works in finance and having just come from the office,  was wearing a button down shirt and tie–that he is spending his evenings and weekends at Occupy LA.

Ava and I ate bacon wrapped hotdogs–her first!–to celebrate her first time at a political event and we finished strolling around the camps.

This mornng I woke up and the rain had started. Occupy LA needs tarps, blankets, socks and toilet paper. They would also like reusable bowls, drinking glasses and flatwear which will be passed out to campers and washed to cut down on waste. There’s a PayPal donation button here, along with more info about what is needed.