Monday, December 05, 2005

a summer day in December...

Whoa... it is waaaaay hotter outside than the 60 degrees the news said it would be today. Blue skies, tourists everywhere assuming this is how it always is in California... to live here is to lose sight of all the hype and hoopla about it. After all, without unsustainable manipulation of the environment, this is supposed to be a semi-arid desert scrubland. Today, though, it is definitely paradise...

In her introduction to her book, The Faith of A Writer: Life, Craft, Art Joyce Carol Oates quotes Sigmund Freud,

"beauty has no obvious use; nor is there any clear cultural necessity for it.
Yet civilization could not do without it."

Thus it is that WeHo gets a reprieve for being what it has become. The beautiful,
or wish for beauty, those who traffic in beauty, or seek to possess objects of beauty (both inanimate and human) all cross paths in this artificial oasis like the background characters in Rick's Cafe Americain in Casablanca. Like Rick, they are lured for the waters. And alas, they, too, are misinformed. Beauty strolls and struts up and down the boulevard, perches by the pool, showing itself off, but always just out of reach... It is not unlike going to Las Vegas, knowing that the house always wins, yet betting anyway on games of chance which in truth, offer little or no chance of bestowing those illusive riches upon the supplicant.

Yet, is the view not pleasing to the eye? Are not the melanoma-laden sun soothing to the skin? Is that the promise of attainment whispered on the breeze?

The carcasses and skeletal remains of those who sought beauty in vain are carefully out of view. The palm trees shield us from harsh realities of life. Fantasy is the chief industry here, and though of late they've been castigated for saying so, many of the early writers wooed to Hollywood tried to say as much.

And now for something completely different. I am enjoying my nightly television --even if I don't have an enormous, color flat screen tv like Dad-- and my various, for the most part harmless, forms of escape, perhaps in part because the alternative is just so damn unpalatable. Okay, so I live on the fringes of the Great American Riviera, yet am not of it. I am close enough to peer over the fences into the gardens of a life seemingly without care from my hovel with more than enough cares I'd like to forget. Such is our world. Such is my day.

And now, out into the gilded cage I wander, to get the room ready for my artists' meeting tonight.

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