Deep Thoughts

10 Things I Hate About LA

March 29, 2013

Multiple Pages
10 Things I Hate About LA

If my kids turned out to be gay, I’d say, “Oh great, there go my grandchildren” and move on. But if my son turned out to be the guy at The New York Times who covered modern dance, I would lie in the bath and dig a razor blade into my wrists so deep, you’d think there were vaginas living there. And if my daughter ever moved to LA, I’d send her my head in a box. Los Angeles is to life what New York City is to a woman’s ovaries. It’s an elephant’s graveyard where stupid losers go to die. Here are 10 reasons why.

If they’re not going to an audition, they wear floppy sweatpants that scrape along the ground, worn-out flip-flops, and a tank top that doesn’t fit. They carry around tiny dogs as if they were purses. Their hair is ratty and dyed blonde and they’re always smoking a cigarette like a guy in jail hoping not to get caught. Even cool people in LA dress terribly. They either look like dads dressed up as hipsters for Halloween or giant babies who have been locked in the grunge closet since 1993. I think this is because they never go out, so they never have a New Yorker goin’, “Where you goin’?

Beverly Hills is hilly, Venice is a nice homeless beach, and Santa Monica is a pretty place for gays to eat lunch, but the rest of it consists of highways, byways, and billboards. All you do in LA is drive and it’s amazing to be in a car for nine hours and see nothing but billboards for The Voice next to ratty palm trees and abandoned carpet stores. Does anyone live in this city?

“I’ve always thought that people who live under communism slowly lose their souls. LA is worse.”

I’ve always thought that people who live under communism slowly lose their souls. LA is worse. The place is so sprawled-out, grabbing a beer means going to jail for drinking and driving. You’re left with no choice but to stay indoors, unemployed and alone. For a city virtually made of cars, you can’t get around. If you’re in Venice and you need to get downtown, you had better wait until 10AM after the traffic dies. When you’re there, you had better get out before 3PM or you won’t be able to get back to Venice until 6PM. Your whole day revolves around these tiny windows of unclogged freeways and that means you’d be lucky to squeeze in more than two meetings a day. Trying to socialize is futile. I met a Jewish guy there who grew up near West Hollywood, and he said he never bothered making black or Hispanic friends because he knew a regular commute to East LA would be impossible.

Every time you ask someone in LA what they’re working on, it’s always the same pilot from last year and it’s always the only thing they’re doing. A pilot is about 40 pages. That should take a day to write and maybe six days to shoot. What are you doing for the other 51 weeks, masturbating? How can you afford it? We’re told film is their biggest export, but when I check the OnDemand on my TV, I’ve seen everything. There’s only about a new movie a month on that thing. There are almost four million people in Los Angeles and they can only give me 12 movies a year? Costa Rica has the same population and they give us 200 million pounds of coffee a year. Get to work, you fucking flakes.

What is this, Zorro? You can paint the cinderblock walls of your home orange and have illegals plant all the exotic trees you want, you’re still living in the same cement house they use to hand out free condoms in Mexico. What was Randy Newman talking about?

Why are you hugging me? Was I lost at sea for seven months? Are you my twin sister? You hug your kids because you want to wrap your arms around their funny little torsos. You hug your wife because she likes that and it may lead to something after the kids go to bed, but I don’t hug my friends’ friends. People in LA don’t just hug you. They squeeze the shit out of you and hold it there. I find the only way to get these bitches away from me is to put up my hand for a high five but when you do that, they look at you like leprosy is back. Sorry, hugging someone you don’t know screams, “I’m full of shit” so loudly, it’s even more insulting than calling someone a leper.

When you first talk to someone in LA, they’re so flattering you wonder if the mirrors work at your house. I don’t care that I’m ugly but when people say, “Oh my God, you look AMAZING,” I start to wonder if I’m in an area with different standards of beauty than the rest of the world. Later you come to realize what that really means is, “Hello.” It’s the same in business. You’ll write a pilot or map out the idea for a screenplay and you’re told it’s the most incredible thing on Earth—by the client! So you start making plans for the next six months and don’t know you’re fired until you see it in The Hollywood Reporter. Looking like a hairy turtle with AIDS means I’m used to rejection, but I’ve seen writers go into deep depressions because they put all their eggs in one project’s basket and never considered that some square-toed shoe would step right into the center of the thing. Shit, LA is so backwards and disorganized, it’s not unusual to walk into the place the project was commissioned and discover the entire staff has been replaced. Nobody has a job there for more than four months and I suspect it’s because they are all incompetent.

The atmosphere is so dry in LA, you have to order a Big Gulp just to get a sip. It feels like Mad Max in an outdoor shopping mall and every time you inhale through your nose, your nostrils stick together. Venice is refreshing, but being asked for a cigarette every 13 seconds is not. Santa Monica also has air that’s not in a desert but that’s just one street and a beach, which is freezing cold.

I’ve slowly started to realize that acting can be fun. Writing a story and having it come to life is also pretty exciting, but being famous? What kind of person is attracted to a lifestyle where most of your day consists of strangers interrupting you? When people get really famous, they’re like burn victims who instantly quiet a room and make everyone uncomfortable. Famous people are freaks. That’s why Tilda Swinton is sleeping in a Plexiglas box outside MoMA right now. The reverence these people get is even more disturbing. An actor is merely repeating lines he read an hour ago, and he’s doing it the way the director told him to a second ago. It’s not a craft. It’s karaoke without singing. Even the director’s job is overrated. All he’s doing is watching TV live and noticing when he doesn’t like something. You know who else does that? Oh, everyone. 

You start to wonder as you walk around in this blindingly sunny nothingness, “Is this place supposed to be a city?” It’s like Vegas without the casinos. Just desert air with dying plants (fed by someone else’s water) and cement buildings built to be torn down. The movie Battle: Los Angeles is a $70-million apocalypse film about aliens destroying the City of Angels. I guess it scared some people, but most of us (including people in LA) watched the city burst into flames and thought, “Good.”


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