Saturday, March 31, 2007

hollywood is burning.

It’s been a while since my last post, and my original plan was to write about the packs of coyotes that have been attacking pets and wild animals outside my window at night. But that will have to wait.



Eryn [Chloe, for those of you keeping track] is at my door.

“Have you seen the fire…?”

[cut to]
Eryn and me hurrying out to the curb to gaze up the street. The sunlight is orange. Not just in the general area of the fire — everywhere. It’s actually orange. The closest thing to it is the pale yellow in the atmosphere before a tornado. Only this is different. 'Cause this light is orange. Which isn't yellow. [I think you follow.]

And there it is: The Hollywood sign is standing in front of billows of smoke. To its left, fire can be seen licking up the far side of the mountain, menacingly edging its way towards enormous, white vowels and consonants. Overhead are a number of helicopters —both of the firefighting and the six o’clock news varieties. [The news was hovering, and the firefighters were dropping what I assume was several tons of asbestos onto the conflagration. Something to look forward to.] Since Universal City is on the other side of the mountain, it's safe to say that about 17 screenwriters snapped into action at once — they got on their Macs and iExploited the situation. I'm sure sometime next year, there will be a movie called, "HOLLYWOOD! Letters Ablaze!" Shit. Now that I think about it...

As I’ve mentioned before, my street is big with tourists. Lots of people stop to see the sign. And I’ll admit that it’s still a little odd to drive to my apartment and see it staring down at me. But it’s downright surreal to see people taking vacation snapshots, completely oblivious to the fact that the residents are starting to consider whether or not they should move their HD televisions to their cars for quick getaways. [Admittedly, this would have been a smart move, had the fire reached the crest. At that point, it would have been an easy path down to my neighborhood.] Of course, many of the residents were thanking god that their biggest investments are attached to their chests. But it's absurd to think that a tourist can block out a potentially dangerous situation so they can get that coveted snapshot. Freaks.

In any case, these, here, are a few of the shots I took of the biggest drama in Hollywood today. Consider it a preview of next year's biggest summer blockbuster.

Oh. And the cause?

Two teenage boys playing with firecrackers. Their parents are, I'm sure, very, very proud.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

we love trash.

The Oscars. They’re, like, the Super Bowl of award shows. Only with slightly better officiating. [As far as big events go, the Super Bowl has the edge because the speeches are far more articulate: “How’d we win the game? Well, basically, we scored more points than the other team. Then we poured my favorite sports drink on Coach. This was very funny to me and my friends. We laughed and we laughed. Then we got a trophy that I can’t even take home. Bulllllshit, man…”]

Oscar night is — as far as I can tell — the one night we can watch people who are paid to say things for a living, go, “umm… oh… God, umm… first I want to thank… wow, this was… this is… a mistake… I, uh…” Only to be followed by a thoughtful speech and the words, “Now, [insert son/daughter name here], go to bed.” Which is a joke that should, itself, be put to bed. These people make it sound as if they can’t afford nannies or parents to do the task of watching over their off spring, as the little bastards train for a life in rehab.

Winning an Academy Award is a big deal too. Or, at least it was, until Marisa Tomei won one. The Russell Crowe nod didn’t do much to restore its luster, either. [Oh. And by the way, Alan Arkin DID deserve his award. It was really a lifetime achievement honor, anyway. Frankly, anyone involved in the launching of Second City…]

But when you’re living here in the City of Brotherly Facelifts, the Oscars have a special added meaning: gridlock.

Oh, my holy god.

The problem is that I live pretty close to the Kodak Theater. And that makes for a fairly inconvenient truth which, coincidentally, won an Oscar. [Unless George Bush wants to take THAT away from him, too.]

I blame the traffic jams on People™ magazine, which is only slightly harder-hitting and accurate than Fox News. Is it really that important for its subscribers to have a place to sit to watch Gwyneth Paltrow enter the Kodak Theater to receive her posthumous lifetime achievement award? I mean, it’s important to keep up her exceedingly low self-esteem but Is it really worth the meticulously well-planned detours and the headaches? No. No, it’s not.

That said, it’s actually kind of an interesting spectacle to watch 100’s of limos navigate their way through Beverly Hills, West Hollywood [,etc…] an hour before the show. The Goodyear™ Blimp, hanging in the sky; helicopters, circling the perimeter — hell, even the trannies were dressed to the nines. [Or is it sixes?]

But my thoughts as all of this buzzed around me were simply, “acting is a beautiful career. Celebrity is rubbish.”

I’m not likely to change my mind on that point.