I hate Los Angeles.
I hate Los Angeles because it is a city not designed for humans. It is
designed for cars. Humans not required. One day it's going to be filled
with nothing but robot cars, cavorting on the highways of a city where humans
were never ever meant to be.
Having a cigarette after dinner elsewhere in LA tonight, I see a Crazy
Homeless Guy with a megaphone. He raises it to his lips, makes to speak --
to Announce, to make a Proclamation -- and then thinks again, lowers it.
Raises it again. But no. The time is not right. He gets on the bus,
disappointed. Something was wrong. His megaphone hangs in his hand.
Perhaps there wasn't an agent in earshot.
I also hate Los Angeles because it's not a city. It's six or seven cities
stuck together by seventy five thousand miles of road. I write this in
Burbank. Burbank appears to be one of those half-alive cities, like
Canberra, that people drive to in the morning and utterly abandon at night.
This hotel is like a colony on Mars. There's not another living thing in
sight. And, in the distance, the cars jabber and scheme in the dark.
I am going to Cable TV Station, housed in Big Media Corporation building. I
am told that there are two levels of heavy security here, as there are at all
studios here. Level One is a bored Pinkerton drone who sticks a broom under
our car to see if Osama Bin Laden is clinging to the chassis. Level Two is a
guy slumped over a counter who asks my name and then writes it on a lapel
sticker. Presumably this sticker renders me invulnerable to bombing
outrages, anthrax showers and bags of sarin.
Los Angeles is disgusted with the world. It doesn't understand why
terrorists haven't targeted it. It's Important. It's Hollywood. Surely
the warty Al Queda baddies want to destroy Hollywood, right? So where are
they? Was the meeting postponed? LA stares at its cellphone, desperate for
the validation of meaningless mass destruction.
I am meeting with my friends Producers and Screenwriter. Screenwriter
arrives pale and edgy. He is into the fifteenth rewrite of an adaptation.
He's been in the business a long time and is very successful. But, despite
being a professional screenwriter, he is still human. He has been asked if
he can make the piece's second lead green. And Welsh. And a dog. He can't
take any more. He makes an awful keening sound, like a stabbed dog. There's
blood in his ears. He rips his pants down and shits on the floor.
The waiter passes, looks down, and says, "Who spilled this fine American
Soon, it will be rinsed under the tap and put on the hotplate. And sold to
me as breakfast for $20.99 plus tax.
I'm extremely fond of the new sampler CD from Wasp Factory records. If
you're fond of things like VNV Nation, then the likes of Goteki and the rest
of the Wasp Factory stable have something for you. Go to
www.wasp-factory.com for a taste. Tell them I sent you. Label manager Mark
Eris has a occasional column at www.opi8.com.
ROAR OF THE GREASEPAINT
I'm signing at fine graphic novel purveyor Isotope Comics in San Francisco on
November 16. They're also doing a party that evening. You can get contact
details for them at www.isotopecomics.com -- give them a call and get the