4.05.2012

Is Anybody In Los Angeles Happy?

I used to have a co-worker who was a professional wrestler. His way of greeting people was to ask: "Are you happy today?" (as opposed to hi, hey, sup, etc.) Whether you answered truthfully or not, it was always a good conversation starter, and it gave the greeter a good idea of what he was in for, i.e., how much of a bitch you were going to be today. 

It occurred to me yesterday that maybe no one in Los Angeles is happy. I don't really know a person here who's happy on a regular basis. I know a lot of people who are living their lives and doing fun things, like being in movies and having babies and being warm and going to the beach. But it seems there's no one who's innately happy about it, today, in LA.

from http://melroseandfairfax.blogspot.com/
if it's a problem, lemme know

Elaborating: A lot of people are happy about something that might happen tomorrow. This is the big pull of LA. Tomorrow some shotcaller will recognize your whatever and then a house in the hills will fall onto your head and you will never have to do real work again.

A lot of people (like me) are very interested by their lives in LA, because it is culturally the most diverse place on earth and thus endlessly interesting. At the bleeding edge of Western Civilization. No place like it. No time to think about it.

A lot of people are pretty happy about being from LA, but in the way where they'll get drunk and then fuck you up for talking shit about a claimed sector of some neighborhood you've never even been to. And that's not really the kind of happiness I'm talking about.

I'm talking about the kind of happy you get from living in a certain place to the point where you actually annoy other people. And you don't notice, because you're so on the wavelength of happiness, you can't even sense the other thing. I'm talking about the civic joy of New York, whose residents are so narcissistically proud of their town that they think their mayoral race is big news in other cities, and also blindly believe they have the best Chinese food in America (They don't; Los Angeles does, and we should be happy about it, but it's so far to drive there.). I'm talking about the deep self-satisfaction of San Francisco Bay Area people, who walk around with a silly smug smile knowing that they live next to all the best food and the best gadgets and will never have a dull moment because of all the weirdos. I'm talking about the deep romance and history of being in or from Boston, the chilled-out grace of waking up in someplace like Austin, or in whatever that city is in New Mexico.

In Los Angeles, people act out in a way that suggests they're dealing badly with not being happy. Others mistake this behavior for obnoxiousness or stupidity. Most of it, of course, involves driving. For example, why was this Torrance woman texting in her car while driving with her child in her lap? Is that text solving some happiness problem she has that wasn't solved by having the child?

A lot of people in LA are happy, temporarily, to be out on the freeway driving fast, bouncing off the railings and other people, but only when they're not being slowed up by the other drivers who are (categorically) Asians, blind people, illegals, or faggots.

And, OK, then there's that "faggot" thing: I went to a perfectly nice party last week in Echo Park which was briefly interrupted by a street altercation between two guys screaming at each other about being "faggots" and how much they're going to fuck each other up. I wanna say these guys were just young, but honestly they could've been in their mid-30's.

Of course they didn't actually fight. They're not even happy enough about their lives to defend it with physical action. They just want to make sure that the other guy also knows how terrible a person they are.  I have no idea what they were fighting about, but most of the fights I see in Los Angeles boil down to guys calling each other fags and running away. And it's not even said with specific hate towards homosexuals, more like with an overflowing unhappiness directed at all humanity.

The stars are not happy for having "made it." Why does Lindsay Lohan keep crashing her car into things? Because she's so damned happy to be alive?

Rich people are not happy about being rich in LA. At the casino, on a regular basis I met customer/players who had tons of money and lived very cushy lifestyles, and they were all frickin miserable sons of bitches.

Kobe, staring at the ceiling. Yeah, it's the Staples Center ceiling.
But same concept.

Think about it: Kobe, with his dysfunctional team and less-than-seven championships? Not happy. NFL fans? Not happy. The Dodgers? Really not happy. People with families? Getting through life, but kinda worried about all the unhappy people, and then getting divorced. Actor/stripper/models from Ohio? Making a promise to themselves to push away all the people who suck happiness-energy from their lives. Film Industry People? Working on something that might make them happy, tomorrow.

And that is the saving grace of LA, by the way: People work hard, in their fashion. They hustle to make that cheese. The definitive quality of LA is striving. Folks have a dream and are working towards it with energy, with passion, and sometimes with creative inspiration. But without, I would argue, a lot of happiness.

On the other hand, we do have the best Chinese food in the country.
The San Gabriel Valley, and its expanding mini-chains, have the best Chinese food in America.
This is not arguable. It is a fact, and will be recognized as such by anyone who knows what they're talking about.



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