Thursday, December 29, 2005

I spent the day agonizing over What To Do With My Life. I researched more stuff on the internet (focusing on the academic offerings of various junior colleges), I abstained from food in order to get closer to the Deity, I took a thoughtful walk downtown to Clear My Head, paid some bills and otherwise focused my energies on productive cogitation.

I have broken my fast, and after all this careful work, nothing has come to me.

I take that back.

One thing has come to me.

Repo Man

Every time I let my mind wander, it gleefully relives choice scenes and images. Does it, in carefully veiled symbolism, contain the Answers to My Quest?

Out the window

Is it the gritty street scenes? The fabulous cars? The self-conscious generic-brand product placements? Or is it the Whole LA thing? I find nearly every aspect compelling, from the hazmat-suited extras, to the textures of the urban decay, to the cheesy plot. I even loved the concrete freeway overpasses and the LA river. It made me homesick for my half mythical southern california roots.

Ah, Freeway Overpasses.

Postcard View of the De Anza Overpass (?)

I have a secret passion for freeway overpasses, and freeway architecture in general. It somehow lives in a civil-engineering world of its own, seemingly untouched by the zeitgeist (ugh, please save us from the hideous building trends of the last 50 years). From an aesthetic sense, they are sinuous, paradoxically weightless and massive statements. As a driver, freeways are an open world, just waiting to be conquered by my mighty machine. A fluid conduit that can take you anywhere you want to be, as if here is never good enough. They beckon to better jobs, excitement, love, all in an obstacle-free concrete gutter. As a californian, they are a symbol of all we hold dear, the great west, the open road, the rape of nature. How can you argue with speed?

Ah, Those Mythic Southern California Roots

cashcar rear

Its hard to think about ancestors without thinking mostly of other people's ancestors. Other People's Ancestors are traceable in History. The Europeans Mangling Their Way Through Asia and the New World. Jews Finding Canaan. Africans, in the Bellies of Great Ships, making that Fateful Voyage across the Hostile Atlantic. Great Migrations across the Face of the Globe, involving every other earthling, except for my own. When I think of my Own People, I find a fat file simply labeled "LA." It wasn't the Indus Valley, the Fertile Crescent for my peeps, it was the LA basin that was the Cradle of Civilization. They came from those unmarked places on maps in black and white jalopies, with quaint hats and button shoes. They found each other in North Hollywood, they loved in Pasadena. They had children, they made stories. They moved away, or died. Nothing really started until they arrived Hollywood and Vine.

Ah, Cars.

headlights

We don't have much of a choice here. Either you have a car, or you don't get around. Coming of age isn't when you start bleeding, or when you register to vote. Its when you get your First Car. When you can answer the phone and say, "I'll be there right away." Its when you stop at the gas station and march around to the gas cap and unscrew it like you are the king of the world.

Repo Man. The Possession and Utilization of Cars. LA. Freeways. Potent, potent symbols, in Camilleland.

Thank-you, Contessa. A chance reference to the Plate of Shrimp set us on the RM course for last evening's entertainments. She has the most amazing TV video collection. She combed through three boxes of immaculately labeled videos in order to locate the movie. She even had artful calligraphy on many of the labels, and some were even organized by theme. She has embraced the zen of the TV movie video collection.

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