RR Sideshow: Hey Buddy, No One Cares Who You Know…
Living in Los Angeles one encounters quite the cast of characters where ever they turn: from the freaks in Hollywood, to the greasy-haired cell-phone peddlers of the Valley, to the latest Ohio-transplant looking to succeed where so many have failed in “the industry”. It’s all here. Our homeless can cop a SAG card by rolling around Venice on in-lines, vomit-covered bimbos can achieve fame while getting 86’ed from a dive, and people are made into Stars overnight with a cheap camera-phone… Just about anything can happen here in Los Angeles, because hey, we’ve got personality!
But personality only goes so far. Sooner or later novelty wears off; jokes die down, and let’s face it- shit just gets old. I can handle the bums, “out-of-work” actors don’t give me any flack, I don’t mind a gridlock on the 405 from time to time, even the fact it only rains as many times as the seasons change doesn’t salt my balls too badly. But there is one thing about this city growing an ulcer the size of a golf-ball in my stomach that only the likes of Travis Bickle could fathom. The scent of this intangible element of LA is thicker than any of the city’s smog and reeks up a room faster than LA’s finest medicinal grass. I am of course alluding to the one thing this city’s most notorious for – bullshit.
That’s right I said it… Bullshit.
This city is plastered in Bullshit. Bullshit is everywhere you turn and almost unavoidable. It’s around every corner and takes no prejudice or mercy. Los Angeles Bullshit affects all walks of life, creeds, colors, religions, personalities, and professions. And worse of all, it can creep up without warning. If one isn’t careful he can contract and pass-on bullshit to others without knowing it.
Despite what many people think, bullshit will not get you ahead, it won’t land a bed-mate, or attract “the right mix” for “your next project”. Bullshit in the long-term only attracts more bullshit, and it’s all the same no matter how large your budget is.
Really, how many times can I (we) be expected to put up with the same song sang by so many different people? It seems every person I meet is either a producer, from “a very wealthy family”, or has an in with “another guy”. How many times have you heard, “Oh yeah man I’m getting about 40 grand in three weeks or so” or some variation of it? I can’t count on five hands how many people I’ve met who’ve had “production deals” or “money coming in within the week” or “big things popping off”. No matter how different the stories may have been, the result was always the same: “Oh yeah man, things just fell through. Things didn’t work out like they were supposed to.”
There’s no end to the shit that passes peoples throat in this town. Whether it’s a story about a “friend of a friend”, having an “in” at a production house, or even a Craigslist ad looking for “fresh faces”, there’s always an angle. These people keep spitting this bile (sometimes without even knowing it) because they think it will get them ahead, or their over-the-top shit will impress someone worth impressing. When the fact of the matter is, anyone worth impressing doesn’t need whatever these people are peddling. All the lies in town do nothing more than delay, destroy, and annoy. Telling lies in LA has become the new Crack-rock – the payoff is short-lived, nothing is accomplished, and the people doing it are not only a disease of the American way of life, but a dime-a-dozen as well.
Sadly, no matter how counter-productive it may be, the Bullshit in this town will continue on and only get stronger. Bullshit sells a dream, and that’s what this city is all about.
Why do so many continue to pass around these biggie-sized cups of verbal diarrhea actually expecting people to take a sip? It would take a real Scarecrow from Oz to eat half the shit I hear on a given day. Yet bullshit fills the air more than the vehicle omissions?
I’d like to think in most cases many people are keen to the fact they’re being taken for a ride. And they continue to ride the bullshit-train straight to disaster for the hopes of something at the end of the rainbow. It’s that good ol’ fashioned 12 Steppers definition of insanity: to continue a same action expecting different results.
Maybe some people don’t know they’re being lied to? Maybe it takes a few ticks on the odometer before the leather skin starts to grow. Or perhaps I’m right, and people just chew the shit for the hopes of a better life, a free drink, or hell, maybe they just like hearing a good story. Whatever the case may be, things will almost always be harder for everyone (or at least really annoying) as long as this endless stream of shit is allowed to pour out to our city streets.
Whatever the case may be, these lies floating around have to see the light of day and be exposed for what they are. Some people need a little push in the right direction. They have to see that these lies impress no one. We can’t buy into the shit no matter how badly we want to believe. Keep the bullshiters alone, refuse them an audience and they’ll have no reason to continue. Keep their beds cold and their drinks warm, and maybe we can save Los Angeles from becoming a real-life version of Thirty Days of Night – A land of darkness where Vampires flourish where the next victim is just another meal away.
Geoffrey A. Citron is a contributing writer for (RR).