We set off to find the Ishtar Gate of Babylon. Not the original one… in present-day Iraq, but the reproduction of a reproduction from the 1916 film Intolerance (?? #hollywood). The version we were trying to get to is evidently just the anchor of a mall court, the area covering two city blocks or so that includes the Kodak Theatre where the Academy Awards are held, today in fact. The reason for this journey was to witness a performance art/protest that due to the locked-down, secure area surrounding the Oscars… did not happen as planned. The most I saw of it were the photos posted to facebook. They couldn’t get there either and last-minute, set up protest elsewhere. bummer…
Still, I couldn’t have asked for a better day (chill with the occasional sprinkle) for a walking tour of the surrounding area. In an attempt to get my bearings, I kept an eye on the most visible tall building around which has a large advertisement for “Trailer Park,” no kidding. After home and googling because who can tell what these ads are about anyway… it’s an “entertainment agency.” Camping is hip, ya know. Airstreams, roughing it, heck-it leads all the way to outlaws or something like that which is obviously badass. Anyway, at the end of our journey, nearing the parking spot, it was decided that a restroom break was first in order. Lo and behold, that nearest spot one half block away sported graffiti-art-type depictions of trailer parks, trash and rednecks. The Rusty Mullet. no foolin’.
lesson of the day: careful what you manifest. (take your eye off the trailer park)
Really the only thing redneck about it was the bathroom. The rest was all a bazillion TVs and bartenders with shitty attitudes. REAL redneck bartenders tend to be sweet as honey, at least while you’re paying attention, and many will even remove their dentures before certain services are rendered.
The caricaturization and glamorization of the rednecks is very curious to me, as is Hollywoodland in all its glorious absurdness. A short block from the bomb-checking area, the snipers, a short walk through tourists and busloads of street cops (good day to commit crime elsewhere), not far from the red carpet in the distance.. was a homeless man shivering on a bare mattress on the sidewalk. I didn’t notice him at first because I was trying to read some graffiti on the wall next to him. I’m getting old lady eyes and we were on the other side of the street. It said “You’re not going to leave without…” and I couldn’t make out the rest. I was about to snap a picture of it when I stepped back and saw him there to the side of it, looking pretty bad. My first thought being oh my god, he might be dying. Is he okay? Next thought… I cannot take this picture and the most disturbing thought was- I cannot look at this.
I did see some ?protesters?. The baby jesus brigade was out, kindly letting everyone know the choice is heaven or hell and we best get busy making the right choice. Choice is an interesting perspective on it. I’m not sure anyone was convinced. I think the baby jesus brigade would have done better to see and act on what I unwillingly saw, the one picture I couldn’t take.