I swear I'm not bashing L.A. but I had to link to this.
Jon Baitz is a native Angeleno who was recently ousted from a show he created, BROTHERS AND SISTERS. This is his post on the Huffington Blog. My boss was reading it and she told me to check it out. She said it was depressing. It would have depressed me as well if I were not leaving.
It's a long post but the following jumped out at me:
"But perhaps most disheartening to me, a man who adores women, is the daily LA visual horror show of how they are discarded there, no matter how desperately they try to cling to youth. LA hates and fears aging, and especially despises the revolting notion of women aging. And in LA, more than anywhere I know, women of a certain age, who should know better, are complicit in their own degradation, going to desperate lengths to dodge what should be taken for granted. No actress would dare present herself as proudly and as honestly as Simone Signoret, would they? No. Women should hate LA, and I will never understand why they endure it all. Why? If I were a woman, I would burn LA to the ground, and spread salt on the earth where the men all gathered. (I may do that anyway.)"
"There is the matter of how to live in LA, before the decision of leaving it. LA is the world capital of loneliness. In the age of isolation, this is a very special achievement. I could not crack it. I could only survive it. Many of the single (or not) gay men I know in LA rely on the internet for courtship/release. I have nothing against this at all. I have met incredibly interesting people through the net. I have availed myself of its charms. But used habitually it can easily turn romance into renting, with boys queued up like your movies (Indie french) on Netflix. (Such a bad metaphor on so many levels but true; and I don't like rentals, I prefer permanence, and permanence is forbidden now.)
The online world is followed by the high temple of the gym: In Los Angeles, the gym occupies a special place. It is the town square. There is no real centralized street-life in LA, unless you wander the Botoxed, pumped, hyper-sexualized, bargain-basement gay ghetto that is West Hollywood. And why would you, if you're over thirty?
The online thing is not just an LA thing by any means. However, in New York, the life of the street, the flirtation and ebb and flow of strangers getting off of the bus, makes for a perpetual energy machine. New York is just sexier, smarter, and better dressed, less vulgar, more diverse, filled with accident, and unexpected encounters, as a rule. There is the Neue Gallery across from the Met, down the street from the Guggenheim, which is up from the Whitney, just a twenty minute walk to MOMA, across Central Park, etc, etc, forever and ever. You will see, smile at, spy on, talk to, stare at, be enchanted by any number of utterly different kinds of people within twenty minutes of leaving your apartment in NYC. A barrage rather than the white noise of the undulating palms and brackish skies of the dream coast.
In a company town like LA (which with it's segregation often reminds me of Johannesburg in the 1970's), agents date lawyers, managers date set designers, etc -- you get the drift. The homogeneity of the movie making classes means that most everyone dates within the tribe. Writers date producers, and everyone dates actors. They are everywhere. They are the butlers of charm who flirt expertly, gorgeously, giddily at the restaurants and catering companies where they work while awaiting the next great thing. Instead of the vibrant grid of Gotham, you have little cantons in LA. The hills above Sunset are known as the Swish Alps and there is something precise about the peculiar sadness/silence of the decorator-beige homes occupied by mid-to-high level show biz homosexuals who reside there, trying to dodge the parties and paparazzi at the Paris Hilton House. Even the pools seem joylessly limpid in those houses. Going up into those manicured, depopulated hills filled me with dread. Disheartening too was the endless talk of the business, this while America eats itself alive."