Hostel California

I did not want to write about this at all. I had next week’s post (wait for it) in progress. And then Glenn Frey died. It was just impossible to ignore his passing and write an anodyne post in a time when two other  performers I cared about passed away as well.

Old Pasadena January 2016

It seems my California entertainment community is just plain getting old. Not that 67, 69 and 70 are old. Not any more. Seventy is the new fifty, as far as I am concerned.  So, what happened? Now, you and I are both thinking that we cannot extrapolate to anything greater than three freak co-incidents. We shouldn’t run away with this and see anything larger at work here. Yet … it did start the wheels of my imagination spinning.

Is it the storied 60s, 70s, 80s debauchery catching up with these guys? Does their exceptional genius and high-powered career simply burn them out? I am beginning to feel like California is becoming a place talent comes to, well, marinate in excess and the temptation of easy living, and then simply drain their energies away. Alice Bailey, the infamous Theosophist warned of the perils of what she called glamour — the material world. I have said it before, Los Angeles is seductive.  You arrive and you never leave. There is something so prophetic about that song. Just the first few bars of it and I am right there, back in the witchy womanish dark syrup that is Hollywood.

You simply cannot escape it. Even my husband’s business largely depends on the entertainment industry. The buildings he saves and restores are often funded by the studios or the stars, for one or another purpose.

Most of these guys are not from here.  They come, like so many fresh-faced talented ingenues, from every place else. But when they get here, they are drawn like flies to the honey pot. It’s just yea-close, that success, that heady promise of being forever young and lovely, and loved.

Pasadena Village Life January 2016

Would I deny Glenn Frey the phenomenal impact he had? Those lines he wrote: “… it’s a girl my lord, in a flatbed Ford, slowin’ down to take a look at me”. Haven’t every one of us memorized every single syllable and doesn’t the imagery in those songs become etched into our subconscious? Is there anything more vivid than arch lines those rockers pulled right out of the Akashic ethers and set to music at a pace that got us up off our feet to simply throw our hands up in the air and shout for a soaring joy? With that music we were airborne. Pure LA sound.

And while I am at it, may I just say, what strikes me as well, as I consider this somber and more occult side of California, and Los Angeles in particular, is the fact that we are about to celebrate the Oscars and once again, underwrite — however unwittingly — the industry’s overt hostility to people of color. It is remarkable in its asynchrony with the times in which we are living and the movement toward more diversity, representation and celebration of this salmagundi that is the urban megalopolis. The other brooding secret of Hollywood is #OscarsSoWhite. Just as police forces should reflect the community they serve, so should our film enterprise.

No, we don’t have the opioid addiction of heroin to deal with here. We have something far more potent. We have the den of pleasure, and ease, and beauty and sex that flows out of Hollywood like a fragrant lava that just envelopes everyone and thing in its path. You just don’t come here to work or live and expect that it will not consume you.

So if you have any serious living to do, better get on with it before you come. Come here when you are ready to go no where else.

Union Street Pasadena January 1 2016

Goodbye Glenn-Frey. And take it easy.

Images: Chez BeBe assets: Pasadena – taken with my cell phone on January 1

 

14 Comments on “Hostel California

  1. Beth!
    This is just Beauty!
    Beauty of a Post that I admire.
    Its one of the few I have read yet.
    I did come to know of California and its glittering light.
    In its midst how the young and old get to drown.
    I also came to know of what you want of life.
    Cheers! Beth.
    I am to complain about your esteemed presence on my blog.
    I love to see you there by your precious comment.
    Do right now read “Distant Heart” its on top of my blog page.
    LOL
    Shiva

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved all of the ones who had such creative msgic. Your lines about each word becoming part of our collective psyche were so true of Bowie and Frey.
    I felt Alan Rickman could lose himself in his characters, which was also magical. My favorite roles he played were the gentlemanly neighbor of the girls in “Sense and Sensibility” and the more ordinary role of a man being attracted to a coworker but not fully acting on the attraction in, “Love Actually.” He becomes a better husband once he gets over his daydreams. It is not the roles of wizards or enemies I treasure, it is the human frailty of everyday lives that some actors portray.
    Beth, there are always a wide variety of multicultural films made in the U.S. there is a channel that is labeled BET, which carries plenty of engrossing films. The Academy is needing an overhaul, you sre so right. People like Jada Pinkett Smith are just speaking up.
    It offends me when people make fun of her and others leadership. Speaking yp is wht we wanted to side with the North sbd Abraham Lincoln. The “Compton” and the “Concussion” films are two fine examples of movies out there that deserved recognition. Why Creed didn’t elicit awards for the supporting actor or best new actor is beyond me!
    We have had great past years with Selma and 12 Years a Slave. The role of the Japanese torture leader in Unbroken. . . Great post and don’t be afraid to speak out! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, yes there are those channels. I get them. It is too bad it takes having their own channels or for a brief moment we had a foreign films channel. It didn’t last. Hollywood is too monotone and monochrome! I think this time, they are hearing it.

      Yup, Sense and Sensibility is my favorite Rickman role. I have it permanently DVRd and on an old VHS tape. Love that movie and the kind of man he played in it!

      Thank you Robin, you know me, I keep vocalizing — my mind is an open vessel, LOL!

      😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It vexes me when there is need for positive discrimination. Who wants to be the actor/actress/politician/company director/etc who wonders if they were selected to counterbalance inequality? It needs to be done but it’s a great pity that it is necessary. The old boys’ clubs in every walk of life owe an apology to Mother Nature and her multi-faceted progeny.
    It’s bad enough to lose talent to natural causes without it being ignored while alive. It’s been quite a start to the year with the level of loss. So sad.
    And I agree, seventy is the new fifty – which makes me 35! Yeah! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • One reason I like the fact that there are more award shows is they dilute the importance of the Oscars. I am not much on competitions of any kind, but if we have them, they need to be fair and inclusive. The fact that bigotry still exists here makes me furious.

      Oh, and since I am pushing 50, believe me, I truly believe that 70 is young!

      xo

      Liked by 1 person

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