Art is More Interesting, Or One Reason Why I Hate LA, Or Why Reality is Better Than Fantasy

Last week, I met up with David and Zoe and had lunch with them at The Counter in Santa Monica.
Somehow we got on the topic of the Hollywood effect which is so prevalent in LA.
The Hollywood Effect
All around LA, you can’t escape the effect of Hollywood. It’s everywhere. For example, a lot of the people you see as waiters in restaurants are all aspiring actors. Movie premieres are common and well talked about. All have friends who work at one studio or another. Billboards advertise the latest shows and episodes, and feature beautiful people. Everyone knows somebody who knows somebody who knows some big time actor/actress or their kids.
You can’t escape it. You see it everywhere. You know people who are a part of it and it intrinsically defines the culture there. People then strive to be part of the culture and then the problems begin.
Beautiful People
Society glorifies the people they see in movies or TV. Women want to marry the movie star man, men desire the supermodel actresses. They build the ideal in their minds and then measure everyone else by it. Then, knowing this, everyone attempts to make themselves look and act like these idolized models of humanity.
So I say to David and Zoe that the “plastic” nature of women in LA sickens me. People use plastic surgery so that they can match up to the apparent ideal. I see boobs suddenly leaping to the sky and they leap joyfully everywhere in LA. And why do women (and men too) do this? Why can’t they be happy with who they are? Why do they focus on externalities and attract people who ALSO are attracted to externalities when in reality it is what is inside that makes the difference and keeps people together? This aberrant behavior is one of the biggest reasons why I hate LA.
Art Appreciation
Zoe recounts her experience at a recent meeting in a prominent TV studio. She tells of being excited at being on the set of some notable daytime soap operas and watched some of the auditions. She laughs as she remembers thinking that all those guys were so hot but then she talks about how they all looked so much the same and the generic nature of their hot-ness somehow made them less attractive.
I laugh and say that maybe she could just buy one of them, prop them up in her room like a piece of art, and then admire him everyday.
She then says, “No way. I think art is more interesting…”
A literary genius could not have said it better. Silently, I thank the skies above that someone else in the world believes as I do.
Crazily Chasing the Fantasy
I have experienced this too. At bars, we constantly try to go up and talk to the hottest woman in the place. We watch movies, read magazines, and talk about how we want someone that looks like the latest popular supermodel. We dream about the strip joint hot babe that we’re going to find and go out with.
But that’s why there are strip joints. So that men can have a bit of that fantasy. And when you leave, the fantasy stays and you go home.
Unfortunately, that’s not true. The mind continues to think about the fantasy. It rates all other women (or men) against it and makes you go after someone solely because of the way they look. It makes you focus on the externalities and totally forget about the internal stuff until it’s too late. That’s when you realize you aren’t compatible with this person and you can’t really stand being with them. You chase the fantasy, you cause others to try to match up to the fantasy, and then realize that there is no substance under the fantasy because it really just is fantasy.
It really is too bad that LA is not curable, or at least I don’t think so. There are big bucks in selling the fantasy and no one is going to take an argument that perhaps society could be better off without the fantasy, and that they should find ways of making movies without all the negative after effects.
But I for one am sticking with reality because in the end that is what matters. It’s not the fake boobs or the perfect face because the fantasy does fade into the commonplace for me when every fantasy looks the same. It’s the uniqueness of the individual, basically what’s real about each person, that I want to get to know.
Like Zoe, I too think art is definitely more interesting….