Tuesday, December 14, 2004


As I’ve stated before, Los Angeles is a funny place. It attracts the majority of society’s underbelly, maybe because of the weather, maybe because the town is so expansive and without any discernable plan that one can disappear into the fabric and no one will be the wiser. This underbelly that I speak of is of no specific socio-economic status, but I’ll say that a lot of them live in the 310 area code. Okay, maybe 323 as well. It’s a place where people are as openly rude as possible. Holiday season or no, they will honk at senior citizens crossing the sidewalk, they will cut in line in front of you, they will crowd on the elevator before you can get off so that you miss your floor, or if you’re on the freeway, they will refuse to let you merge to make your exit – or they’ll just force you off the freeway. This is very different from the open rudeness that exists in New York, where if a person is mad at you, they will tell you to your face in as confrontational a way as humanly possible, but if they see a piano about to fall on your head, they will rush to save you without thinking twice about it, even if it means they get squashed in the process - conversely, the L.A. resident will not only not help you, but they will pretend that they didn’t even see it coming and had absolutely NO idea of the hazard to the poor stranger. This is why so-called “good Samaritan” acts end up making the local news due to the sheer unusual nature of the act itself.

If you are “no one,” meaning there is nothing evident about your social status or job description that will enable the person in front of you to move in an upwardly fashion on their way to Entitlement, you are invisible. If you are in the service industry, it is understood that you will be verbally abused as part of your job description. Los Angeles job listings will frequently contain the phrase “must have thick skin.” Los Angeles might have been a city in one of the Blue States that vehemently opposed slavery; but maids, gardeners, garment workers, valets and bus boys who are paid under the table at far under minimum wage do not count. That includes the ones who were kidnapped from other countries to work here in the sweat shops downtown. A blind eye is turned as long as conveniences remain available.

In addition to the rampant rudeness, there are the predators. These include the people who troll Hollywood Boulevard waiting for a child to use the payphone so they can drive up and snatch them into their car. These include the people that prey on innocents fresh off the bus from Iowa hoping to make their big break in the movies. These include the people who use the 14 year old hookers on Sunset Boulevard or Lincoln Avenue knowing fully well that they are children. These are the people who simply fixate on one person and make them the object of their peculiar brand of interest. This last variety refers to “The Stalker.” They say you can’t truly call yourself an L.A. resident until you’ve had at least one car accident...and a Stalker.

I think I’ve finally arrived.

To be continued...


Blogger Cletus said...


Sounds like you've had some bad experiences and I agree LA has no shortage of weirdos, criminal types, and obnoxious baby-boomers.

However, maybe I'm biased because I grew up here,
but there is no shortage of nice, friendly, caring people who live in this city.

I've noticed a lot of people move here and don't venture East of La Brea so their entire view of LA is dictated by the way people behave on the Westside---which few people find enjoyable.

Please take the time to explore the city---you might be surprised at what you find!


14 December, 2004 23:52  
Blogger frstlymil said...

Dahling - I do, I do....A native Californian, and have lived here over 20 years and watched it happen - you're right - the east side and south central are actually a little better in that respect, but as a whole it has become increasingly the norm and just getting worse. I'm glad to know people like yourself exist there to give it some hope.

15 December, 2004 06:02  
Blogger Laura said...

I suppose every region has its ecentricities. In my neck of the woods, we have Minnesota Nice. That's polite on the outside, but incredibly cold as a general rule.

Looking forward to the next installment.

15 December, 2004 14:20  
Blogger R said...

After having half a million of them transfer here to Colorado during the past decade, I must agree with your experiences. They are total assholes. I had one declare the spit up on my jacket repulsive and then asked me if I could tell her how to prepare the pork loin I was picking out. ?!! I wasn't even LOOKING AT HER. Just comes up to me, tells me I'm dirty and repulsive and then asks me if I know ANYTHING about the pork loin. I told her it's excellent served straight up her ass. Ugh.

15 December, 2004 20:35  

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