I stole a Pulitzer Prize Photograph Winners anthology from my high school library in my senior year. In case you’re wondering, I was able to do this because I worked on the library staff. I was the grossest slope-shouldered reclusive nerd ever. But I was cunning and calculated. I slipped the book into my folder, destroyed the check-out cards and magnetic strip, and I was off on my wild getaway. The book was awesome. I wish I kept it like everything else. There were some truly pre-internet voyeuristic death shots that live with me to this day. The absolute fucking clincher of course is Eddie Adams’ unforgettable execution vision that is a permanent display of Vietnam War lore.
I love still photos much more because of their random, frozen-in-time nature. Videos are all the rage now. Videos are cool but those of us raised in the rudimentary era of still photography appreciate the “snapshot” mentality of an image that doesn’t move or speak. It’s like catching a glimpse into the static mind of history and your imagination takes over from there. To the modern ingrate, it is bland and boring, perhaps, but there still existed a charmed wonder that you experienced upon examining the still photo. So remote, so distant, so unreal. For all that is unshown and unsaid, we had greater inner life in the old days.
Now, everything is there for us to see. Down to the shitstains. It’s great. But it’s not.
When this guy went berzerk in Hollywood, it was captured and dispersed immediately all over the videosphere. This video is odd. It’s from local television station KCBS. It comes to us courtesy of a young boy who sat in an expensive condo on a Friday afternoon. He took a video of a flipper-outer who strolled down Sunset Boulevard shooting indiscriminately into the morning crowd in the hope he would be put to death. Suicide by cop. The manner in which he fired makes it obvious he intended to harm no one except himself. A media-driven cry for help. It’s like the girl who “OD’s” on pain killers when everyone is around. That’s how they used to do it. It’s all bullshit and it’s so L.A. Los Angeles, home of show biz and out-of-work actors and strippers, is the biggest civic attention whore on the planet. How many pretty boys are sitting in condos lining Sunset Boulevard with nothing to do but take videos of interlopers all day long while hanging out windows like Mardi Gras whores? They are male whores, most probably belonging to equally gay Hollywood bigwigs who like cock and love nests. They come home from a long day’s work to their boy, freshly awaiting. This town is disgusting. The videographers are attention whores. The cops are attention whores. The murderers are attention whores.
The city is one big festering attention whore by the sea.
If this happened in Kalispell, no one would know or care. Hollywood bestows an air of publicity to the unremarkable shit that happens every day anywhere else. For this reason, it attracts those who feel their case is extra special and in need of more attention. Just as the creme de la creme stage material flocks here and does everything to be known, it also applies to the creme de la creme mental cases who don’t feel their depravity is served sufficiently in the boondocks. I hate the fact I probably crossed paths with this poor soul in my Hollywood journeys.
Everyone flocks here to make their face and cause known.
I walk to work from my train station regularly just a block from this meltdown. I encounter tons of these lost souls daily. Blurry and fuzzy-eyed. Ambling. They have no idea where they are headed, and most of them trying not to have any idea of where they came from. Hollywood is one big cesspool of indecision and controvertible hysteria. Public transportation is just as bad. The businesses all are all fake. There is nothing genuine in this town anymore. It’s worse now. I’ve been acquainted with Hollywood since like, 1985. The main drags suck. Stay off Hollywood or Sunset. That is all trendy and touristy bullshit and I hate it. The best spots in Hollywood are those that are untouched by the sun. The ones that live under the rock. I’m not now, nor ever was, a Hollywood groupie type, but I’ll tell you the 3 bars in Hollywood that were never besmirched by the popularity bug. This “widespread” popularity will kill them now because of the publicity from my blog which is so widely read (LOL).
I haven’t been to these places lately but they used to reek of gutter.
They used to offer a street level repugnant shade of existence the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce doesn’t boast of. They are great!
It’s hard for me to live in a land of such blustery anonymity, yet, I find it very fulfilling.
There is a facet of anonymous urban living which perfectly reflects the abandon of rural life.
No one knows anyone.
You do what you want.
This is the problem, isn’t it?
Hollywood is such an attention whore. Home for those seeking….attention.
America is now an attention whore. Cameras on every corner, in every unit, in every car, in every pocket. Everyone’s on film, everyone with a camera, we are on stage. We are the stage. We mimic the scene for you. Watch us now. Watch me die, watch me live, watch me surrender to you! One day, your life will be mine. This is a perpetual, terminal audition. The video is embarrassing. The woman interviewed by the ATM sounds like she just won the Miss America beauty pageant. Her voice shakes too much. Everyone got their moment here on a beautiful Friday morning.
And in the end, the guy got his wish.
Courtesy, Los Angeles Times (Gregory Bojorquez)
I wonder if this photo will grace the pages of a photo anthology one day? It captures a still moment and is more memorable than all the phone videos.
Peace, my tortured brother.