Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A little tirade for Tuesday....

.... 'cause I am too tired and it's been a long day.

I grew up in Southern California. I spent a lot of time in LA - I was born in LA. One of my favorite places was Westwood, with West LA in general being a great place to hang out. Every once in a while I'd head over to Beverly Hills, have a bite to eat at Nate & Al's. If I didn't want to deal with that crowd, I'd head over to Cantor's. That's what the Bay Area needs - a good Jewish deli. The thought of bagel and lox, with a little cup of chicken noodle soup, just makes me salivate.

I digress.

bumped into me in When I roamed these streets, it was not unusual to see "famous" people. David HAsselhoffWestwood one night, and told me to watch where I'm going (he's like 6'3", I'm 5'6" - and there's a reason "ass" is part of his last name). Aresnio Hall spilled coffee on me - and was very sweet and very apologetic. Arnold Schwarzenegger banked at my bank and I saw him depositing his studio checks (my ex worked as a teller while attending UCLA). I saw Ophra and Gail on a bad, bad hair and attire day. It was not uncommon to see the faces on the big screen going about their business being normal human beings - eating, shopping, spending time with friends. There was one thing that wasn't there - the paparazzi.

15, 20 years ago, those that made a living in the television and movie industries could expect some semblance of normalcy in their daily lives. If they were at an "event", that was a different story. Something very ugly is happening in my home town, and it's getting worse day by day.

Let's take yesterday for example.

LA is also the home of the helicopter traffic reporter/car chase commentator. If you see a car chase on TV, 9 times out of 10 it will be somewhere in the Basin. It's just a fact. It is a spectator sport, and we've made it into an art form. KCAL, local channel 5, was usually the source of our need for potential speed. At least that's how I remember it. Honestly, our most notorious car chase was the crawl chase of OJ. I still remember where we were - husband and I were out for a midweek dinner and we decided to go to the Outback because I needed a steak. We saw the car chase and knew it had to be LA. When the news feed popped on, we saw what it was about. Not that it surprised us, but as two people who had lived in SoCal long enough to become trained sheep, we were transfixed. We couldn't look away. We sat in the bar, watched TV and ate dinner. Baaaaaaaaa.

So yesterday there was another helicopter following another SUV along the streets of LA. This time the SUV was black, the passenger of interest was a white woman. A very sad, in much need of medical help, pathetic excuse for a mother, hugely famous, young woman. KCAL was reporting.

Out society is rapidly going down the crapper, and our media spends h-o-u-r-s reporting and recounting every detail of her existence. It's like a play-by-play of the most pathetic game in the world. We are watching someone self destruct. This isn't news - and it isn't entertainment. It's just wrong.

Humanity has to evolve - we have done this for millenia. But to me it seems we are de-evolving. I encourage all of you to take a personal pledge to improve our society. Don't go to TMZ.com. Don't buy the National Enquirer. If it's media and pertains to the perpetuating of gossip, don't participate, don't watch, turn it off.

There are some people who do their work in a much more visible setting than we do ours. The thing is, they are still people. I can't imagine having every step blocked by a man shoving a camera or recorder in my face. What a horrible way to live. Is it right to have someone camped in front of your house, waiting for you to take out the garbage in your pj's? Or having lunch with a friend? Or taking your daughter to the airport? What gives any of those stalkers the right to involve the children?

It's just not right.

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