Half the fun of living in LA is how fucking crazy it is (the other half is the weather). In a country where everything has became franchised and standardized, there are precious few unique population centers. My town is one.
We have billboards for TV shows hoping to win Emmys. And billboards for actresses with giant breasts hoping to get noticed. We offer tours to celebrity graves. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills do not stand out. Neither do Maseratis in the drive-through lane at McDonalds. Doctors offer vaginal tightening procedures -- and in some parts of LA that's not considered elective surgery.
So the free time we have not shoveling snow can be used to appreciate just how goofy this locale is.
One need only to watch the local news in Los Angeles. And the genius of it is that it's presented without even a shred of irony. How does a local news anchor say the following recent headline with a straight face?
Fight Over Chuck E. Cheese Parking Spot Leads To Murder
I mean, really?!
Last Sunday night I was watching THE GOOD WIFE and the CBS affiliate broke in with this news teaser:
If California Is In A Drought Why Are Some Celebrity Lawns So Green?
The report featured aerial shots of Kardashian homes and other major “celebrities.” And then, because they’re fair and balanced, they did report that Jennifer Aniston ripped out her vineyard.
This is a news story?
Another news tease promised a look at new wardrobe celebrities are using to hide from the paparazzi. Basically it’s rain gear with hoods.
Nothing’s going on in the Middle East? I don’t think ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT bothers with these stories.
And weather is another major topic. Whenever we get rain in Southern California, all local channels break into “Storm Watch 2015” complete with team coverage from the same street corner that gets flooded during morning mist, and huge animated Doppler maps.
It’s not unusual for a weather person (usually with breasts the size of the actress who has the billboards) to break into programming and breathlessly announce, “Rain is in the forecast. Details at 11.” This is on a Sunday night. You come to learn the rain is not expected until Friday. And then it’s only showers that are predicted. And only a 20% chance of even that.
The extensive coverage that Baltimore stations gave to the riots we give to afterparties.
I may not be informed, but I am amused.
But perhaps the greatest example of how this town takes itself waaaay too seriously is this. A blazing headline in one of the local trade papers on March 31,1981.
Academy Awards Postponed.
Underneath it, in much smaller print:
The President Shot.
Sing it with me now. Everybody. “I Love L.A.”
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM