Clawing to escape the belly of the beast here in Hollywood. To commiserate, email my name assistantatlas at yahoo.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Welcome to Venice, You Intolerant Morons

As longtime readers know, I live in the LA neighborhood known as Venice, or sometimes more descriptively, "Venice Beach".

In recent years, Venice has been slowly undergoing a process known as gentrification.

Only Gehry-designed gentrification is welcome.

In my building, I can see this in new tenants, who tend to be whiter, whinier, douchebaggier, and richer than the previous ones.

I rode in the elevator with one today. I held the elevator for her when her SUV came roaring in after me into our parking garage. She was mid-to-late twenties, looked Indian-Pakistani-ish in origin, lots of highlighted hair, and I remember her flashy gold belt actually hurt my eyes for a moment. But she was pretty cute and looked reasonably cool at first glance.

"Thanks for holding the elevator," she said.

"No problem," I replied, flashing a patented Atlas smile.

"Hey can I ask you something?" She looks directly at me and I think perhaps the Atlas smile has worked its magic on yet another hapless lady.


"Sometimes, when you get on this elevator, do you..." she starts waving her arm, as if warding off a bad smell.

"Oh, yeah, totally--" I begin, as our elevator does have a tendency to randomly smell like various things, until she finishes--

" you smell marijuana?"

"Uh, what?" I ask, shocked. She doesn't look happy about the marijuana smell. And she looks like she expects an answer from me.

"Uh, well," I say, "This elevator smells like a lot of things from time to time, but, uh....not usually marijuana."

Fortunately, the doors have opened onto my lower-level floor at this point.

"Yeah, well," she says as I shrug my shoulder and exit, "I'll have to report it to the manager."

And when those elevator doors closed, I turned around and shook two upraised middle fingers at them.

Do I move to Boca Raton and complain about all the old people? No.

One reason I live in Los Angeles is because I don't like old people. But I know that there are a lot of old people in Boca Raton, so I don't live there. And if I had to, I still wouldn't complain about the old people because it's Boca and that's where they're supposed to be, safely ensconed behind gates and golf courses.

Am I going to move to New York and start complaining about how expensive parking is? Move to Mexico City, Tokyo or Sao Paulo and complain about crowds? Move to Paris and start whining about how the Parisians aren't welcoming and accommodating?

No. No I don't. Because I'm not an intolerant, unthinking moron lulled into a false sense of security by the siren song of egregious, planet-destroying wealth.

But whatevs.

Here's my real beef: in LA, you have no excuse. Hell, take the areas immediately adjacent to Venice. Santa Monica, to the north, has just as much nice ocean air and plenty of rich jerks so you won't feel alone. To the south, Marina del Rey and Playa Vista are much the same. Further east are Palms and Mar Vista, which, if you need cheaper rent (one reason why you'd choose Venice over Santa Monica, for example) are perfect for you, and more staid.

The point is, there are at least 200 neighborhoods in Southern California, most of which are less liberal/boho/urban/pot-friendly than Venice.

So don't move to my 'hood and start complaining about the things that make it great.

Because next time, I will f**king key "Welcome to Venice" into the side of your SUV.


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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Not Gone, Just Out of the Country, Kinda

Sorry, kids, I know I've been gone forever and ever it seems. I'm sorry. I really am.

But apparently, I love my job more than I love you.

I know, it's harsh. But the thing is, my job gives me money and you don't. You cheap bastards.

So I'm focusing on that. And they've been jetting me around the world, which is nice. I'm a big fan of jetsetting, overall.

Sorta. You know how Canada can be. I do freaking love that country, man. It's like everyone's just kinda baked all the time.

And I've been writing a lot of material that you've been watching or reading, assuming you look at mainstream media sources anymore. Which is gratifying, but saps my will to write here. Plus, I'm not so creatively blocked anymore that this is my only outlet. Also gratifying, that.

Also, I've been doing a lot more drugs than I should be. (just pot, don't get too worried) I know, I know. Wasting my potential.

Thing is, not doing the drugs seems worse a lot of times than dealing with the politics of corporate life. Because the more executive-y you get, the more it becomes about politics instead of your actual occupation. How in the world GE or GM manages to get anything done at all is almost beyond my comprehension. Although I still hate GE.

Oh, and I think I got may have managed to actually get my much-hated superior fired. We'll see, though.

The Hollywood life is a crapshoot, baby, so you better hope Lady Luck doesn't point her a$$ in your direction.

But Chad Michael Murray still loves you. See? He made this himself, just for you.

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