Posted: Sep 1, 2006 7:21 pm
Everyone I know who has ever lived in L.A. for any period of time has hated it passionately.
Can they explain WHY they hated it? A lot of people tell me they just hate the "Hollywood" thing - and I can completely see and agree with that. That LA is in the business of illusion, smoke & mirrors and that a huge part of it is SO FAKE.
As someone who was born in LA and lived in ACTUAL LA during the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, it is my experience that there was a DISTINCT "sea change" (as "they" like to call it) in the mid/late 80s that was characterized by a huge influx of out-of-state people moving to Southern California for either a "better life" or worse yet - to "make it", a Reagan-era destruction of the culture (it hit here much harder than it hit the rest of the country - and it hit Santa Barbara/Santa Ynez EVEN WORSE, as that's where the Reagan ranch is - and that's also where my parents lived and the whole invasion of the Secret Service up there made it felt like you were living "1984") and a "gentrification"/real estate development move that ripped out the heart and soul of noir-ish LA.
I left LA in the mid-80s - and actually spent the 10 years between 1976 and 1986 living in LA half the year and in London the other. Returning to LA from London always gave me a few re-adjustment days to see my hometown as outsiders saw it, and that's how I could see, feel and identify this huge shift from organic LA to a Los Angeles that was turning into the expected destination of those invaders who adopted LA as their new home, bringing with them all the bullshit they thought they were leaving behind. Not unlike the Pilgrims who left England supposedly to be able to practice their own religion, but ended up being the conservative, puritanical and close-minded foundation of America that one can probably draw a direct line to today's right wingers from. (bad sentence structure, I know... just spewing)
Northern California and Southern California have always been at odds - culturally and politically. This state is HUGE and could really be two or three states. Its all about the water - just like in the movie "Chinatown." Its all about the business in this state as well - from the port business (SF and LA are both big ports for bringing cars in, as well as other goods from Asia) to the agribusiness. Then there's the Hollywood business in the South and the Computer/Digital business in the North. There's agribusiness everywhere - the North has the bulk of the wine, but for my money, the Central Coast is the unsung super-producer of exported wine. There's farming everywhere too.
I do believe that what is hate-able about LA has nothing to do with LA natives, but is the direct result of LA being one of the more desirable destinations of the 80s. The 80s brought about a lot of cultural destruction... and that includes the destruction of cities' personalities and quirks. LA is just one of many