Friday, December 29, 2006

Hockney's Still Life

I wrote this long before I had a blog, but it's still true today, so…

Sunday May 1, 2005
It's another silent morning in Santa Monica. I can't help but marvel at how deadly quiet it is in Los Angeles. Perhaps I feel this way because I got too used to the roosters, the dogs, donkeys, and early morning mariachi band practices in the last few months I spent in Mexico. It still weirds me out a bit. There is something non-life about this much silence. It's beyond still life. It's diving right into David Hockney's placid pool. But that would make a splash, a sound, a ripple and we must keep this environment intact. Even if it is a surreal silence.

Occasionally, the silence is pierced by an errant car alarm, cutting through the still, like OJ's knife. The screeching beep-beep-beep honk-honk-honk is a hint of the violence that runs underneath all the silence in LA.

There's an air of unhappiness. There is also an air of false joy -- as if all Los Angelenos were merely cast members in an elaborate Disney production. They smile, they joke, they chat on their cell phones -- but everyone guards his inner self like a dark secret. In "life" they are not insecure, untalented waitresses. In "life" they are aspiring actresses, poets, painters making a living some other way until "life" catches up with life. Even the homeless seem to be something they are not. I wonder if they are panhandling because they can make more money this way than running errands, helping with construction, sitting at a desk...

I suppose it is also this distinction between "life" and life that can make Los Angeles feel so lifeless.


Blogger Martin said...

Very dark blog indeed... I hope you don't feel this way for too long into the new year... I can see what you mean though with L.A., however there must some genuine joy left there somewhere.... Seek it out enjoy..

All the best for the new year...

2:30 PM  
Blogger bad-dog said...

Thanks for reading w-w-w, Martin. I AM enjoying Life. And when in LA, I enjoy the Still Life. But it ain't Cairns!! LOL
All the best for 2007 to you, too.

8:26 AM  

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