I had once -- like, a week ago -- idealistically thought that I'd be able to sit down in some comfortable space and record each day of this trip as it happened. However, events have intervened, and the admixture of the warm (and spectacularly free of humidity) California sun and a frosty beverage at about 5PM have introduced a certain lassitude that I can't but ascribe to the local culture.
Some highlights from the last few days:
Disneyland seriously needs to go fuck itself. Betty was disillusioned by her experience, but this was the reaction of an eighteen-year-old being confronted by the expectations of her own ten-year-old self. The rides were inferior to those available at your local Six Flags, where the lines are shorter and the thrills far better. The rest of it was relentless merch-flogging. Fuck you, Walt Disney. Betty sees through you.
At Disneyland, the Animatronic Abraham Lincoln, in summarizing the Civil War, managed to avoid the following subjects:
- What the war was about
- Who won the goddamned war; and
- Anything having to do with the aftermath of the war, including Jim Crow laws, lynchings, or Bombingham.
The experience of belonging to a studio audience for the taping of a dreadful sitcom is quite remarkable. They need you to be upbeat, so they are quite relentless in their enforcement of (what Frank Zappa called) "compulsory entertainment." The tame comedian who runs the show leaves one wishing that assault laws weren't quite so strict around here. One leaves the studio feeling quite raped, actually.
According to the papers I signed, I'm not allowed to tell the exact name, or even the production company we were allowed to see, but let's see if my expert Internet-Search-avoidance skills obtain: The show we were forbidden from mentioning was Schmelissa-and-Schmoey, on the Schmay-Bee-Smee Schmaly Schmetwork... Does that work to disguise my origins...?
At any rate, the show seriously SCHMUCKS.
On the other hand, the Warner Brothers Studio Tour was really worth the candle. At one point we drove up to a sound-stage (Maybe #24??) that listed the movies that had been shot on its environs; they included The Big Sleep, The Maltese Falcon, and The Music Man. There's American History, and then there's Cultural Touchpoints Along the Way to American History; and Warner Brothers has badly mixed the two.