כ"ו לחודש האחד עשר תשע"ז
Once again, I go back and forth, as to whether I should be giving Asher Schwartz and the [not always] Jewish Press free publicity.
Oh, well. What the heck.
|by Asher Schwartz|
Esser Agaroth (2¢):
Asher, thanks for pointing out how star struck and materialistic we can be, and that we sometimes worship what we shouldn't be worshiping. At least that's what I got from your comic.
And, unfortunately, I cannot disagree with you.
Even more so, as a native Southern Californian, and one time very materialistic Southern Californian at that, I learned early on how tacky it was to treat celebrities as being on a higher level than everyone else.
We laughed at the tourists, and immigrants from suburbs, and yes, even those from New York City, who did.
It was even tackier to name drop. Anyone who said that he had just met a celebrity, either saw said celebrity in concert, on a talk show with a few hundred other star struck fans, or was simply lying. (Cocaine can do that, you know.) Even referring to celebrities by first name was at best borderline, but really to be avoided.
Instead, we would hint...
Remember that time in '85 in Nichols Canyon when the cops were called?
Why weren't you at the Santa Monica party last night? (The one which had been in the news.)
*"The Santa Monica party" means that there was, after all, only one party of many in Santa Monica that night, which was worth mentioning.
If you didn't get it, then you were irrelevant. If you did get it, then you were probably just pretending that you got it anyway, and were irrelevant, unless you could be of use somehow.
You see, if we put celebrities on a pedestal, then we could never aspire to hang out with them, unless we were lucky enough to become one of the select few groupies, which we would never deign to become.
Mentioning street names and corners instead of cities or neighborhood names really threw people off, and was a sure way to weed out the tourists from the natives.
As a San Diegeño, I was quickly accepted into the fold upon moving to Los Angeles, since Angelinos, and everyone else in the U. S. and around the world, consider all of Southern California to be part of Greater Los Angeles anyway. I just made sure never to be seen rolling my eyes, every time this fallacy happened to be mentioned in conversation.
If you guessed that we were snobs, then you guessed correctly.
But, once you got to know us, and you accepted your place in the greater scheme of things,...beneath us, then you realized just how nice we really were.
If you guessed that we were condescending as well as snobs, then you guessed correctly again.
Seriously, though, Angelinos get a bad rap. They are really quite nice, just annoyed when others,...outsiders that is,...pretended that they're natives.
These individuals were simply not tolerated. But, everyone else was treated very nicely and with those friendly smiles, which everyone always thought were pasted on fakes, but really weren't,...most of the time.
Actually, you know who the nicest Angelinos are? The celebrities themselves. Every celebrity I have met (notice no name dropping?) has been super nice, and genuinely so. I was most impressed with the Oscar nominee standing in back of me in line to get into a club. Why didn't she just go right in? Surely, she would have been recognized. I took the opportunity to turn around casually to smile and say "Hi," which is code for "I'm on the same level as you. Wanna hang out?"
The answer was "no." But, I guess you get the point.
Our priorities were messed up. At least mine were. I had even been exposed to Torah observance as a kid, and even liked it.
Fortunately for me, these messed up priorities were just a phase.
I mean, who cares about who I knew and which clubs I was able to get into? (This was the beginning of the "selectors" in LA. OK. So, we stole the idea from New York,...I think. So, what?)
Or for that matter, who wins the Oscars?
Sure, I do watch movies, and the Oscars can be a helpful guide as to what to watch,...albeit less and less, and that was even before it became overrun by the ultra-Left-wing political agenda.
But, still, how will the results of the Oscars affect the universe?
Not at all.
הֲבֵל הֲבָלִים אָמַר קֹהֶלֶת, הֲבֵל הֲבָלִים הַכֹּל הָבֶל. (קהלת א,ב)
Vanity of vanities, saith Koheleth; vanity of vanities, all is vanity. (Eccl. 1:2)