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“I Love L.A.”

Posted by purplemary54 on June 8, 2013

Randy Newman can be mocking, sarcastic, angry, and depressed.  He can be frighteningly prescient and wickedly funny.  But every song he sings, comes from a place of love.  He truly loves music and the characters he creates, even the somewhat distasteful ones.  He has a deep sense of the history of the U.S., and a wonderful sense of what makes people both unique and sympathetic.  He doesn’t pull any punches, but he doesn’t take any cheap shots, either.

Which is why a song like “I Love L.A.” works.  It’s both mocking and loving of this deeply strange and deeply fun place.  Los Angeles and the surrounding area is difficult to imagine if you’ve never been here.  There’s so much that’s commercialized and commodified; we’ve been packaged and sold so many times, we don’t know who owns what anymore.  But there are also pockets where there are no chain stores (or it’s a chain of, say, two shops).  Between Disneyland and Hollywood, there’s a very real sense that everything is fake; the copious amounts of plastic surgery, hair weaves, and spray tans don’t really add much reality to the scene.  Not to mention the mostly unreal weather (it’s what they call June gloom right now, where the coasts stay socked in with clouds for a good chunk of the day, keeping temperatures down; we’ll miss this come July and August).  But we also have some of the finest universities, more than a few terrific museums, and more good food than you can eat in a lifetime.  Reality might be subjective around here, but you’ll always find someone willing to debate it with you.

Right now, all people are seeing of my home is footage of a criminal rampage that ended in a lot of death and destruction.  And we’re being reminded of the terror inspired by serial killer Richard Ramirez, aka The Night Stalker, who died in prison yesterday.  I just felt the need to remind the rest of the world that we kind of rock out here in LaLa land.  We are funky and fun, and you can always find a good taco, day or night.  (Great, now I want a taco.)  I also want to send out a big psychic hug to everyone here.  Things might not be totally awesome today, but there’s always tomorrow.

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