Hugh Laurie’s love letter to Los Angeles in The Telegraph is the kind of defense I wish I could give of LA to the (many) unbelievers I’ve encountered since leaving the City of Angels.
“I love you, I hate you: you might call it a mixed message, if the message weren’t so unmixed. You’re allowed to love Paris, up to a point, New York, more or less, Dublin and Glasgow, definitely, but loving Los Angeles is just plain wrong. Oxymoronic, in fact – if you promise to go easy on the oxy.
…And then, as the drowned man said, there’s the weather. Great, fat dollops of it. On the eighth day, God reached down and set southern California’s thermostat to “lovely”, and he hasn’t really touched it since.
But Los Angeles, if it’s anything, is a place of reinvention, the edge of a continent, both inner and outer, from which you can step off into a new life and a new way of looking at things. Or, if you prefer, you can decide that your old life was just fine. Either way, you end up better off.”
And the Huffington Post has a fairly brilliant analysis of a troubling aspect of the ever-increasing collisions between nerd culture and “pop” (as in “popular”) entertainment.
“I enjoyed Star Trek Into Darkness, but the worst part of the movie was the almost complete recreation of the Kirk-Spock death scene from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. It’s not so much that J.J. Abrams, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof did recreate that scene, it’s that they did so in an effort to make people watching say, “Oh, I get it.” Great! I mean, of course you “get it.” How could you not get it? Everyone gets it. That’s the problem. The best kind of fan service is when very few people get it. Being beat over the head with a reference to a prior movie isn’t fun for anyone.
I keep thinking about Whedon’s sentence, “I feel that’s what all of culture is becoming — it’s becoming that moment.”
Tagged: culture criticism, film, geek culture, good reads, Hugh Laurie, Hugh Laurie defense of LA, Joss Whedon, LA, Los Angeles, love letter to a city, love letter to LA, pop culture, Star Trek Into Darkness