Jeremy's Ramblings, Babblings, and Other Pretentious Bullshit.
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
This past weekend, I was in L.A. for "American Way" (playing at the Blank Theatre Company on the corner of Santa Monica & Wilcox through October 23rd...shameless plug), and I was talking to an actress before the show, which is something that I like to do, since most of them are attractive and are seldom boring. We were talking about traffic, which in Los Angeles is such a frustrating problem that it's no longer a joke anymore, just a frustrating fact. The following dialogue ensues...

SHE: I was doing a show in Laguna Beach...

ME: Oh, really?

SHE: ...and they gave us housing there, which was great...

ME: Yeah, I bet.

SHE: ...because South Coast Rep doesn't do housing, and I'm sorry, I'm not going to drive to Orange County every day.

ME: Yeah, I come from Orange County and, well, like today, it took me two hours to get here.

SHE: Oh, my God.

ME: And it's like, you go slowly insane while sitting there, because you know there's not an accident up there. There's no reason to be stopped. It's just a bunch of people sitting on a freeway, for no reason.

SHE: Yeah. If I'm going to be stuck on the freeway, I want to see an accident. I want to see five cars, blood, destruction, fire, death.

ME: (Nervous laugh)

SHE: By the way, you're not copying this conversation verbatim, are you?

ME: No, you're right, this is part paraphrasing and part trying to remember what was exactly said for the readers of my online journal.

SHE: Well, you got close enough, in my opinion. Good work, you dashing, handsome, charming, funny, talented, well-hung guy you.

So, out of that conversation, the part that stuck with me was the "blood, destruction, fire, death" section. This is not the first time I've heard this, and I'm sure it won't be the last. If you're one of the people that say this, I want you to step back and take a look at that sentence. If you want, you can even write it down.

Now realize that you are asking for the death of people just so that your frustration at having to sit in traffic (which would only be worse if there really was an accident) will be temporarily satisfied.

Think about it. If you actually saw five cars, blood, destruction, fire and death, would you really be satisfied? Not a little horrified? Disgusted? Traumatized? Would you actually look at the carnage and say, "Well, thank God that people died for all of this horrible backup that I had to sit through. Now I can show up an hour late to my appointment knowing that my discontent is justified by the lives these people sacrificed"?

I had the unfortunate experience of working with a woman who said that very statement to me. A couple of months later, her son died in a car accident. And I can't help but wonder if the thought occurred to her that people would be stuck in traffic because of her son's accident and saying, "I hope there's death and blood up there."

So before you say that sentence, remember that, first off, it's not an original idea. Second, you're actually asking for death of innocent people. And third...well, shit, that should be enough, you're asking for the death of innocent people.

This is indicative of our society. We can never come up with the proper solution for a problem, so we come up with a justification that in fact only makes the situation worse. There's traffic on the freeway, so we do not wish that there was better city development, but instead wish that there is an accident. There was a national tragedy caused by terrorist group Al-Qaeda, and we decide to solve the problem by invading a country that has little to no connection to Al-Qaeda. It's never from point A to point B. I wish I knew why that was.

Oh, and the last part of that conversation was transcribed completely verbatim. I am quite dashing. And honest.

No, I'm not.

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