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Friday, July 15, 2011

Worlds of pure imagination

I have this love/hate thing going with the Internet. I LOVE the handful of friends I've made via the web. However, I hate the fact that I also met a TON of asshats along the way. If it hadn't been for the Internet, I would still be able to go to Disneyland with the same sense of fun I used to, instead of turning green at the thought of the hateful, spiteful, arrogant people that consider Disneyland a place that not everyone is entitled to go, especially if you have kids. I was reading an argument recently on line among people who go to Disneyland. It costs a family of four over $400 just to get in the damn gate now. A DINK with an pass actually said that not everyone had the right to go to Disneyland, it wasn't a right, it was a privilege and if you can't afford the outrageous ticket prices and/or resent lining Bob Iger's pockets with your hard earned money well, then, you don't deserve to be there.

And this is why the thought of Disneyland makes me want to vomit, and I have the Internet to either blame or thank for that, depending on how one looks at it.

I LOVE the fact that, when some weird, completely unimportant question pops into my brain at 3am I can go fire up the computer and find the answer. There's not a 24 library in town. I HATE the fact that while I'm looking up whether or not humans can catch ear mites from their cat I will come across at least thirty seven rare and immediately fatal diseases, all of which I have symptoms of. Also, I never go out anymore, I don't have to. I can look it all up online. Hell, I can call up You Tube and go to a concert.

And THIS is what I really hate about the Internet.

It always seemed SO cool, I can see SO many wonderful performances on my monitor. Well, last night we were at the Hollywood Bowl again. Someone had four extra tickets and handed them to me. I came home from work, sweaty, tired and frustrated, and rather annoyed that the person who gave me the tickets would be there so I couldn't just blow it off and stay home, play Bejewelled, watch Wipeout and lie about how much I enjoyed the concert. I trudged out, family in tow.

I bowed to the hubsters desire to drive through Jack In The Box for dinner. I don't DISLIKE Jack's, I just have a desire to eat something that didn't come out of a deep fat fryer every now and then. I suggested several alternatives...grab something at the Bowl, pick up a bag of El Pollo Loco, go the local supermarket for some tri-tip sandwiches but he kept saying "how about Jack's?" At times like this it's best to acquiesce. I will grumble and eventually settle on a teriyaki bowl but it will pass a LOT quicker than his sulk if we don't end up at the drive thru de jour. Can you see my eyes rolling?

We plowed through terrible traffic, the clock ticking. It was getting later and later. The hubster said so what if we were late, we'd miss the National Anthem and the opening number. This annoys me to no end, but my in law's family crest bears the motto: "Che dà un accidenti se siamo tardi?" which translates roughly to "Who gives a crap if I'm late?" Well, I do. The "opening number" was the Los Angeles Philharmonic performing the Polovtsian Dances.

We made it, by the skin of our teeth. Dudamel raised his stick and the lyrical notes of the Borodin began. If you don't know the work but you've even seen "Kismet" or heard the standard "Stranger in Paradise" then you know the music. Halfway through I found myself seeing beautiful exotic Arabian dancers, all in whirling silks the violent colors of a desert sunset, there were tambourines and jingling gold and the smells of exotic spices. Not at the Bowl, and not on the stage or on a screen in the background, it was all in my head which could be worrisome, I'm not sure.

The sound of someone playing for you is intoxicating. I don't care how good your Bose is, it doesn't hold a candle to what you experience sitting under a full moon and hearing the music at the exact moment it leaves the musicians hands.

I HATE that the Internet is killing our imaginations. When last did any of us sit outside? When did we daydream? When did we let our minds and bodies open up and run wild with thoughts and sensory feelings and emotions? When last did any of us not watch the clock and allow ourselves to simply BE?

It could well be the reason we're all on the verge of nervous breakdowns, including myself.

The hubster brought us quickly down to earth after the performance by getting angry at a guy driving a car considerably better than the one I was driving, calling him names out the open window because the guy was trying to edge into the choked exit lanes so he could get to the freeway and then, after I motioned the driver in, sticking his hand out the window and flipping him off. Welcome to L.A.

Our car is modest and a base model but I figure the guy is probably making payments on his Mercedes (with the handicapped placard) and I'm not making car payments at all so I'm probably in the cat bird seat compared to him anyway. I was mellow and happy and perfectly willing to let the guy in, in spite of the fact that he could have made the same freeway by going straight instead of squeezing in. Hell, I had already held my ground against an Escalade which is why I was where I was, I was happy to return the favor. As I realized the hubster was literally employing half a piece sign at the guy I dived for the only luxury a base model car has...power windows. I would cheerfully have closed the window on his wrist at that point.

He beat the window inside and continued to berate the unfortunate owner of the Mercedes. Now...I figure, maybe the guy didn't know his way around the area and panicked at the thought of having to turn right or go straight when his GPS was telling him to TURN LEFT! He might have panicked when he saw the freeway on ramp on his left and not been aware that he could also get on the same freeway by going straight. He might have missed the "right turn only" signs on the side of the lane he was in and been caught by surprise. He might have been from out of town. He might have been terrified at the thought of ending up in the heart of Hollywood after dark(especially on Thursday, it's club night). And he might have just been an asshole. In the long run, I really didn't see that it was a big deal and certainly not worth the aggravation. I hissed "STOP it!" to the hubster and idly wondered if I should point out that he was acting on a par with the group of teenagers we were ranting about earlier in the week. All he needed was a beer cooler on his head. I decided to bite my tongue (literally, damn that hurt) and change the subject.

But anyway, the Bowl was so amazingly lovely that we're getting tickets for Turandot this week-end. I doubt it will sell out. In the first place, it's an opera and in the second place I'm anxiously awaiting Carmageddon, which starts this evening and will last through the week-end and will keep a lot of people from the west side ON the west side. More room for me.

I could actually buy tickets over the Internet, which I LOVE. On the other hand, if I go the box office I'll avoid the Internet service charge AND get out of the office. If it wasn't for the Internet I wouldn't know about this. Oh wait, I probably would. Before the Internet I actually READ my mail. I would have seen this on the schedule the Hollywood Bowl sends me ever year.

The guys from "Avenue Q" were right. The Internet IS for porn. Everything else? I think we need to go back to doing it in person.

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