Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Listening to Venice Beach: America at Utopia

Tweets from Venice Beach in Real Time

People love or hate California, and many are indifferent or ambivalent; but no one is ever surprised by California.

Me looking out at Infinity in America at Utopia

Not that the locals don’t work at surprising you.  

In fact it’s a parade of unusual emergent events.  People riding reclining experimental bikes in the blazing hot sun; a party near the volleyball beaches will have a guy on an old bicycle on a Indian chief feather crown ride through, divers will come out after dark and go looking for sea lions, white guys with massive Rastafarian hats will walk pugs on the beach.   

None if it predictable but none of it is surprising.  Like the random distribution of light flashes on an old television tube, a kind of shared understood chaos.

Strange new things happen in Africa, the Middle East or South America.  Venice Beach, and the entire bay of LA is a stage carnival of mild anarchy that knows its place.

Southern California is banal regimentation presenting itself as Vedic self enlighten.  Everywhere everyone says the same things about themselves, they say the same things about other places and, the most obsessive topic: they talk about LA, which seems to no really exist.  You in Venice of Hollywood or some place other than LA.  LA is just a vague concept at the end of Westward expansion.

But as far as banal exhibitions of identity go, Venice Beach has created the Tibet of consumer culture.  Unable to escape the system of desire, need, cost and commodity Venice Beach puts it under a astrological sky, and gives you a sunset that strikes home that you exist on a planet.

Though everyone is working hard to be cool, everyone is watching their clothing, tattoos, stances and skateboarding.  The extreme cool of Venice Beach is a kind of satori, a forced self consciousness that combined with drugs and the sun set produce an intense state for our post-human America.

Here  banal becomes lovely and perhaps even lovable.