I’ve sometimes thought about what would happen if a violent act happened in a movie theater. It’s an incredibly vulnerable place, actually — you go into a dark room with a bunch of strangers, and you all give yourself over to a story. If the movie’s any good, our lives go away for a few hours, and we’re enjoying a collective experience. It can be very intimate — we might be laughing or crying together, enthralled or scared shitless. We hand ourselves over, in the dark, amongst like-minded individuals, essentially to dream.
It’s dawn. I haven’t slept in two days. Still, I’ve managed to look my best in designer jeans and a button-down, hair mussed just so, sipping a trendy energy drink and sporting sunglasses even before the sun has fully risen.
On any other day, it’d be safe to assume that I’m on drugs — but I’m not.
I’m on American Idol.
The weather outside is frightful — and indoors, it’s not much better. I sleep in two, sometimes three layers; I huddle under blankets in front of the TV; I wear a jacket 24/7. I’m chilled to the bone, wondering why mankind never caught on to hibernation or migration. I could so go for a three-month siesta in a cozy cave somewhere… maybe a seasonal jaunt to the Equator…
But we humans devised our own system to endure the dead of winter: holidays, on which we gather loved ones to take in the heat of camaraderie. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s — is it a mere coincidence that all these take place during the chilliest months? Don’t think so. It’s by design.
We’d never make it through the winter without loved ones gathered around the fire, the distractions of food and presents, the rum we secretly spike our egg nog with. Spring, oh glorious spring, is just around the corner — along with sunlight, and warmth — and we’ve got one last holiday to cozy up with before we get there. The one that warms our hearts most of all.
Ian Parker’s piece for The New Yorker on Tyler Clementi’s suicide — and the legal aftermath — is a must-read for anyone who is ever going to discuss recent gay teen suicides. It’s so hard not to use buzz words like “bully” and “epidemic” that have previously been attached to these stories, but Parker’s story focuses almost exclusively on Clementi and makes no attempt to incorporate it into a wider social “trend.” As it shouldn’t. There are many, many things that teenagers do because they see other teens doing it. But suicide is not one of them.
Each suicide is an isolate, individual event; suicide is done alone.
From the Vault: Fridays were Improv Friday at Said Panties, which meant we asked for a topic from our “fans” and then set to work writing about it. This topic was bedbugs (originally posted in September 2010).I was warned of many things when I moved to New York City: the crime, the cost, the cynicism. It seems like everyone I talked to had at least one caveat about a newcomer in the big city.
One thing I wasn’t warned about? Bedbugs.
In addition to all the relevant Google searches that lead people to Hard in the City, I have noticed that some people seem to find themselves here quite by mistake. This is generally because I use the word “fucking” quite liberally, even when I don’t mean it as a verb, including sometimes in titles of my posts. My sincere apologies go out to all the pervs out there who don’t realize that if Britney Spears had a fucking sex tape, you would’ve already fucking seen it already.
I’m not going to kill myself, I just need to get this out here.
Happy birthday, Britney!
SplitSider.com recently posted a round-table discussion about the “comedy exodus” in New York City. It seems many top comedians have reached a consensus: when it comes to being creative and finding work, Los Angeles is better than New York. And they’ve headed west because of it. (You can read that roundtable discussion here.)
Remember the last time this happened? It was the Gold Rush, only now there is no pesky Oregon Trail on which you can contract scarlet fever and die before you ever get to La La Land. It’s just a hop, skip, and a Virgin America jet ride away.
The reason this interests me, of course, is because of my own epic journey there and back again.
And all the shit I got because of it.