Boldy Going


As you can see from the snap above just as we were about to bike onto the northbound 110 Freeway (no, not really), the IAAL•MAF’s regular Thugsday roll last night was a small affair. Just me, Eric Richardson and Stephen Roullier on a nice nine miler that took us to the top of Radio Hill, a place east of Dodger Stadium…


…previously unknown to me whose prominent features are a tall radio tower and a small tattered sagey/brushy garden whose most interesting characteristic while we were walking through it was one healthy looking skunk that had sequestered itself for the night in a cactus patch up ahead of us.

From there we rode back down to Eric’s place to pick up his wife Kathy who was kept off her bike due to a foot injury and the four of us then walked through downtown back to our regular stop at Joymart in Little Tokyo, where on 2nd Street about a block from our destination we encountered a stinker of an entirely different kind — the two-legged jackass variet exiting the passenger side of a black Acura that had parked  at the curb momentarily before our arrival.

Rising from the vehicle at the same moment we passed him I can only imagine our quartet on the narrow sidewalk (three of whom were pushing bicycles) caught him unawares because in facing us he let out a minor exclamation… but one that hinted of something along the lines of recognition. As if he knew one of us from somewhere. But as I passed wondering if he might clue us in where that somewhere might be, instead he went an entirely different direction by calling us “eco-hipsters” and casually and condescendingly bemoaning how “downtown will never be the same again.”

While he got the ecologically minded part right, I am in fact forbidden by age, weight, wardrobe, hairstyle, vehicle choice, musical taste, bedtime hour, diction, and general prejudice of things hipster from anything being remotely resembling such status –  unless being so decidedly unhip itself becomes hip. And in all honesty there are much more loaded things one can say to get my hackles up, but this managed to wrankle at base levels: because it was just a silly thing, not to mention judgmental and elitist.

For a couple beats I waited for the sadsack to sense his idiocy and chuckle in passing the unprovoked statement off as a lame attempt at humor. Instead he just stood there disdainfully — if a bit wobbly — watching us as if he was some sort of self-appointed classless downtown lord and arbiter of culture. Without a half-finished bottle of Jack Daniels in his hand as definitive proof, I can only cheaply hope/hint as to any state of inebriation, but from my perspective there was a certain sway to his stance and a glassiness to his gaze. Or maybe it was just straight-up retardation.

So somewhat retardedly I said “Guess you’re some sort of neo-asshole?”

“Damn right. And proud of it,” he replied, to which I suggested he go have another drink and then drive (home to Encino perhaps? Or worse: some lofts around the corner) before calling him a dickwad and continuing to San Pedro Street where Stephen made the good point about not taking shit like that seriously.

But it’s not that I was affronted by what the idiot had to say, just the imperative he felt in saying it.

It may be somewhat contradictory of me to operate from a foundation that’s one-half “if you don’t have something nice to say then shut the hell up,” and the other half’s “if you do have something crappy to say well then back atcha bastard,” but that’s how I roll: intolerant of the  intolerant.

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Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."