hello from the other side

i ran into some racism growing up in the sticks outside of Chicago but thats not why i flew to LA the day after high school graduation.

i came here for the weather and the pretty girls and a fresh start.

they say you are capable of completely changing every seven years and they say that lots of people do it.

even though i was popular in school and had lots of good friends, i knew from visiting california in the summers that there was something here that was me that would be very difficult to fulfill in the midwest.

there is a drive here. a spirit of creativity, acceptance, freedom.

now 33 years removed it shocks me sometimes to read the things i do on facebook from the people i went to high school with.

the racism is out of control, not to mention the fear and hate and absolute close mindedness.

where did it come from? why does it fester?

we see it so clearly in and around St Louis and gradually now in Wisconsin and Indiana but Sweet Home Chicago?

and why isn’t it here? i know in the 70s and 80s the gangs in South Central were serious business, all based on race

but maybe that was just a totally different thing.

of course theres racism here too but it’s more “i will Not buy a house in Inglewood, Mandy.”

not “omg please don’t ask me to take yoga from Jamaal again.”

i think the secret might be in the stirring of the pot.

in the midwest everyone pretty much stays in the same neighborhoods and area codes.

in the west people are moving in, moving out, swirling and mixing.

especially when you’re young, if you meet a group of people and you call women “girls” or “gals” or “bitches” thinking you’re funny you will get pushback reminding you that you are not funny and if you wish to be funny, make some, you know jokes. real jokes.

but if you grew up with a crowd and you say dumb shit, they’ll let it slide because thats how the tribe survives – you can’t eat your own, you adapt TO THEM not to the whole wide world.

but in the swirling pot of the west you have to adapt to the whole wide world because you want to get along with your neighbor, your boss, your new friends, and that hot babe across the table from you who is from a totally different country entirely.

and so you learn that certain words are unacceptable, but better, that certain ways of thought will stop you from getting laid.


if you wanna be some narrowminded racist sexist modern day archie bunker AND get laid, you might be able to find a small portion of hot babes who will tolerate that sort of nonsense but the world will not be your oyster.

because the world, in general, does know the deal.

and the deal is racism and being a fucking dumbshit is for another time

and another place.

namely the past and not here.

here is the place where new ideas sprout up and solve old problems.

here is the place where i want to swirl the best of what ive got

with the best of what youve got and i dont mean surfacey bullshit things

but things pertaining to the soul

as a starting point.

when i get depressed it is when i start thinking that i have not lived up to the great potential that i dove into when i moved here

and im not living up to what i am capable of.

i know i am no longer slacker from the sticks.

and it’s liberating to know there is nothing here to hold me back

but it’s also frightening because then why are you still back.

why arent you front.

why am i not front.

leading the way.

or even close to the light.

and thats when i appreciate the supportive words of the enlightened who say

your concepts about front back darkness and light

are old

and wrong.

do better.

which is what i almost always need to hear.

@courtney on her forthcoming single “California”

courtney ad

I keep writing about California so I just finally called a song straight up fucking California. Not even Malibu, which I still don’t have the keys to the city and I’m really pissed – 13,000 people and they don’t give me the fucking keys to the city! It’s like when Billy Corgan told me he was calling a song ‘Tonight, Tonight’. I was like, “If that song isn’t the best fucking song I’ve ever heard, you will be carted out of town on a cross.” You don’t call a song ‘Tonight, Tonight’ or ‘California’ unless you know it’s major.

– Courtney Love Cobain.
Full interview in Wonderland

ways i would leave california


1. running from the law, the press, or the parents

2. blogger wanted to hire me as vp of rock

3. met a hot babe who’s broke

4. got traded to the dallas mavs

5. the cubs needed a blogger

6. virgin airlines needed an undercover air marshall

7. da bears needed a social media expert named tony pierce

8. the white house wanted an alternative blog to their current snoozefest

9. the stones wanted me to live blog their tour

10. i won the lottery and refused to pay the taxes and had to run from the irs

fortunately i live in hollywood

so the walk from the bar wasnt far
but the margueritas did their bidding
and now i apologize but im with spirtis
as they say.
who are you.
what have you come here fore?
we had mexican drinks and tacos and good tidings for all
four excellent men and two women who were exotic
and beautiful, one who had enhancements
tremendous enhancements
its easy to judge but in real life everythings crazy.
do you know i love you?
so,e people when they drunk, cray
some are super loving . im never tryly super loving
but i do love.
its a trait. like i love margurtas. cadillac style.
my first car was a caddy. im a lucky boy.
weird crazy cray comes my way and im all ok lets figure this out
but sometimes theres nothing to figure out
its just a wave
and its your turn to surf the wave
surf it sucker

almost every day i give thanks for living in california

it’s hard to believe i moved here 74 years ago

when a pod from my home planet ejected me to this strange and beautiful land.

for a while it was hard to say “yep im a Californian”

and i still dont really look at myself like that

maybe because i feel so lucky, and unworthy.

yes the weather is ridiculously perfect. ive lived in this hollywood cabana for over 10 years

ive never used my wall heater, and never had any need for air conditioner.

yes the people are pretty to look at. and some are even fun to dance with.

the entertainment is so good we dont even need a football team.

but the thing i like most about cali is probably the food.

carne asada, pollo, and al pastor top the list.

of course i miss my home land. and its terrific to go there and relive the past and soak in its beauty.

but theres something about your own bed, no matter how perfect the mattress is at the hard rock.

theres something about knowing every short cut around any traffic jam.

theres something about knowing what went down at that corner and what used to be in the abandoned lot.

and theres something totally awesome about driving down a block and saying

oh yeah i remember that party at that apartment where i met that person and oh yeah i remember.

but whats best is knowing about all the new stories yet to write.

to me, california is about the future.

and thats what i like the most.

LA and the art of motorcycle maintenance

made in LALA is my lady because for sure we arent underdogs at anything

not even hockey now.

we have tons of people who live here, many all stars from other places.

they come here to seriously do their best to make their dreams come true

and even if they fail, they fail spectacularly.

meanwhile the natives have seen it all and often have this enviable calmness and confidence like boulders by the beach who have experienced the tide come in and out day after day.

stanley cup, nba championship, oscars, 10 million dollar house, actress model mistress, fancy car, stupid fresh shoes,

it dont matter just dont bite it.

but still we try. we try as hard in LA as anywhere.

and we cheat. and steal. and rob. and connive.

we’ll make stars out of anyone and package it and market it and sell it to the world

and the world laps it right up.

ask that gangbanging rhymeslinging pimp Snoop Dogg, beloved from near and far.

who else could export a man who shows up at an awards ceremony with two scantily dressed women on dog chains? who could be accused for a capital crime and quickly release a record called “murder was the case” while blatantly smoking illegal narcotics and flashing gang signs?

only LA could.

LA is the bad boy and the idyllic backdrop: the sand the surf the slopes and the stars.

we have so many great food options that some of the best come out of trucks at the side of the road.

we speak so many dialects but the only language is that of love and success.

we celebrate today a new notch on our bedpost, staples will soon raise another banner on its crowded roof and tomorrow someone will quote miss jackson

what have you done for me lately.

the unofficial motto of the golden state.

and they’ll mean it.