We's in California

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Run. To the Hills.

Over the last two Willeniums or so we have recognized, studied, and tried to offer solutions to what one could call the 'vicious cycle of poverty' that has come to exist on our planet. And although this problem was probably pretty bad in the dark ages, we all know its still an issue.

But today lets put aside that issue, because I am here today to expose that other vicious cycle, the vicious cycle of having so much money that you live in the hills of Calabasas. Every day when I step out of the office for a walk in the fresh air, I see something new that amazes me. Calabasas is the birthplace of the frightening practice of mothers dressing their 8 year old daughters in the exact same
ug-boots/sweatpants/cellphone outfit that they are wearing. This is where it all starts. There's an air of inevitability and assurance that that same child will find herself wealthy with nothing to do until the weekend when she grows up as well. It reminds me of those t-shirts where from left to right there's a fish, then a salamender coming out of the water, then an ape, then a less hairy ape, then a guy in a business suit, then at the end is a goofy looking teenager with a skateboard and a backwards hat and it says "The Evolution of Man" at the top. I know a certain set of twin's whose mom can attest to that! Oh brother! Anyway, this is exactly like that t-shirt, except that this is evolution of the suburb, and the t-shirt...really...doesn't help us out all or provide any direction as to understanding what I'm trying to purvey here. Moving along.

<- Peach 'olden-days' style minimalls! Yeah! (pic updated: thanks chris for the revision!)

It's not just the fact that people are rich in Calabasas, because there are more affluent areas in LA. See: Malibu, Bel Air, Beverly Hill, Van Nuys, etc. The difference here is that Calabasas is the gold
plated suburb that every other suburb wants to be. It seems to say "If you work hard enough and play your cards right then you, your wife (because you're male), your two kids and your rocket car can enjoy the spoils of the American Dream. The previously mentioned areas are more fantastical and not really representative of an ideal that we can sink our teeth into. These places are set in our mind as unattainable and rightly so. If you live in Bel Air, then you have a story to tell because you're either a movie star, a movie star's plastic surgeon, or you have old money. On the other hand, Calabasas is a goal that at least appears achieveable, even though it's not. At all. For 99.9% of us. It's the chosen land, the land of milk and honey where the beer flows like wine.

Count the Cadillac Escalades in a row. A must for groceries.- >

I'm not saying all this because I think it's wrong to have money. I think it's wrong to not have money. I mean really morally wrong. But, all side-splitting jokes aside, I find it fascinating when you come across real physical places that represent and are sometimes the birthplace of shared social and cultural ideas. I guess I just bring this all up because it's very very different from anything I've seen back home. "You Won't See THAT in Canada! Not Yet Anway!" Queue the 'wow, wow, wooowwowow' trumpet with the toilet plunger in the end sound followed by clown or hillybilly banjo music.

<- Your average Calabasas parking lot. Look carefully.

We're still liking LA. We are going to some concerts in the coming months that we think will be quite good. We are also thinking about upgrading our computer to one of those fancy ones that has a back on it.

"Just Try to Stay Positive,

Try to Stay Positive,
Just Try to Stay Positive,
Just Try to Stay Positive" - the streets. (Original. Inspiring.)


  • I'm a nerd.

    By Anonymous chris, at January 19, 2006  

  • Nice! The shame of it all is that probably none of the people driving these cars even know how much they cost. Or what model it is. (Honey, can I take the silver one?)

    And this is from the synopsis of that book: "The poor and the middle class work for money, but the rich have money work for them." What great wholesome principal. What a douchebag.

    By Blogger Gareth, at January 20, 2006  

  • Sure Calabasas is no Transcona or Tuxedo but it was the home of Incubus (see link below).

    By Anonymous bmart, at January 20, 2006  

  • I once thought maybe I would try to come out there and visit you. Now I am not so sure I want to see this place... uuugh. Anyway, two consecutive posts with connections to 'Dumb and Dumber', so congratulations.

    MF Doom - 'tryin to live to see old age; so he roll wit the loaded gauge,
    ode to road rage....'

    By Anonymous blade, at January 20, 2006  

  • what is going on? who is this? stop making fun of me...
    stop making fun of me...
    stop making fun of me...

    By Anonymous the streets, at January 20, 2006  

  • Chris, I'll forgive you for loving cars if you'll forgive me for loving your sister. That's a fair trade! =)
    (see my smiley face, it's dope). Here's one where the guys saying pshhhh - :/ Now who's the nerd.

    bmart. Not sure who you are, buy your "ironing is delicious".

    By Blogger Gareth, at January 21, 2006  

  • Joel just wait for the upcoming MF Doom/Beef Terminal split, I'm sure they'll come to LA.

    By Blogger Gareth, at January 21, 2006  

  • The sick part is that there are parts of Calabasas that look down on other parts of Calabasas. "Oh, he lives by the Commons. He's not like us, up here in the Bird Streets."


    I've had discussions with Mrs. Ubergeek about how we will not be having a housekeeper when we have kids old enough to do chores, because I don't want to end up being the Calabasas family where the kids don't know how to do anything.

    ...they have a Ralphs in Calabasas? I thought they only allowed Gelson's there.

    By Anonymous Dave the Ubergeek, at January 23, 2006  

  • I don't know if I LOVE cars exactly. I'm on a bike about 45 minutes a day more than I am in a car.

    Ok, yeah. I like cars, German ones mostly. I just don't like that there's so many of them, especially when they're in the diamond lane during rush hour giving me the finger.

    Basically, it's not a fair trade. You'll have to find some more dirt on me before it's ok to love my sister. :/

    By Anonymous chris, at January 23, 2006  

  • Which parts of Calabasas do they look DOWN on? Is there a part with flying cars and robot butlers that I haven't seen?

    By Blogger Gareth, at January 24, 2006  

  • That's the farkin' ridiculous part of the whole thing. Apparently there are neighbourhoods and enclaves that are more exclusive than the others, so the Bird Streets look down on the Americana Streets look down on the Via Streets look down on the condos look down on the "Calabasas-adjacent" people. (No, I swear I'm not making that up... the same house will cost $50K more if it's "Calabasas-adjacent".)

    While I have my issues with Van Nuys and NoHo, at least the people are a little less pretentious. Well, except for the "we're Valley Glen, not Van Nuys" freaks.

    By Anonymous Dave the Ubergeek, at January 24, 2006  

  • Did you know that Calabasas means Pumpkins?

    Would the prices of all the houses drop 50% if all the English-speakers living there (because there are very few Spanish-speakers living there, believe that) realized that they were living in...


    By Blogger Scott, at January 24, 2006  

  • g, i think i saw some of those sweet ass rides outside Cousins the other day.

    By Anonymous clitke, at January 24, 2006  

  • Scott, it could be worse. You could live in Manteca, CA, which not only is one of those God-awful little cities in the hot, dry, dusty Central Valley, it means you live in...

    ...wait for it...


    By Anonymous Dave the Ubergeek, at January 25, 2006  

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