I love being in Canada. I am very relaxed there and the people I met and encountered were very nice.
I’m back in LA now. It was a fairly grueling shoot. It seemed to be almost all night shooting after a certain point. Ending the day at 3am type of thing. It threw off my entire sense of time. Now I’m trying to adjust.
I had forgotten what it felt like to be perpetually sleep deprived because of work. I did do morning radio for a couple of years so the flashback of just feeling loopy and kind of out of it all the time wasn’t unfamiliar. What was also familiar was being able to step in and do the job despite that. It’s kind of amazing how some life lessons work. Who knew that being able to function and actually do a good job in a sleepless haze would come in handy?
The final night of shooting was daunting. We wrapped at 3am. I got back to my hotel at 4am. Came down, packed. Decided that any sleep is good sleep even if I have to do it in segments. Slept from 4:30 to 6:30. The car picked me up at 7. Got to Toronto airport at 8:15. Checked in. Sat in the lounge for a couple of hours. No sleeping. Got on a plane. Took off at 11. Slept for an hour on the five hour flight. Landed at 1:30. Got home at 2:30. Showered. Drove to Santa Monica for a 4:45 photo shoot. Introduced a screening of Sword of Trust with Lynn Shelton at 6. Went across the street with Lynn and did an interview for the LA Times. Went back to the theater for a Q and A with some of the cast and crew. Drove home. Literally could not keep my eyes open.
I’m pretty sure I didn’t dream all the events in that last paragraph but it felt like I did. I was pretty loopy and vulnerable all day. Felt good. Loopy. Vulnerable. Eyes crossing. Giddy.
While I was in Canada I was able to make some news with my dark poetic description of the part of Hamilton I was staying in. It was not good news. Click bait that translated essentially to ‘this American shit on the city we all shit on but he’s an American so fuck him.’
I didn’t shit on it. I called it as I saw it. I did get around a bit after my initial descriptive reaction. It's a lovely place with a lot a great parts. I will get to the waterfalls next time. It was clearly a great city at one point not unlike a lot of American cities that were industry towns for years and the industry left. It is now in a transition and everyone hopes it takes. So, I ruffled some feathers but it was not my intention.
I know from living in areas that became gentrified (Lower East Side and Highland Park) that nostalgic civic pride reluctantly aligned with aggressive rebranding meant as an invitation to new investment and new people that might change the make-up of the area doesn’t solve endemic issues of poverty and waste. I guess if you just believe in the rebrand you can romanticize the marginalization of a large chunk of your population, let them die off or disappear. Then deal with the cynical perception of the problem as progressive push back and an inability to accept the new tension as the raw charm of diversity.
People start romanticizing being pushed out of their preferred living preferences into something compromising because they aren’t rich. Not poor, just not rich enough to live where they want. It can be exciting. It is certainly not in any way the same as being homeless like the people that are displaced by gentrification. The aggravated acceptance-turned-lifestyle shift is not as sad as the people at the bottom who are forced into a Darwinian adaptation issue. The truth is we aren’t wild animals and there should be a human solution but those tend to be backburnered by the rebrand. That’s just the way cities come back to life sometimes. The new realty becomes exciting. Partially in a sad way as the raw human chaos is accepted and integrated into the new urban landscape as ‘flavor.’ Seen it a lot. Been part of it without wanting to or setting out to be. Most of how we live in this world is some kind of Faustian bargain we enter to live the lives we think we are entitled to.
Today on the show I talk to Stephen Dorff who is a fucking great actor and a great guy. On Thursday I talk to comedian Jamie Lee about her life, her books and her funny. Good talks.