The Report from Ozzfest 2005

Not really a fan of Ozzie, or that genre. But my friend went there this weekend. He’s been a fan for a long time. Long enough that maybe he should be over it.

But he’s not. He and his buddy went. His teenage son declined a ticket in favor of staying home and playing World of Warcraft. The son of his buddy was psyched to go, though.

Both the heat and the moshing were intense. The men headed for the beer and the teenager headed for the pit.

Of course, the kid had his cell phone. And his Dad called him in between every song.

“You okay?”
“I’m fine, Dad.”
“Okay, be careful.”

They discovered that many women had abandoned their tops in favor of bodypaint. He showed me a picture of a lady wearing painted grenades like Ariel wearing seashells. She was one of several.

“You should have seen it! There was a booth called ‘Kick me in the head, a###*le’. There was this guy, shaved head, covering his nose, and you got three chances to hit him as has as you could with a soccer ball. There were people lined up around the corner! Bunch of sickos.”

“Did you throw the balls at him?”

“Well, yeah. My buddy paid for me to do it.”

“Couple more years in purgatory for you.”

“Huh, probably. I asked the guy if he like getting hit. He said, ‘It’s just a job man. It really sucks when you get him five times in a row.'”

“Sounds like a time.”

“It was great!”

Misadventures in the (213) by Dennis Hensley

Los Angeles is a fun place. It’s also a pretty silly place–a place that tries to invent the fashions and create the trends. And the world is just an enabler, letting L.A. get away with it.

Which gives L.A.’s silliness a self-importance it probably doesn’t deserve.

But the best of that brand of uber-hip ridiculousness is self-aware. The people who know they are ridiculous–who are serious about their art some of the time but almost nothing else the rest of the time–make L.A. a fun place.

Hensley wrote up that side of Hollywood, using the jaded, pop-media-saturated 20-something zietgiest that I’m so familiar with.

The title refers to the area code of the downtown/hollywood area–part of the zip and area code caste system that allows one group to look down on another. The TV star actress, the painfully gay screenwriter and the chubby actress friend start it off and it takes off from there.

A cast of characters go around on unlikely adventures through L.A. I would usually dismiss this kind of book, but I actually enjoyed it. Having lived here for a while, I find it more believable than I otherwise would.

This is a fun read, not a challenging thought in it. But it’s engaging enough to read it to the end.