12/19/2021 Venice Beach California

The song of the day is actually from a commercial. The song itself is magnificent but runs a bit long. I try to keep the songs on the shorter side for the blog. I came across the song while seeing Nightmare Alley. Guillermo Del Toro’s new movie with Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett. It is based on a book of the same name from 1946 written by William Lindsay Gresham that was pretty racy for the time. The following year saw Edmund Goulding bring it to film starring Tyrone Power and Joan Blondell. I never read the book or saw the movie, but my understanding is that this book directly resembles neither. It is film noir both visually and musically at its best. The movie is beautiful and captivating, an absolute feast for the eyes and ears. The movie is a bit long, progressing slowly, and by this time you may be asking what this has to do with the song of the day? Well, a commercial came on during the prelude and it damn near made me cry. I have never had a bad experience with Airbnb. As a matter of fact, every time I have used Airbnb I met one or more people that I am still in contact with today. If there are awards for commercials, this deserves it.

Beautiful Strangers by Kevin Morby
Sunset did not disappoint
This poem slaps

Venice

Holy Ground

Stained with the blood of poets

City which lies

Beneath the breasts of birds

Guarded by Cats

Behind every corner

The muse, Angel of Surprise

Poems out of pavement cracks.

-Philomene Long

This poem is etched into a wall sitting center in Venice Beach Park. Philomene Long arrived in Venice in the 1960’s where she remained until her passing in 2007, 2 years after being named Poet Laureate of Venice.

One of my favorite things about living here is hearing the stories of long-time locals. Particularly the ones who bash the city for minutes on end then all inevitably conclude with “, but I could never live anywhere else. I love it here.”

It has its problems. The unhoused population is growing again, the weather is being unforgiving from time to time, and that is resulting in exactly what that always results in. People feeling scared, desperate, and hopeless. Which means vandalism and other crime. It means frequently seeing people in mental crisis. I am not equipped to help anyone in that moment. It is a powerless feeling.

I am a lifelong fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger, which obviously means I subscribe to his blog. His most recent post is really good. Particularly the part where he paid for 25 small houses to be built for the unhoused and started a foundation to help build more. Any aspirations I have for wealth and success are rooted in the desire to be able to make differences like that. Arnold is still numero uno!!

http://www.schwarzenegger.com/newsletter/post/im-back

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