An all-new Pop Culture Beast is coming!

An all-new Pop Culture Beast is coming!
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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

New York vs. Los Angeles: The Run-Down Coast Loses A Cultural Player

by Kari Tervo

New York City odor-apologists (seriously, that place either smells like freezing cold tenements or hot garbage soaked in piss) love to cut down Los Angeles by saying that we have "no culture."

What? Whose culture? What culture? I'm guessing that kind of "culture" that nobody actually enjoys? Los Angeles is the home of pop culture, appreciated and coveted worldwide. I mean, who is bootlegging the ballet? Let's get real.

Let's talk the latest nail in the coffin of that "New York has cuuulltureeee" argument: The failure of the New York City Opera. A little stain on your opera gloves there, huh, Mrs. Douglas? Or Mrs. Drysdale, or Mrs. Howell, whoever (sorry, whomever, lovey*) you fancy yourself to be.

Marilyn raises the roof, knowing life's too short to be a snob.


Here is all I have to tell you about this mess, but you're free to click this link. The headline is "New York City Opera Bankrupt, Cancels Funding."

Now, I'm not mocking any loss of livelihood suffered by the talented performers and dedicated employees of the New York City Opera. The point I'm making here is that all these dedicated patrons of "culture" that supposedly personify the New York City gentry aren't so forthcoming with their support for What We Talk About When We Talk About Culture: Opera, ballet, and theater (disclosure: I loved Avenue Q and that one with Jeff Goldblum as the irritable professor). The New York City Opera resorted to Kickstarter, and not enough people bit. Put your money where your mouth is, Manhattan and old-money fetishists!

Oh, wait: I know visual arts are part of the culture thing too. Apparently LA doesn't fit the bill for having enough art. While we have the Getty and LACMA and MOCA and The Museum of Neon Art and whatever the Museum of Jurassic Technology is, we lack a specific Rembrandt or something. You know those sophisticated New Yorkers. They're hanging out studying the Old Masters at the Met all day, not waxing superior about the quality of various New York-based carbohydrates, and lusting for Tasti D-Lite. It's about culture, man.

Listen, New Yorkers. Stop fretting. The death of the New York City Opera does not mean the death of culture. It just means that we are in an age when we have evolved to recognize that holding little binoculars up to your face and feeling humiliated if you crackle a candy wrapper is no way to go through entertainment, son.

We're done with the age of Aquarius. We're in the Age of Popcorn, now. Oh the times, they are a-changin. . .

*I think it's really whoever? But the point is, Ms. Marple. . .

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