Wednesday, July 17

Join the strike club: Fight against arts atrocities


Advertisements at movies, multiple encores both make the black list

My Ralphs Senior Rewards Club Card is wasting away in my wallet.
How I got my hands on a Senior Rewards Club Card that saves $1 for
every $10 spent isn’t important. The fact is I can’t
use my precious piece of plastic to raid Ralphs’ liqueur
bins, thanks to the supermarket workers’ strike.

Walking through a picket line is not only morally suspect but
even borderline dangerous. But never fear: the Los Angeles County
Sheriff’s Department is here, except on days when the entire
force decides to call in sick. The Metro-politan Transportation
Authority is also suffering work stoppages as MTA mechanics have
gone MIA.

Apparently, it’s strike season, so I’ve formed my
own one-man picket line outside dB Magazine headquarters to strike
against atrocities in the arts.

First on the hit list is the figuratively and literally
long-standing practice of multiple encores at rock concerts. We
stand and clap lifelessly, knowing full well that the band
isn’t ditching us yet until the lights are flipped back on
and the public service announcer starts warning us to leave in an
orderly fashion and not to drink and drive. It makes no sense to
blow faux kisses and wave goodbye when every single audience member
is in on it.

The silliest thing I’ve ever seen at a concert (besides
Keith Richards) was when indie popsters the Decemberists finished
their set at a recent Cooperage show, exited the side door and came
right back inside before the door was even closed. Where was the
suspense? Did the band really need to pretend it was leaving? Did
they even deserve an encore? Why am I asking so many questions?

Also on the strike agenda are advertisements prior to the start
of movies. Painful doesn’t begin to describe how it feels to
sit through bad movie previews (though “The Lord of the
Rings” trailers are more than welcome). Now there are even
promos of television programs like WB teen traumas and a
behind-the-scenes tech wiz begging us not to download movies
illegally .

Remember The Los Angeles Times ad about stunt work? The stuntman
is jumping off a seven-story building, plummeting through an
explosion and getting blasted by the fire extinguisher at the end.
That’s how I feel.

I’m also planning to strike against posters. That’s
right ““ posters. Generic posters hanging on the walls of
generic people’s apartments. Posters have oddly become a form
of competition, a status symbol. The more obscure the band or film
featured on the poster, the cooler you look in front of visitors to
your apartment. You become the iconic figure you worship.

“Scarface” posters featuring one Alfredo James
Pacino have become a requisite decorative piece in every
guy’s apartment. Yet I get the feeling that some of these
guys bought the poster before they even watched the not-so-obscure
film.

So fight the good fight and join me in the picket line. You
could be Striker No. 2. Perhaps we could even form a strike club,
strike every day and gain a reputation for being borderline
dangerous ourselves.

E-mail Chang at [email protected]

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