Drifting and striding, in Hollywood and elsewhere, with Geoff Nicholson - author of The Lost Art of Walking, and Walking in Ruins withcholson, author of Toff Nidrifting and stomping withcholson, author of The Lost Art of Walking, considers the narrower and wider shores of obsessive pedestrianism.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

OLD MISTER COURAGE



Now, I am not for a moment suggesting that Berholt Brecht was some kind of hypocritical leftwing blowhard, but I have been reading his Journals, and he certainly is damn annoying.

He moved to LA in 1941, and you’d have thought he might at the very least be somewhat happy to be there, and out of Europe, but hell no – he makes all the usual jejune complaints about LA – it’s artificial, it doesn’t have seasons, people are materialistic. Ho hum.

There are in fact one or two things that he finds “rather amusing” – California oak tress, lemon thickets, the occasional gas station, but complains “all this lies behind plate glass.”  By which he means that he sees it all through the window of a car "going to Beverley Hills": he actually lived in Santa Monica, in this house, so you can see how he suffered.  


The blindingly obvious response is, well if you object so strongly to seeing things through plate glass, why not get out of the damn car and walk?

But just when you think yes, possibly he is some hypocritcial leftwing blowhard you might turn to “A Worker Looks at History” written in 1936, which contains the lines:

     I hear Mexicans are taking your jobs away.
     Do they sneak into town at night,
     and as you’re walking home with a whore,
     do they mug you, a knife at your throat,
     saying, I want your job?

This is a sentiment that ought to find plenty of traction in Los Angeles today.

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