The Was, Is, and Could Be California
July 15, 2005
OR: The grinch who stole the blue state.
California used to be the land of dreams. The Golden State was a golden place to make some gold.
That's all changed now.
Hollywood began making a mockery of itself. The young kids that arrive by the busload trying to make it big on the big screen can't do it anymore. None of the major movie studios wants to invest the time into creating a great movie actor anymore. For two reasons.
First, the high prices that the big stars earn are given for different reasons. It used to be that you got a big name to take a role. That time is swiftly passing. Hollywood doesn't pay for the big name anymore. It's a hot name. The difference is that careers aren't being made in Hollywood. It's all about the individual movies and their impacts. When an actor makes a great movie, they immediately extend themselves and take three jobs the following year (or more, remember Chris O'Donnell?). They get a big pay raise, earns big bucks that next year, but the performances lack the shine of the "breakthrough role". This is even starting to happen with who's left from the big names. Tom Hanks was in "Ladykillers" and "The Terminal" at the same time. They both stunk.
Second, these hot actors aren't made anymore, they're discovered. All the big names got their big pay and moved on to bigger jobs. Too many actors lately have gotten the directing bug and just ended up making two hour turds on screen. Good directors are hard to come by, just like good writers (but that's another rant).
The Golden State also used to be the land of opportunity. But I guess people's perception of that opportunity has changed. People used to come to California with something to offer the rest of the state or country (think Hollywood, think Los Angeles, think San Jose...). Others arrived with intentions of taking advantage of the local resources (think of the logging in Sequoia National Forest, gold-panning, skiing in Lake Tahoe...). But now that opportunity is selfish. Every third Californians is an illegal immigrant. These illegals come to California to make a new life. But most of the time, they're so entrenched in wherever they came from that all of their money goes right back there. That means California is spending millions and even billions to pay these immigrants to stay here, and we never get any of the money back into the local economies. That's just bad business.
And real estate. What a farce. The value of the homes and their prices are so unreasonably different that only the very rich can afford houses. The landscape of California is beautiful and there are a lot of very large homes. But that does not mean that even non-mansion homes are worth mansion prices. I get the feeling that the foreclosure market will be red-hot in five years as all of the home bought with interest-only mortgages get repossessed. I hope we have a better president then...
So what am I complaining about? Besides living in a place I can't afford (and probably never will be able to afford), having to share the road with people who can't (and probably shouldn't be able to) legally own a driver's license, and being bombarded with such atrocious "entertainment" that I cancelled the cable television service? Nothing, I guess. At least Melissa and I are healthy.
But what do I want to happen with the future of California? I want to see a California that has a little bit of innocence. If people want to move to California, they can make them decide on their own! If businesses want to open and be managed in California, they will! (Trust me, they already want to live here. They'll need a job when they arrive.) There are many wonderful schools in California. California has a wonderful climate. The scenery, nature, and landscape of California are all wonderful. Wonderful people all over this wonderful country already know all of these wonderful things! Why spend money advertising? I've never understood why the US Post Office advertises stamps, either - or the American Dairy Council! It has always been a strange dichotomy for me to see Californians tease newcomers to their state while the government is spending millions of dollars tempting would-be residents to join their ranks.
So here is the breakdown:
People that travel 3000 miles across the country from Massachusetts = "Welcome to California. Give us a bunch of money for your home and your taxes. Everyone here is going to make fun of your accent, by the way."
People that travel 3 miles across the border from Tijuana = "Welcome to California. Give us a bunch of money for an apartment; we won't ask where the money came from. Or where you came from, for that matter. Habla espanol?"
California needs to spend some time and energy figuring out its immigration standards (I won't even call them laws because, generally, laws are enforced). The governing body of California (in other states, these people are called Politicians) needs to either remove all illegal immigrants or assimilate all the illegals but make them all accountable to the same statutes as the rest of the population.
(by the way, this "essay or whatever it is, was begun on July 15th. I finally wrapped it up, edited it, and published it on August 27th.)
Posted by dennis @ 12:14 PM