Cultural Similarities: LA and India

In my life I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to a lot of different countries and experience many different cultures. Then I arrived in LA where to the naked eye, it appears that there is a distinct lack of culture. But you only have to scan the everyday life of our strange little city by the sea to find there are practices of the most spiritual kind happening everyday. Things that you would normally expect to see only in countries whose cultures we hold in high regard.

In India, just about the best thing you can be is a cow. Life is so good as a cow it often beats being a human. For starters, you’re revered as a highly spiritual animal, the most sacred in the kingdom. To be reincarnated as a cow is a goal many aim to achieve.

The other great thing is that no one eats you. Which is really good. Just ask any chicken.

And you can go wherever the hell you want, whenever you want. If you feel that you need to stand in the middle of the street and just, you know, hang out, it’s your right as an Indian cow.

I don’t know if you’ve been to India, but the road rules are like, well, it doesn’t seem like there are any. People just kind of make them up as they go along. And then lean loudly into their horns to let everybody know that their version is the definitely the best one.

Obstacles on the road are dealt with loudly and with purpose. But if there’s a cow sitting tight on the double yellows, there’s a universal shrugging of shoulders and putting your car into park. The traffic will move again when the cow does.

Which started me thinking about the cultural equivalents here in LA. What gets to wander around wherever it chooses and worshiped at every turn. Well, it’s not so much what, as who.

Blonde girls.

In a currency exchange program, blonde girls are the sacred cows of LA.

I mean, anyone can wander into the middle of road here, nonchalantly dawdling along, safe in the knowledge that motorists will do anything to avoid a lawsuit. It’s to the point where pedestrians are like a bunch of mental patients who’ve all just taken their lithium/zanax milkshake and been let loose from the asylum. Zombies move with more purpose.

Anyway, the point is that when you encounter an Angeleno casually strolling into oncoming traffic, we all slow down and wait for them to get to the other side. Brunettes, redheads, bottle goth blacks… we sit and check our messages on our phones as they breeze by.

But a blonde girl, well that’s different.

You always watch them. You can almost hear the temple bells as they wander along. What is that weird pull that they have? What is this black magic that they work? I don’t even want to have sex with them and I still find myself looking.

If a flap of blonde hair on a breeze gets in my peripheral view, I will always turn my head to see the creature in all her sundress-ed glory, floating gazelle-like down the sidewalk.

They just touch the divine in some way. I think Jesus was probably blonde, even though he was an Arab.

So why or how is this interesting? Well, India has turned the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment into an industry. People flock there from all over the world to find their higher consciousness and people pray to every deity imaginable in the attempt.

LA isn’t really much to look at; strip malls, OKish beaches, freeways and way, way, way too much bad stucco. And it’s hard to mount a case against the charge that the place is morally bankrupt. So perhaps we could take a leaf out of India’s book and turn those truisms around.

If we say gathered all the blondes we could find in the city limits and let them roam in packs around the place willy nilly, it could be just the shot in the arm that LA needs.

For the locals, it gives you a great get out of jail free card. Call the office and tell them there’s no way you can get to work today, Olympic is cut off at both ends by blondes who’ve been dazzled by a couple of sales. Two packs that just don’t seem to be dissipating anytime soon.

If you’re smart you can check the Blonde report on NPR before you leave home. No sense in getting stuck in all that hair, you can work from home. For the truly dedicated, I’m sure Waze can find you a path around the blonde-jams, but hey, no one’s going to blame you if you’re a no-show.

As for the Tourists, I’m sure they’d flock; who doesn’t want to bask in the glow of a Cali girl? We’ve been watching those mythical creatures in films since we were able to breathe.

Special Land Rover built tour busses could roam the streets listening for reports of where the wild packs of blondes are. Up near the Hollywood sign? Not a problem, we can four-wheel drive up there and catch those blondes in the wild, near the sacred site.

And as the tourists get photos with the blonde girls, traffic motionless all around, the hills stretching off into the background, we locals can proudly point and say, See? LA has culture.

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