Ugh. So, sit down, kids, let me tell you a story.
I didn’t want to go to a birthday party. It was Saturday, it was in Hollywood, I barely knew the person in question, but my best friend said I should go. And another buddy of mine was there. I wanted to sit back and think about Argo for a few hours, which I had just seen in the theatre.
You should watch Argo.
I get on the subway, taking it to the Hollywood and Vine station. Now, while you’re in the subway, many of you will know, your phone loses signal — probably because you’re under feet and feet of concrete and rock.
I get into the subway right around 9 pm, give or take a few minutes. Then I get out about 9:30pm at the Hollywood and Vine station.
You have to walk up two long flights of stairs/escalators to get to the surface from that point. (The subway doesn’t go up or down in elevation, but the surface does.) I can’t hear anything because the air pressure at Hollywood/Vine creates a wind tunnel, so I’m mostly just trying to keep my hair the right way as I try to pull off the look that some hair stylist must’ve perfected for Affleck in Argo.
Could I have had the nerve to walk past Iran’s Republican Guard while lying to their face about my identity? I’m getting off track.
First I hear the rolling. Lots of it. I look over to some of my other subway-mates, and they seem just as confused. What the hell is that noise?
Turn the corner and thirty skateboarders, mostly kids about half my age, are rolling right at us.
The first couple of boarders slide out of the way. The rest don’t care. They’re throwing trash and having what seems to be the time of their lives. One knocks over a young woman ahead of me. Her boyfriend tries to grab the kid but can’t.
I turn and look and another boarder, probably like thirteen, is coming right at me and absolutely sees me. I don’t see him until he’s five feet away. He runs into me and doesn’t understand physics, that my mild inconvenience is his falling on his face.
The boarders pass. Okay, I think. That was super dumb. Let’s go to the bar.
I walk up the stairs and get onto the second escalator, the one that takes me to the surface. Slowly, the helmets of four or five riot police, blocking the entrance/exit of the subway station, come into view.
One of the riot squad looks at me and points back into the station.
“That’s a great idea,” I say. I get off the up escalator, and get right on the down escalator.
Only at that moment does my phone blow up, now that it has signal. About five texts saying “don’t go to Hollywood/Vine, it’s blocked off.”
Great, thanks guys.
I still have signal at the bottom of the surface escalator. So I text my buddies. They can’t get out of the bar, because they’re literally next to the station. So they’re well inside the cordon. Held against their will by a totalitarian regime while chaos reigns outside their building.
I’ve seen this movie. And I’m wearing my best CIA-looking peacoat. I can do this.
I get an idea. I get back on the subway, and take it back the way I came, one station down to Hollywood/Highland. It’s a few blocks away. A long walk but I can get there.
Now farther down Hollywood Boulevard, I see fleeing skateboarders. At least twenty rolling down the street, making a nuisance of themselves, knocking over trash cans. I see one older kid of probably eighteen get clotheslined by a big bouncer outside a classier joint. (Well, it’s Hollywood Blvd., so “classier” is a relative term.) I laugh. Sorry, I laughed.
I make my way down to Ivar, formulating some sort of plan — or at least, formulating the idea that I should make some sort of plan — and then I see this:
Oh, right, this is the United States in the Year Of Our Lord 2012, they have guns that hurt, my friends are “trapped” in a bar that they were planning on staying at for a while anyway and I’m a 26-year old dumbass.
Apparently, the skateboarders — 400 to 500, the news reports say — went to see a movie at the vintage Vine Theatre called Bake and Destroy. There were too many boarders to seat them all, even to seat a fraction of them, and so when they were told there wasn’t enough for the overflow, they decided to trash the place.
Meanwhile, in Syria:
This city got shelled with artillery because of this rally.
Incredibly long story short: Skateboarding isn’t a crime, but that doesn’t mean skateboarders aren’t dicks who deserve to get knocked over when they throw a temper tantrum over a movie called Bake and Destroy, and I am not Jack Bauer.
Question: Is this Hollywood riot dumber than the last one?