P.O.E.M., June 8, 2013

The Greek Theatre

Los Angeles, CA

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Listen (MP3)

GK: Many English majors come to Los Angeles with their laptops hoping to write screenplays and they find that the movie business is not for them. More and more, movies are not about human feelings, they are about aliens with metal claws for hands who shoot lasers out of their eyeholes. (ROBOT LASERS). The movie business is just a business ---- what Californians are passionate about is traffic, and that’s where English majors excel.


SS: Looking down on the I-5, Sheila, I can’t help but think of the line from The Great Gatsby ---- "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

LT: That is so beautiful, Mindy. And so right.

SS: I like to think of that long line of cars moving slowly along the Five as a conversation about a journey.

LT: In which people are engaged with each other even though maybe not verbally but in some deeper way.

SS: That is like so true.

LT: Because the conversation is inside you and it’s not about getting to the destination, it’s about what happens in the in between spaces.

SS: Wow. And everybody’s in between spaces silently reaching out towards everyone else’s.

LT: Unless they’re listening to public radio.

SS: Right.

LT: And even though people believe they are moving forward, in fact they are moving back into the past, just like Fitzgerald said. And as you know, being aware of the past is an empowering thing.

SS: Awareness is everything, Sheila. Did you see the movie?

LT: The Great Gatsby?

SS: Yes.

LT: I did and it was a lot like the I-5. I kept wishing it would end.

SS: That is so true. Wow.

GK: Wherever there are things you care about terribly, you will need English majors. This message brought to you by the Professional Organization of English Majors.

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