Saturday, April 5, 2014

A Country With A Lot To Learn

Drawing of the glorious Plaza hotel on 5th Avenue. Famous for a young Macaulay Culkin sliding across it’s marble lobby floor in the film Home Alone 2. Bit of a departure from the skyscrapers i’ve been drawing recently but i couldn’t resist drawing it, so here we are. Drawn in pencil and crayon.

Hilgard Ave, Westwood

- What are you looking at?
- The copper on the awnings, the French roof. Aging beautifully. I was wondering what this was before it became a hotel. Do you know?
- No. I was staying here. Leaving now.
- What have you been doing in Westwood?
- Attending a conference.
- On what?
- Hospital management.
- Is that your business? Where are you from?
- Turkey. No. It's not my business.
- And was the conference worth coming all the way here?
- In fact, yes.
- Why?
- Hospitals are a good business these days.
- More people are dying longer. How did you like the hotel? Are you enjoying these days before you start dying? You're not dying?
- I'm not dying. It's like a palace inside.
- I've never been inside. I was once at that hotel, across the street, when it was a luxury apartment building. My mother wanted me to meet the wayward hippy son from a family of billionaire meat processors who was living there.
- That is also a good business, food.
- Know any other good businesses?
- The pharmaceutical business. The food business makes people sick, the pharmaceutical business makes them sicker, and the hospital business keeps them sick.
- I see.
- Defense is a good business too.
- Don't wars like the one in the country neighboring yours kill a lot of people? Reduce the customer base? Do you know how many people died in the Iraq war?
- Yes. One to two million. Quickly replaced in today's world.
- Military strategists in Israel call such defense actions "cutting the grass".
- I've heard.
- You have? So. How did you like your stay in our rich and poor town?
- The people in Beverly Hills live off the dying of everyone else around them.
- Indeed they do. I walked over here from Beverly Hills. I used to live there with the driver for a billionaire Beverly Hills couple. They owned a building just like the luxury hotel across the street. According to the driver, his employers, orthodox Jews, had rented the building to a corporation controlled by Arab Princes for a million dollars a year. They were still living in it, holding the entire penthouse floor to themselves, keeping a close watch on their property. They were so cheap, the driver said, they paid him by the hour. That way when they wanted to go to a restaurant they'd have him drive them in their Rolls Royce, then he'd be told to return the car to the hotel without them and clock off. They'd take a taxi back or bum a ride from some other restaurant patron.
- That's how they got rich.
- The rich are cheap because there is nothing in their heads but money. They don''t get rich by being cheap but by cheating, doing one of your three businesses, for example. I've read some amazing statistics about Los Angeles. Supposedly 200,000 people have registered with the government the fact they have no place to live. They aren't sleeping on the streets. Only 20 to 50 thousand are sleeping on the streets. That according to other statistics. The 200,000 are living with friends, I guess. Telling the government they have no place to live they get money for food, just enough money to buy the cheap deadly food produced by the food business with government subsidies. They become customers of your booming food, drug, hospital businesses. What do you think about that? The numbers are just for those with no place to live. The government gives 3 million people in L.A. money for food. If you can call what they eat food.
- We have a lot to learn in our country.