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Category Archives: Characters

Hollywood’s Funniest/Scariest Videos

Here’s our first entry, put it under funny


The reason this video is so important is that it brings up the issue of the characters and street performers on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams. They work so hard, usually under a bright, hot sun. They take their roles seriously and usually just laugh it off when people rip them off. Rip them off? Yes! Tourists will snap their pictures and then scurry off without leaving the role-player a tip. That is egregious. These people have enough money to take a vacation. They should have enough dough to toss a buck at these men and woman. Sometimes I’ve even seen tourists pose and take snapshots of a street character, and then scurry off saying, “No English! No English!” Well, money is the universal language. Just rubbing your thumb against your fingertips indicates that money is in the equation of their interactions. Reason #1 for hating tourists – They rip-off street characters and street performers.

Here’s our second entry, file it under scary

I’ve made it one of my little causes to publish this video far and wide. The faces of the individuals involved are clear and that’s the whole point. Those two bullies should be locked up for a year or two for what they did. See for yourself. Reason #2 for hating tourists- They never know where they’re going. BUT that doesn’t give you the right to rough them up! The saddest part is that the old woman got out of the car thinking she was going to get directions from those two brutes. What a world. What a world.


Gentrification Sucks!

Another reason to hate the Jefferson Project

Jefferson Project - Built by Scabs & Rats

Joe Hill, martyr

What’s the big deal? So they aren’t paying decent wages, maybe even paying illegal immigrants under the table to haul stuff away. Why is everybody getting their panties in a bunch? If it weren’t for unions, there would be no middle class in this country. Sweatshops would abound. Workers would be forced to labor for twelve or more hours at a time. There would be no OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). Hell, there would be no Department of Labor, whose Secretary serves on the President’s Cabinet. The last effect Secretary of Labor that this country had was under Bill Clinton. His name? Robert Reich. He served under Bill Clinton and was one of his chief economic advisors. The reasons why Obama didn’t tap him for his administration is beyond my comprehension. Maybe he asked and Reich turned him down? He’d make a better Secretary of the Treasury than Geithner, who has proven himself to be a complete corporate shill. But maybe he is doing a good job by Obama, taking the heat for his misguided pro-corporate policies. So how did I get all the way from the Jefferson to here? Well, there used to be strong labor laws in this country, but under Uncle Ronnie, they were dismantled by Congress (with the help of the pro-right wing Supreme Court). Now, all we have left of the vestiges of a strong union mentality in this country is Labor Day. I wonder how many middle class Americans realize that they have a day off to barbecue thanks to the blood, sweat and tears of labor agitators from the Great Depression era. I wonder how many people know who Joe Hill was. (Joan Baez does a great version of the song, “I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night.”)

If it weren’t for labor unions, there would be no middle-class today –Russell Smith

Jefferson Signage at Highland and Yucca St
Guess how much a unit is going for at the Jefferson? Three thousand dollars a month, that’s how much! With that kind of money backing up this never-ending project, one would think that they would hire members of Carpenters Local 209 to help build this…thing. But no! Every penny counts in this rat-eat-rat world of ours. Back in the old days, the Union would have had a nice gang of thugs to beat the living shit out of these scabs who are stealing jobs from dues paying members of Carpenters Local 209. It is sick-making when one realizes that construction workers, REAL construction workers, are some of the hardest hit people here in L.A. in this Republican-created Depression.

Call 972-556-1700 to complain!

One last insult to the workers of Hollywood. I saw Spiderman getting a ticket for being Spiderman. The world really is turning into an Orwellian nightmare. Watch!

Age Inappropriate to the Max!

Sweet bird of youth…

We have a character here in Hollywood who loves to parade up and down the streets in mesh shirts and Daisy Duke cutoffs. If I were to venture a guess, I’d say he is seventy-five years old, if not a day. Now I know that there is a sub-culture that likes wrinkled, sun-damaged skin, so this post will probably not disturb them in the least. But if you are sensitive, you may want to look elsewhere, or you may be like me and rubberneck to see: I’m talking about the ugly old man who dresses inappropriately.

photograph by Russell Smith, image altered to protect privacy

But wait, there’s more. I think he shadowed me over to the Hollywood and Highland complex so I could take a picture of him with his friend with the terrible toupé. It figures he’d be chums with another person who suffers from what I believe is a subtype of somatophorm disorder called Body dysmorphic disorder. Normally these people think that they are ugly, rely on heavily on plastic surgery to correct their supposed disfigurements and are disappointed when the surgeries do not result in a change in their self-image. Remember that these people are delusional. Now the gentleman above also seems to be delusional, but in the opposite way. He seems to think that he is extremely attractive and desirable. The great actress Edith Massey played someone with the exact same personality type in the movie Female Trouble, directed by John Waters, staring Devine.

Birds of a feather, photograph by Russell Smith, image altered to protect privacy

Let’s take a look at the late great Edith Massey, so you can get an idea of what I’m talking about.

Edith Massey in all her glory, RIP

Magical Hollywood Moments

Beloved Wedding Cake Building

Detail of building at Hollywood & Highland

I used to be able to see this marvelous Hollywood landmark from my doorstep. Such is life, I suppose.

Strange Contraption

I’m sure that there are plenty in the Industry who can tell us what the purpose of the tube strapped to this man’s back is. If so, please leave a comment catching the rest of us up. Without meaning to ridicule, he looks like a walking vacuum cleaner. To protect his privacy, I’ve made sure that his face is obscured. Without the strange contraption on his back, I’m certain that you wouldn’t know him from Adam, if you should meet him on the street. Normally I would have questioned him about it, but he gave off decidedly negative vibes, so we must content ourselves with the pictures.

Love the hat!

Taking a brisk walk

Dueling Spidermen

Performers pause a moment

Back into action

Please forgive the blur, but with my palsied hand and moving subjects, there’s only so much that Photoshop can do. Click on the video below to see a truly magical Hollywood moment!

I must say that these fellows were perfect gentlemen. They didn’t know I was filming them, so when I came back from CVS and gave them each $2, their reaction was one of surprise. “What’s this for?” Asked the Spiderman on the left. I told them that I’d taken some photographs and a video from across the street. They were willing to let me take more pictures! Bless them. They also told me how many people promise to tip, but then scurry off once they’ve taken their pictures or videos. Such people should be fined! It’s outrageous. The street characters add to the charm of Hollywood Blvd. Otherwise, most people would just walk the Boulevard of Broken Dreams with their heads down, reading the names on the stars. Quite honestly, most of the names are unrecognizable but to a few Hollywood historians. On top of that, they’d end up with hyper-extended necks. That hurts in the morning!

BTW the link on the word tip (above) is a list of Tinseltown’s worst tippers. Some of the names should be of no surprise. Tiger Woods? Do tell!

Subway cars are stinkin’, but Hollywood stars are blinkin’

This is why I will always love my neighborhood. Last Monday I was coming home from work, feeling down, as low as down can get. When the train came into Union Station, it was easy for me to get a disabled seat on the Dred Line. I also like to be in the first car, as close to the driver as possible. I don’t feel very safe on the subways, so if I scream “HELP!,” it may be addressed as a serious situation. A woman sat near me in one of the few seats facing me in that part of the car. As we waited for the train to depart, we were all assaulted with a terrible odor. I asked if she smelled it, but she was already covering her face with her hands. This isn’t the first time this has happened to me on the subway. Whatever they’re doing, it can’t be good. It smells worse than sewage, so one is apt to blame a homeless person. But it smells worse than most homeless people I’ve encountered- not all, but most. What’s going on Mr. Metro Man?

Anyway, the odor dissappated after a few minutes, leaving everybody shocked, but relieved. I said, to no one in particular, “I live in Hollywood, so don’t try to talk to me about smells.”

The women sitting near me said, “Now wait a minute! I’ve lived in Hollywood many years and I love it.” She was a medium completed black woman, about my age, with a totally Southern California accent. (Yes, there is one- not the Valley Girl one either).

I apologized immediately and replied, “I love Hollywood too! I’ve lived there 10 years and I never want to move.”

She smiled and said, “Thirty years.”

I said I must be a newbie,” but she just smiled and shook her head, “Ten years is a long time.”

We chatted away until Pershing Square because of the crowding. She got off at Vine and I got off at Highland.

Please enjoy this brief YouTubery of an amazing child prodigy. He loves making music. What a gift!

I’ll Never Exhaust My Resources

Dollhouse hat man

I’m talking about all the odd balls, weirdos, heros and monsters that live in my ‘hood, that is Hollywood. The gentleman with the dollhouse hat was eager for me to take his picture. The hat was his way of bringing attention to the tourists of the problem of homelessness, which is particularly severe in Los Angeles.

Poor Dollhouse Hat Man! People don’t come here to solve the world’s many problems. In fact, they come here to forget them. Take your gig to Lafayette Park, in Washington, D.C., dude. They’d love you there! It’s right across from the White House and it’s where citizens go to lay their grievances on the table for the public’s delectation.

Now my next question is, “Did this somebody REALLY run this poor guy over? The tourists seem to find it most engaging.

Rubbernecking tourists

Vehicular manslaughter?

Now here’s the video you’ve been waiting for. The most adorable thing I’ve seen in a long time and it made me change my opinion of the guy with paint buckets for drums at the H&H station.

I think this so great! How can you NOT say, “Aw!”