(Entrance to the Culver Hotel Build – Taken in the morning of the record-setting-heat on the second day of the World Series in LA)
True inspiration is a vanishing resource in the modern world.
More often than not, it is hijacked by products and brands to show how “inspirational” they are. Nike comes to mind immediately. But there are many other brands and products that position their brand close to inspiration.
It seems funny to me since inspiration is one of the least things promoted by digital culture and social media. If anything, it is a smooth, flat sea of complacency with life as it is today. There seems little vision, little inspiration, to create another world today.
Modern political control is exercised via indirect distraction rather than direct power or force. The world has taken the television out of the living room and put it on smartphones and now all the world is truly a stage, as Shakespeare once said. Once entertainment was confined to living room televisions or theaters. Now, entertainment has left homes and theaters and now travels with one all the time. The distraction of entertainment. Sports. Films. Products. Brands. Celebrities. Gossip. Cable news. Radio news. Social media news.
Network news. News plays a different part in the modern world than providing information. It works around the clock to make sure that they can distract the population from consideration of the world around them. The natural world rather than the constructed world of the electronic media.
Maybe this “inspiration” meme is pulled into the gravity of my attention right now since I just returned to my high school in for our 50th reunion. It seems “ground zero” for a large amount of inspiration that my life was given during these years.
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Where does inspiration begin? At a particular moment in time? At a particular place like the Webb School where I returned to for my 50th reunion? With a particular person? Or, with some person one has read or heard about? In effect, a celebrity. Or, does it really begin (and end?) with a particular story matched to a particular person, or group of persons, in life?
No one wants to hear all the details of someone else’s reunion weekend. But maybe, there are some commonalities in all these details of reunions?
There was a strange feeling at my 50th reunion that our class of 1967 was such an independent class, to match the times we lived in. At that time, I still was open for that quality I hadn’t experienced much before. Looking back on it now, I understand that this quality was “inspiration” however one wants to define this word. However, one understands this concept.
That weekend, I realized the source of a concept that has directed much of my life. It is the concept of inspiration.Webb School of California always remains the key source of inspiration in my life. Its time. Its place. Its people. My classmates.
Perhaps it was the real nexus of the inspiration in my life. Perhaps it didn’t give me inspiration as much as it allowed me to realize the inspiration I already possessed.
(Webb School, Claremont, California)
Yet the idea and concept of inspiration is a dangerous idea our modern world controlled by the politics of distraction. Inspiration is a threat to distraction. In effect, the threat to the current method of political control. Inspiration is a concept birthed in the soul of an individual. It belongs on the individualistic side of politics rather than the communal side. It is a word more suited to the emotions of nationalism rather than the methods of globalism.
It’s interesting how the word and concept of inspiration has weaved its way into my life over the years. More often than not, I was pretty unaware of its renewed presence in my life. It just came quietly like San Francisco fogs until it was impossible to ignore. And there would be memories of all my close friends in life from these years.
After my high school reunion, we drove into Los Angeles and Culver City and stayed at the Culver Hotel on Culver Boulevard. Coincidentally, it was just a few blocks from where my father had his Ford car dealership in the early 50s. We lived in West LA at the time and I remember visiting the car dealership and going doing the long, roller-coaster type of hill, called Overland Avenue. Like his other dealership in Pasadena, many of his car salesmen served under my father in WWII. Many were trying to get into the film business and some were acting in B movies. It was an interesting car lot for a little five-year-old to hang out on. There seemed some form of early inspiration that was passed on from this time.
And now, we were in this famous hotel built in 1917 and housing stars over the years who worked at MGM just a few blocks away. Garbo had a regular place at our hotel. In the elegant old, lobby there is a grand photo of Cark Gable, a frequent guest of the hotel. One of the better-known events in the hotel’s hundred-year history is the arrival of the munchkins for the MGM film The Wizard of Oz. Evidently, they trashed the hell out of the hotel with their constant drunkenness and debauchery.
(Culver Hotel in Culver City)
We leave my reunion in Claremont, California and drive into the Culver Hotel. The temperatures in LA are setting records.
The World Series is beginning in LA the night we arrive in Los Angeles.
The Dodgers versus the Houston Astros.
The Dodgers moved to Los Angeles a year before we left to move back to Ohio. I was fortunate to see some of their first games in Los Angeles as my father was a huge Dodgers’ fan.
The Dodgers win the first game. The Astros the second. A real battle.
Last night, I saw the latest reincarnation of inspiration for me. In the few days we were in LA, it seemed that the entire town was united behind the Dodgers. Any place you went to around dinner in LA, you could hear cheers when Dodgers did something in the World Series. The whole town has momentarily forgotten all the stuff on Harvey and is now centered on baseball. And, what a good thing this is for LA! My feelings are so much greater for the Dodgers than feelings for the two pro football teams that have relocated to LA. The Dodgers have always been inspirational to me!
The inspiration plays itself out in the games we watch in LA. The Dodgers win the first. The Astros the second. The Dodgers the third.
The Dodgers come back to win their third game just a few hours after the OSU Buckeyes come back to win their football game. To me, there are few things more inspirational than a sports battle that plays out in real time before people.
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The #6 OSU Buckeyes produced a one point victory last night over #2 Penn State.
For the first half of the game, OSU committed all types of penalties and ended up a few touchdowns behind Penn State. It looked bad for the Buckeyes at halftime. (Some fans even left the game).
But in the second half, the Buckeyes played inspired football. The great Heisman candidate running back at Penn could hardly escape the backfield. The team is totally different from the team that showed up in the first half. They have become an inspired group of players!
The Jeckel/Hyde character of the OSU football team demonstrates the importance of this rare substance in life called “inspiration.” It was a pure form of this that was generated, that circulated around, the locker room of OSU at halftime in the Penn State game. It was something I felt so strong those years at my high school in California. In those locker rooms at the half time of our own games when we were behind. And then, this little guy named Les started talking to us.
As I said, inspiration is a vanishing, rare resource in our modern world.
We study so many things. Create movies and stories on so many things.
Yet we attempt to creat few things around those moments of memory linked to inpiration.
Again, it is a dangerous political threat to many Americans today. They believe in equality, something opposite to the individuality of inspiration. It “takes a village” (of distracted, commoners) as Hillary once commented as the cure-all for American culture.