Tuesday, December 8, 2009
This scene right here? This is L. Ron Hubbard's Winter Wonderland. It's taking place right next to where I work... in the heart of Crazy Town. It's pretty innocuous during the day, but this place gets freak-show nuts at night*. Santa is there posing for pictures, Christmas carols blare in both English and Spanish through tinny speakers, piping-hot churros are sold to small, gloved hands, and one of Hollywood's best artistes is on stand-by, ready to render a caricature of every priceless moment. Oh, and the Dianetics crew is administering stress tests.
The above guilt-trip aside, it's sort of lovely: Scientology tries to bolster its image with a family-friendly gift to the community. Instead, it manages to further prove its status as a non-religion by embracing pseudo-Christian symbols. I mean, does your local mosque ever have a display of menorahs? But that's what I love about it--and what I love about the holidays and Los Angeles in general--all the unabashed contradictions.
A churro-fueled ploy to get tourists to do the Xenu shuffle and a Hollywood Holiday tradition since 1983. Check it out at on Hollywood Blvd. at McCadden Pl.
*That's right, they don't come out until after dark.
-- Heather Robertson