Thursday, January 24, 2008

My Advice To Los Angeles

I also posted this as a comment in John August's blog. It is my advice to Angelinos about having their city get eaten by monsters.

LA is not a city, it’s a federation of affiliated suburbs. I think this leads Angelinos to forget there is a downtown, replete with skyscrapers to knock over for an enterprising young monster. Sure, even Angelinos don’t know what most of them are (the most recognizable tall building being the Capitol Records building, which obviously isn’t in that downtown cluster), and that’s the problem — recognition. Why would a monster want to knock over a bunch of obscure buildings when New York has so many exciting, high profile buildings to knock over. It’s not that LA isn’t a delicious snack, it’s just that today’s monster has a reputation to build. Simply having a Myspace page isn’t enough. Every monster has one of those now. No, in today’s saturated media climate, if you can’t knock down the Empire State Building, or the Chrysler Building, or even the measly Flatiron Building, nobody’s going to pay attention. “Monster knocks over generic skyscraper” just isn’t a catchy headline.

The sprawl would probably require a fast moving monster to wreak havoc at enough recognizable landmarks that anyone would want to film his or her exploits, but even a sufficiently speedy monster would think twice before chowing down on LA — the cost/benefit ratio just isn’t good enough. Even San Francisco has more recognizable landmarks per square mile. What Angelinos need to do in order to attract monsters, frankly, is remember the names of some of the buildings and talk them up. “Oh, the Fnord Building is so — glassy. It’s the glassiest building on the whole west coast.”

After all, it works both ways. In today’s media saturated climate, if a city wants to be eaten by monsters then the residents need to show some civic pride. Don’t just complain about it, stir up some viral marketing for even the most obscure of landmarks (coating them with meat and/or trapping a monster’s offspring inside of one helps, too). What monster wants to go down in history as having destroyed “some building” in LA?

Hopefully this advice will help all Angelinos in their efforts to have their city eaten. Best of luck!


w_nightshade said...

Bravo! More people need to take an interest in local affairs, or giant monsters will never be seen outside of New York or Tokyo. Is there a petition I can sign?

LHOOQtius ov Borg said...

My follow-up advice:

As a follow-up to my advice above (accidentally posted anon), I wanted to add that another thing LA really needs is bridges. LA has many waterways to cross, and some islands that building a bridge to would require a very impressive bridge. Yet, LA has no impressive bridges. Face it, monsters like bridges.

As for Kaz’s mention of the Disney Hall, that is the one real monster magnet in LA besides the Capitol building. It’s like a puzzle: “Do I eat it, or try to put it back together? Maybe it means something? Maybe I can ride my monster skateboard on it?”

Disneyworld is also good, but it’s pretty flat. Monsters don’t like being taller than the buildings they eat — it’s just a fact of monster life. It makes them feel less impressive. You need to make the monster want to eat your city.

But, still… Bonaventure Hotel? Disney Concert Hall? LA’s buildings also need better names. Empire State Building, The Dakota, Waldorf Astoria, Flatiron Building, The Guggenheim — these are buildings that sound like they want to be eaten, people. The Bonaventure Hotel sounds like — well, a hotel. Come on LA, you can do better.