Monday, April 30, 2012

Riots Recalled

My wife remembers the LA riots of a generation ago. I was employed at Warner Bros. out in Sherman Oaks back then. However, no one actually worked that Thursday. Everyone was crowded around a television in Tom Ruegger's office watching the looting of the Beverly Center Shopping Mall. Smoke from the arson fires drifted into the San Fernando Valley and would worsen over the next two days.

We were sent home. My future wife stopped by my Glendale apartment and we watched the chaos on TV. Coverage was non-stop. As we snacked on the couch, seeing familiar places burn or be picked clean by street locusts, Joy coined a term for us: "Riot Potatoes."

The Dutchman, an old friend and veteran sit-com cameraman, lived in Tinsel Town several blocks north of Hollywood Boulevard. When looters sacked a shop just down the street, his fellow neighbors agonized over whether to block off their cul de sac with cars. But no one wanted to volunteer his vehicle. At that moment, The Dutchman strolled into a knot of worried homeowners wearing a 9mm semi-auto on one hip and sporting a .22 semi-auto in a shoulder holster. Holding up his hands, he waited for their full attention then said, "Let us not reason out of fear."

The irony drew a few smiles, as intended, and the looters eventually moved west instead of north.

Time flies faster than Iron Man.

Image: the daily


Greer Hart said...

A while back, I watched FLOUNDERING, which was labelled "the first post-riot comedy".
It was extremely slow and cerebral and had what I can only imagine must have been an insight into what must have been going on in the psyche of that generation of people.
Fantastic film nonetheless, with cameos from John Cusack, Steve Buscemi, and Billy Bob Thornton!

John P. McCann said...

Hadn't heard of it before.

Sounds worth checking out.

Tom Ruegger said...

great term..."riot potato."