Soylent Green is People!

You’ll have to pardon my current mood. Perhaps it’s due to the gloomy weather we’re having. Whatever the cause, I’m really starting to hate people. No one in particular. No specific ethnicity, sex, or religion, but rather the ever-present, seething mass of humanity from which there seems to be no escape.

Locales ranging from movie theaters to airports are beginning to repulse me. This crush of bodies is everywhere. It’s the reason I don’t really like Disneyland. Even state-of-the-art new entertainment centers like the Irvine Spectrum or The Block in Orange are ruined by the lemming-like quality the place takes on during the weekend. During the week, even. I love the concept sketches designers draw up before these places are built. You ever notice how there are very few people, very few cars in these things? They must have the same fantasy I do. People are everywhere, en mass. Actually, I take that back; when I’m producing a show, they’re everywhere except at my theatre. It’s maddening.

I’m trying to figure out how this mood came upon me. It’s always been there to a small extent. I think it’s reared its ugly head because of my activities of late. I traveled to San Francisco for an audition. Now, I like San Francisco. Really. The culture, the geography, the architecture. What I didn’t like was the 3½ hours I spent in my car getting to and from LAX, or the way every square inch of LAX and San Francisco International was lined with people. Not to mention the trolley cars, busses, restaurants, and streets along the way. I’m sure the lack of sleep and stress were really helpful.

At one point during the day, an image of Charlton Heston popped into my head; he was screaming “Soylent Green is people! It’s people!” as the camera panned back. And he was wearing that flaming scarf, just like he did in the movie. Go figure. Someone once said that the moral of Soylent Green (a.k.a. The Worst Story Ever Told) was that one day everything would look like the 70’s again. Far be it from me to argue with such wisdom.

Okay, I’ve vented. Time to return to reality. You just have to find the humor in all this. San Francisco is teeming with the homeless and impoverished, a majority of whom suffer from some mental problem or other. The city is also afflicted with an inordinately large population of elderly women who find pleasure driving vehicles the size of aircraft carriers, only slower. But seriously, they have no one and nothing, and here I am complaining because my local entertainment center is too crowded. Nice. Very nice.


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