If you live in the San Fernando Valley, or had lived, you know that the end of May begins the hottest time of year. Living in “The Valley” for most of my life, I have to say that it has grown increasingly more frustrating with the heat factor. If you live in “The Valley”, then you have definitely seen the references in movies and television. They are not very nice. The most common joke for “The Valley” is, there are two seasons: hot and hotter. My personal favorite is that “The Valley” is like the Forbidden Zone in Planet of the Apes. Otherwise known as summer in the Valley.
However, the area is a hot bed (pun intended) for filming of movies and television. Go to anywhere in the Valley, which is about the size of the entire west side of Los Angeles and holds half the population of Los Angeles County. Many portions of the city look like various places around the country. Some big movies and television series were filmed out here. Terminator 2, 24, The West Wing, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Entourage all had locations or were set in “The Valley”.
As a kid, I always knew it was hot but it never seemed to be as hot as I remember it. Some people will classify it as global warming but I think it’s more psychological than all that. I think as we get older we become less resilient to the environment around us. If you say that isn’t true, you know you’re lying. I’ll give you a few examples.
Teenagers have gotten worse. The music today is horrible compared to my day. No one thinks anymore, they just sit and play video games. All of those things have been said by someone over the age of 30 at some point in their life. And it is true. Our tolerances for new things lessen as we get older. When you think about the things we did as kids (I’m in my mid-forties), you can say the same thing about our generation.
During my time in high school, rap music was becoming more popular and people were listening to NWA or 2 Live Crew and kids loved it. Why? Mostly due to the fact that it annoyed our parents but it was cool and different. Today, we are dealing with celebrities that are products of those original pioneers. Whether it is good or bad is irrelevant, but they are the result of those earlier artist. Some people may have a problem with my use of the word “artist.”
I think I’m getting a bit off topic. The heat. God, I hate the heat here. Some people say that heat in Vegas is better. It’s a dry heat. I’ll tell you people something: dry or wet, when it’s 115 degrees, I can guarantee you that no one will give a complete crap whether it’s a dry or wet heat. Maybe my perception has changed and I see things differently.
That could be true. As I was younger, I know I was more self-obsessed as many teenagers and children were. In fact, I would go as far to say that I am still self-obsessed. As I got older, I may have gotten over myself and started to let more outside things bother me. I know when I was a kid and it was hot, I still walked to the comic store or went to a friend’s house. As I’ve gotten older, I don’t want to do many things because I don’t wish to be bothered by anything.
This is one of the major reasons I think people become lazy. We have to deal with life issues, such as work, bills, children (yours or others), people we work with and various other curve balls life likes to throw at us. It wears us down to a point that we simply don’t wish to deal with anything that we can simply avoid, like the heat. So, we will go to the mall, crank up the AC or go to the movies.
In the end, I don’t think “The Valley” has gotten that much hotter, I think I just notice it more. Don’t get me wrong, I still marvel when I see the heat of the day reach 112 degrees in mid-August. Granted, that doesn’t happen every time but you still need to remember that this area is 15 degrees hotter than Hollywood and it sits below sea level. I just need to stop letting outside influences influence my day. I wish I could just let it go but it’s so damn hot outside.