Pussy the Restaurant opens in LA. No one surprised.

25 Apr

The period from 1997 to 2002 was definitely the nadir of American culture, and there was no worse place to witness the depths of stupidity the entertainment industry was able to inculcate in the public than Los Angeles. I lived there from late 1998 to 2004, a period that saw half the city’s population face the dilemma of whether to set oneself up at one of the infinite points along the Swingers-to-rockabilly continuum or to shoot all the way past rockabilly, buy a stupid hat and an early model convertible sedan, and get down with the Rob Zombie/Sunset Boulevard Guitar Center/Dave Navarro scene. The other half had to decide between house music and trance. It was real  fucked up.

Don’t do an image search for “Swingers.” Trust me.

It’s just like the 50s, only, like, more “punk”!

“Man, we owe everything to Rob Zombie and Nikki Sixx.”

For god’s sake.

The music scene in town consisted of geriatric swaggarts like the members of Velvet Revolver in leopard printed rayon shirts and flavor savors attempting to resurrect the late-80s hair metal scene for audiences with excessive tattoos who were there the first time and were having just as hard a time as the bands were letting it go; bands made up of other geriatric swaggarts attempting to latch onto the rap rock fad in order to try (and fail) to avoid irrelevance; dance clubs that made the ones in Night at the Roxbury seem sophisticated; and a few bands attempting to create an LA “indie sound” out of the derivative dregs of other cities’ dead garage rock scenes.

Tommy Lee with Methods of Mayhem, best known for the 2000 track “Get Naked.” If you can find a picture of someone looking like a bigger asshole, I’ll give you a million dollars.

I suppose it could have been worse. I could have lived in a suburb somewhere outside of California where people were paying money to see the Barenaked Ladies and the Fun Lovin’ Criminals. I could have been aware that the movie The Big Hit existed. Instead, LA afforded me the chance to avoid knowing anyone who talked about attending Woodstock ’99 or thought the Deftones were the most countercultural shit out, but at a fairly high price: living at the center of the production of the means for national befuddlement, a center to which women and men flocked from all over the country to humiliate themselves in order to participate in that befuddlement.

The late 90s and early 00s witnessed the rise of totally pointless and absolutely thoughtless raunch in nearly every realm of popular culture, as evidenced even in movies like Election that (Davetavius claims — and I doubt) had the potential to be clever but were ruined by disappointing, demoralizing sexual references that were neither necessary nor clever, and were more often than not cruel (and I can’t think of a single other movie released in those years that anyone could even claim had the potential to be clever). Everywhere one looked, there was a video of Fred Durst telling someone to touch his balls and touch his ass, there was a clip of Tommy Lee porking Pamela Anderson, there was a Hustler mega-store opening up next door to Tower Records, there was a guy coming up with a novel way to make himself rich off of the misguided desires of young women for attention in a world in which celebrity was morphing into the only worthwhile pursuit in life and something that one gained by any humiliating means necessary. The tsunami of degrading stupidity that we now find ourselves drowned in started in LA, and I was there, man. I totally saw it all happen. I wish I could say that about something other than the beginning of the era of  the contemporary wave of cultural pornography saturation, but alas…

Like I said, it was real fucked up. Fucked up to the extent that even the efflorescence of hipsterism from 2002 until the time I left town was a relief. I’ve been back here and there since, including for a bit of an extended stay last summer, and it has changed some. The exuberant embrace of Larry Flynt as the city’s mayor of edginess has given way to a general acceptance among everyone in town of the fact that porn is everywhere and that even most of those who balked at the vulgarity of the Hollywood scene ten years ago have given up trying to beat anyone and joined. Few people still have the tolerance for the brazen idiocy of the Durst Era, which has caused the city to settle down a bit, but porn culture is insidious and has made itself at home in LA as a whole — rather than just Hollywood and the valley, as was the case before the mid 90s and the Internet porn boom — to such an extent that one can now treat one’s entire family to a fine dining experience at Pussy the Restaurant in the Century City Mall.

The Century City Mall, despite sitting at the center of the ugliest set of buildings below the Cahuenga Pass, is a fairly high end and comprehensive shopping and entertainment complex, but it was lacking an overpriced Porn Chic/Mexican fusion establishment. No more. Now there’s Pink Taco, a cutting edge LA Chicano culture-themed food studio miles in LA traffic away from both the Hustler “boutique” and the Seventh Veil, where one can indulge in drinks such as the Pink Panties and the Pinche Boboso (fucking creep) for only about ten dollars and score a taco platter in a city awash in excellent $1 tacos for merely $25, all while immersed in the Chicano-as-fuck ambiance created by lowrider bicycles, sad clown airbrush paintings, and (probably) waiters dressed as vatos. No one has ever accused any joint at the Century City Mall of sitting at the apex of sophistication (rather than tastelessly ostentatious wastefulness), but a restaurant named after a juvenile vagina reference doing so well there as to expand to the far more expensive real estate on the Sunset Strip ought to convince just about anyone that porn culture is, indeed, a reality. But don’t worry. Pink Taco loves women. (Sorry, I meant tits.)

13 Responses to “Pussy the Restaurant opens in LA. No one surprised.”

  1. joy April 25, 2011 at 11:38 PM #

    You know I almost bawled my eyes out laughing at this, right?

    I’m not that old, but I definitely remember the late ’90s-early 2000s very vividly and with no real fondness. “Grrrl powerrr!” was hitting the world, and even as a young teenager I thought it was all a bunch of bullshit. Then there was Fred Durst, whose name and existence I had all but forgotten until today.
    Fred Durst was too stupid even for my friend who liked stupid things, and she liked Metallica, had an anime fetish, and enjoyed watching Bio-Dome. That should tell you how fucking stupid Fred Durst was (is?).

    Fuck porn culture.

  2. Crucial D April 26, 2011 at 7:15 AM #

    I’m so giddy that there’s a new post! I think we’re the same age, ND, so I recall all that crap, too. I was living in rural WV, though, so I was quite a bit more removed from it than you were!

  3. Hecate April 26, 2011 at 12:36 PM #

    Lol joy. Maybe Fred Durst and Tommy Lee should get together to perform and we’ll have double the stupid. Oops, looks like they have! Lucky us!

    ND reminded me of a stupid comment I had to endure while at a party a few years ago. Someone brought in these cream puffs from a chain we have here in San Francisco called ‘Beard Papa.’ I know, odd name, but I guess the owners are Japanese. Anyway, this loser stood in front of me eating one of said puffs and exclaimed ‘Oooh, this tastes just like pussy,’ the likes of which I’m sure he never tasted or ever will taste if he keeps making comments like that. I had some more of my drink and called it a night.

  4. Hecate April 26, 2011 at 12:45 PM #

    Actually, I’d never heard of this ‘Methods of Mayhem’ monstrosity until now. Well… now I know!

  5. youllnevergetrich April 27, 2011 at 7:01 AM #

    What CrucialD said (except the stuff about the stateside cultural connection, as I grew up in the East Midlands of England).

    Behold this product. I encountered it first (and happily, not since) at the Riverside Studios in London. It was being distributed free of charge at the launch event for some celebrity book or other, an event taking place in the theatre’s bar. The book launch was winding down just as the event we were attending, Alexander Galin’s ‘Stars in the Morning Sky’, a bleak drama about the forcible removal of sex workers from the streets of pre-Olympics Moscow in 1980, was kicking out. ‘You couldn’t make it up’, etc.

    http://www.pussydrinks.com/home.html

  6. Ren April 28, 2011 at 9:15 AM #

    I wonder if we can moved the ocean city burger/hotdog joint called “Big Peckers” in next door to Pussy?

    I’ve never been to LA. I think I am glad for that. I DO like Rob Zombie though…

  7. joy April 28, 2011 at 2:41 PM #

    I once punched a dude and threw my bag at his head when he insisted a.) on talking about “pussy”, b.) that “pussy” smelled [xyz] and I didn’t know what I was talking about even though I have a vulva and he doesn’t, and c.) that I was being “overreactive” when I told him that the proper term was “vulva”, not “vagina.” “Well, I think ‘vagina’ sounds better.”

    I should never be around any of these establishments again, ever. And perhaps I will avoid Beard Papa, though I love cream puffs and am currently in SF.

    Also, Hecate — LOL!

    • Nine Deuce April 28, 2011 at 2:48 PM #

      Beard Papa is weird. They have them in New York too. I don’t really give a shit about cream puffs, but I’m pretty sure vaginal secretions don’t contain corn syrup.

  8. joy April 28, 2011 at 2:42 PM #

    There was supposed to be an “or people who make comments like this” in between “establishments like this” and “ever again.” I’ve never been within twenty feet of any establishment named after a part of the female body, even a Hooters (though my aunt desperately wanted to work at one when it opened in my small semirural hometown).

  9. joy April 28, 2011 at 3:37 PM #

    Yeah, that was my thought too.

    Vaginal secretions, if anything, taste a little bit like certain kinds of nigiri. Or salty yogurt. Definitely not like refined sugar and condensed milk (or wtf ever goes into those things; whatever happened to real cream?!).

  10. Hecate April 28, 2011 at 8:25 PM #

    Thanks joy and ND – you gals keep me smiling :)

  11. isme April 29, 2011 at 1:49 AM #

    “Vaginal secretions, if anything, taste a little bit like certain kinds of nigiri. Or salty yogurt. Definitely not like refined sugar and condensed milk (or wtf ever goes into those things; whatever happened to real cream?!).”

    Only until the porn industry decides that vaginal flavourings are in. Within a few years, it’d be mainstream, and women that didn’t flavour their vaginas would be seen as silly old prudes.

  12. joy April 29, 2011 at 5:12 PM #

    isme, that is a nightmarishly good point. You’ve proved to me that even my baddest, raddest worst-case-scenarios fall even slightly short of the possibilities available (to men) in patriarchy.

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