L.A. CONFIDENTIAL

May 9 2005 @ 1:37am

Another wonderful stay in Los Angeles. The first night I spent glued to C-SPAN’s coverage of the Brit elections. I wrote my impressions up here. I’m always stunned by the cultural richness of this city. We saw “A Play Without Words,” a kind of Twyla-Tharp-meets-Austin Powers reverie, at the Ahmanson theater, and spent a beautful afternoon at the Huntington Gardens. The British watercolor exhibit there was an array of technical masterpieces, but everything was obliterated for me by the collection’s original hand-written copy of Locke’s “Letter Concerning Toleration.” You can actually see on the fragile pages the man crossing words out and re-writing the masterpiece of modern liberalism, phrase by phrase. I guess I’m a bit of a nerd, but when you have studied Locke and revered him and argued about him and dissected him, it’s another thing entirely to see the man’s work close-up, as a human work in progress, as a repository of error and correction. Bill Maher was his usual hospitable self (his young bevy of writers are some of the smartest, most charming people I have met); and my mandatory pilgrimage to Venice was, as always, a boho delight. The glass work! Dinner with South Park/Team America’s Matt Stone rounded off the weekend. And I didn’t forget to bring a towel! Back late tonight via United. The plane-ride over here, by the way, was one of the worst I can remember. No wonder they’re going bankrupt.