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Industry Parties: A Growing Epidemic

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There's been a lot of LA bashing around the blogosphere lately, and I have to admit, its really getting me down. I'm sure you've read articles or reader comments about how someone spent a week in LA and subsequently decided that it was like visiting the depths of hell, what with the superficial/unintelligent/unfriendly populace and a geography that leaves something to be desired.

We get it. All 3.8 million of us are uneducated douchebags with fake tits trying to get ahead by taking advantage of you.

While you and I know that this is entirely untrue, fair LAist readers, theres only one explanation I have for this recent influx in LA bashing. These haters must have all gotten their way into an industry party; the only possible place where negative LA stereotypes manifest themselves so ubiquitously through business card exchanges and spilled jack and diet cokes. Industry parties are plaguing our image, Los Angeles, and something must be done!

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LAist was invited to check out one of Nissan's Live Set shows last night at the Fox Studios to see Matchbox 20 (remember them? thought not) and Samantha Ronson (made famous only through an alleged lesbian fling with Lindsay Lohan.) Sure, I thought, I work in West LA, so this shouldn't be too big of a deal, and hey, what's not fun about free booze and hobnobbing?

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I don't know who the fuck this is.

Right before the event I found out that, due to an unfortunate misunderstanding I was not allowed to bring my guest who was doubling as my photographer - because he dared to accept the invite to actually photograph the red carpet part of the event. So instead of having him wait in the car as I partied, I chose to go stag, and alas I was alone with my pathetic point-and-shoot among a sea of huge Canon lenses. Great, I thought, these photographers will be snapping 20 frames per second and I'll be standing there with what might as well be a disposable camera.

"Paris, Paris hold on! (click click click click) ok give us a smile!"

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The guy that flies from Heroes? I don't know I only saw one episode.

Standing there on the red carpet, watching publicists whisper their clients' names to the photographers before they enter, I couldn't help but stand there staring. "Ooooh, get ready guys, the girl who plays that girl in that one episode of that cable show is coming! (snap snap snap flash flash flash...)"

But who am I to question? I'll just shoot when they shoot.

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Peter Jackson or an extra on Californication? You decide.

After a while my back started to hurt, and I got my one picture of Paris, so I decided to ditch the camera and head in to party. But see, here's the thing. I knew I was going to a "celebrity" event, so I was dressed nicely (much to the confusion of fellow photographers who had been told at the last minute that they would not be allowed into the Matchbox 20 show because they were omg photographers).

However, as I strolled in and ordered my vodka red bull, I couldn't help but notice how conversations were stopping in order to stare at me. Not just brief evaluations of my appearance. I'm talking head to toe stares of bewilderment and condescension. Seeing as I immediately decided that no one was going to talk to me, I decided to go outside and start chatting up a nice couple.

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"Oh hey there, I got a great picture of you on the carpet!" (shows picture)
"Oh great, and what do you do?"
"I write for a website, its called LAist"
"Never heard of it."
"Oh well its a great site and..." (person turns around and talks to someone else)

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Fuck it. I'm out of here.

So to those who are still indecisive about LA, I say go ahead. Get it out of your system and check out one of these parties for yourselves. You'll be cognitively sound knowing that it fulfilled every stereotype that you've ever heard about Los Angeles and you can go home happy that you have more wholesome peers. Just keep in mind that the "biz" is just a small fraction of what LA is all about, so judge accordingly.

Top image by Word Freak via flickr, all others by Ali Miller for LAist.