HOLLYWOOD, DATING, AMMA


I got an e-mail yesterday from a blogger who wanted my Zen dating advice. The blog is gonna come out next week and I’ll link to it so you can see what I said. (Now it’s up click here to read it.)

It’s weird she should ask me this now because I’ve been thinking quite a lot about the subject lately. I am a Zen teacher and I am now well and truly free of any romantic entanglements. No girlfriend, no wife, none of that stuff. I told the interviewer “I am dating.” And this, for her intents and purposes and ways of defining things was true. People who are not attached or celibate are “dating.” At least I think that’s how it works these days.

I suppose I’d say I am “open to dating.” Of course, basically no woman in Southern California will touch me with a barge pole because I am too old and not a “player.”*

I had this weird experience at a party last week in which I was talking to a woman. Once she figured out that I could not help her career or whatever she wanted from the men she chose to speak to she started looking around the room for someone better to talk to. It was extraordinarily rude behavior. But this is common practice in Los Angeles. I don’t even take offense anymore. I am clearly not a “player.” There are certainly a whooooole lot of ways I can help a person. But I cannot help them be successful in “the business” in this town.

I know those of you who don’t live here are probably thinking there could have been lots of other reasons for such behavior and that I’m being defensive or what have you. Maybe my breath smelled. Maybe I was boring. Maybe I’m ugly. All kinds of stuff. But I’ve seen this enough that I can be sure I’m calling it correctly. Whatev’s.

When someone doesn’t want to hear what I have to say, I’m not going to waste my time saying it. This goes for any situation, whether dating or the potential thereof is part of it or not. There’s really no point.

For those who asked about Amma, I did talk a bit about her at Noah’s place on Sunday. I thought the one guy who made a comment about it in the post below this one accessed what I said pretty accurately. I don’t hate Amma. But there’s nothing in it I’m really interested in except as an example of what’s wrong with so-called “spirituality” these days.

It’s also a good example of Hollywood spirituality, while we’re on the subject of Hollywood. Very glamorous and flashy, but with almost nothing at its core. Like a typical Hollywood film or anything they make in this city.

But before I get too deep into trashing Los Angeles, there is certainly a lot to like here as well. The natural setting, the weather, a certain vibrant, optimistic tone to the people — even though much of that is woefully misdirected.

So there’s my little tirade for today.

Cheers, m’dears!

*That’s sexist and untrue. I know that lots of women around here are not that shallow. But a lot of people here, male and female, are amazingly blind to anything except that which will help further their ambitions in show biz.

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49 Responses

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  1. alan
    alan June 23, 2009 at 3:10 pm |

    Interesting post.

    It reminded me of several zen fantasies that I've noticed myself thinking about before.

    Although I'm not dating and have not for many years, I remember the "zone out and look for something more interesting" behavior at parties.

    I always thought it was just because I was (and am) a fairly boring nerd type.

    Or maybe I'm just flattering myself. After all, even nerds have their in-group status nowadays.

  2. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 23, 2009 at 3:23 pm |

    LA is not the only place like that – the worst I've encountered is in DC where the opening line of every conversation is always "So, what do you do?" After living there for a couple years in my early 20's, upon returning to grad school I had to learn how to speak to people my own age again about things that didn't involve where I work or who I know. I also had a friend recently be incredibly hurt by dating a guy that turned out to really want access to her boss at the time — a former senator turned Secretary of State. Brutal.

  3. Harry
    Harry June 23, 2009 at 4:32 pm |

    I couldn't believe it when a California guy actually said to me one time (when we were being introduced to each other) "I'm so glad for you to have met me". I thought he was fucking joking… I said nothing for a minute waiting for him to laugh. He didn't. It was so quiet.

    It was a great moment that I shall cherish.

    Regards,

    Harry.

  4. Smoggyrob
    Smoggyrob June 23, 2009 at 5:41 pm |

    Hi everyone:

    I love Brad and hope he sticks around here for a long time. But I am sick to death of people from other places, living here, trashing LA and California. I know people who spent their first twenty years in NY and the last forty years here, who constantly crap on LA. There's a simple solution to this. Fucking leave already, and don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out.

    I don't go to a lot of parties anymore, but I have, and I've never seen the behavior Brad describes. Maybe that's what happens at SG parties, music industry parties, and movie industry parties — I wouldn't know. I've been to a lot of sailing club parties, but I don't remember people only being interested in what kind of boat you had. I've gone to a lot of ski club parties and don't remember people asking if I had a cabin in Mammoth. What I do remember is friends getting together and having a good time.

    Some of my friends and I used to call ourselves "Rent-A-Crowd". The idea was, if you invited one of us to a party, you invited all of us. We'd walk down streets and just walk into parties thrown by people we didn't know (we brought beer). I've crashed Halloween and Discordian Society parties. I'd be on my way to a party with my friend Ed and ask who we knew there, to find out he'd heard one stranger inviting another stranger to it. In all those times I never ran into anyone who got ticked off by this — they usually laughed when they found out. I'd say if you're at a boring party… you just may be boring.

    Seriously, if all ya'll hate LA, stop fucking moving here!

    Rob

  5. Want Fries
    Want Fries June 23, 2009 at 6:04 pm |

    Brad sed: "Once ___ figured out that I could not help ___ career or whatever she wanted from the men she chose to speak to she started looking around the room for someone better to talk to. It was extraordinarily rude behavior. But this is common practice in Los Angeles."

    And THAT is why, despite having a job at 4151 Prospect Ave, I left L.A. in 1974 and NEVER went back. (Oh, I had a job at ABC TV and I could help network… but THAT is not the point, is it? Rudeness is the point.)

    These fish are gropers. Or these are just flounders who are groper wanna-bes. They all make good IXOUS – fish.

    "Some well-known "stars" earn well above the minimum; their salaries are many times the figures cited, creating the false impression that all actors are highly paid. For example, of the nearly 100,000 SAG members, only about 50 might be considered stars. The average income that SAG members earn from acting is less than $5,000 a year because employment is erratic. Therefore, most actors must supplement their incomes by holding jobs in other occupations." SOURCE

  6. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 23, 2009 at 6:14 pm |

    I guess I believe in being 'friendly' with others
    Friends is another thing
    I will drive co workers waiting for the shuttle to the off site lot–it's only a few blocks out of my way and those few blocks are worth my living in the kind of world I want to live in: where people can be friendly.
    Friendly is one thing and friends is something else
    Can count friends on one hand and still have some fingers left over!
    I'm with Brad on this one, I've seen the face change expression on the person schmoozing with me at a party
    When they know what I do for a living and realize I can't do anything for them with what is of uppermost on their list of 'to do's (get job, get laid, get fucked up, get connected with others I might be acquainted with)etc.
    For these folks a party is a job and they are 'working the room.' Party means something different to me–it is play and it is pure pleasure. Sometimes these things are obligations–but I oblige myself to discover/uncover as much fun, beauty, bawdy jokes, etc. as I can find!

  7. Rick
    Rick June 23, 2009 at 6:55 pm |

    Good gravy, Brad! You're really fishing around for a date.

  8. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 23, 2009 at 7:46 pm |

    What the hell is Amma? – haha, another zit on LA's spritual, new-age, high priestess's ass i'd bet. She better get a detox enema with seaweed goop or her agent might drop her! So sad.

    Brad, dude, it's called the rat race for a reason.. because the participants act like rats!

    Greeeedy, er I mean, give me more "cheeeese". U got "cheese"? oh, ok. *moves on* 😉

  9. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 23, 2009 at 9:51 pm |

    "Very glamorous and flashy, but with almost nothing at its core."

    Funny, that's how a friend once described heroin.

  10. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 24, 2009 at 12:26 am |

    Maybe you should go back to Ohio and make unpopular music and write unpopular books.

  11. PA
    PA June 24, 2009 at 1:29 am |

    Death, depression, sex, loneliness, dating anguish – it's always nice to read a Zen teacher who isn't just sitting around looking at flowers all day and hugging people.

    You can never have too many flowers and hugs though…

    As for dating, I belong to the school of "leave it to destiny"…

  12. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 24, 2009 at 1:35 am |

    Hey if your really sick of LA and the States,why not immigrate to Australia! Aussies would appreciate your brand of no bullshit Zen, Got little regard for that happy clappy, hippy-dippy crap!

  13. Harry
    Harry June 24, 2009 at 4:49 am |

    Why did the ancestral Master come from the West?

    Why did the Bradmanster go to L.A?

    Regards,

    Harry.

  14. proulx michel
    proulx michel June 24, 2009 at 5:57 am |

    Anonymous said…

    Hey if your really sick of LA and the States,why not immigrate to Australia! Aussies would appreciate your brand of no bullshit Zen, Got little regard for that happy clappy, hippy-dippy crap!

    Invite him over! I'm sure he'll be gald to oblige…

  15. Mumon
    Mumon June 24, 2009 at 7:04 am |

    almost nothing at its core…

    I'm tempted to say, "Isn't that the point?" but I won't.

  16. D
    D June 24, 2009 at 7:12 am |

    I'm with Anonymous 3:23 PM. DC is probably as bad as, if not worse, than LA. It's hilarious when you try to talk with people at a party and they almost never make eye contact because they are too busy looking around the room for someone they recognize as more influential and connected and than yourself.

    And, you do sound like you are fishing. It's time to man-up, Brad – you've got to ask women out and not wait around for them to throw themselves at you.

  17. bubba freak john
    bubba freak john June 24, 2009 at 8:12 am |

    Brad, if you want to drive women wild just tell everyone that you've decided to take a vow of celibacy. They'll compete to see who can tempt you enough to break your vows. It's like the guys that set-up a Gay rights awareness booth years ago. They were overwhelmed with women out to
    'convert' them. The guys were actually heterosexual. SCORE!

  18. Mysterion
    Mysterion June 24, 2009 at 8:20 am |

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 24, 2009 at 8:21 am |

    Brad, You could try asking some women out who are your own age. I am assuming that if women think you are too old, you are mainly hitting on the young ones. According to your Wiki bio, you are 45 years old. Middle aged women are the way to go bro.
    Once you go gray, you never will stray.

  20. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 24, 2009 at 9:13 am |

    I agree with that last post. Women get most interesting in their forties. I'm now sixty, but I was in the market at around that age, and there were lots of great women around. They know what they want, and they're not looking around.

  21. ator
    ator June 24, 2009 at 9:28 am |

    So wait, Brad goes to Suicide Girls parties and then complains about how shallow the girls are in LA? That is AWESOME!

  22. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 24, 2009 at 9:57 am |

    "if you want to drive women wild just tell everyone that you've decided to take a vow of celibacy"

    I'll have to see if that works with my wife.

  23. Rich
    Rich June 24, 2009 at 10:17 am |

    Brad, they say opposites attract, so since you are marginally self employed with little money and average looks; you need to find a woman with a steady job or income, and very beautiful. Unless you want children, age is not a factor.

  24. Joe Sveldt
    Joe Sveldt June 24, 2009 at 11:29 am |

    Smoggyrob sed:

    "Seriously, if all ya'll hate LA, stop f..g moving here!
    Rob

    Most people that move to LA are economic refugees. Therefore, it is somewhat reasonable that they would grovel for opportunity.

    fat man
    next to something wet

  25. Mr. Reee
    Mr. Reee June 24, 2009 at 12:31 pm |

    I remember getting that vacant/distracted look from time to time at parties on the westside way back when. It could have been the shirt I was wearing, though.

    In any case, no biggie. You don't expect scintillating conversations from people who can't spell "scintillating" in the first place.

  26. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 24, 2009 at 1:22 pm |

    disease, aging, and dating… ouch!

  27. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 24, 2009 at 1:26 pm |

    life in a universe of scarce resources
    (loss and not enough)

  28. Nicole
    Nicole June 24, 2009 at 1:30 pm |

    I'm not really all about Amma, but I did check it out once. The whole organization around it had something not right about it (although I hahve heard her charities do very good things in India) …but she did smell AMAZING.

  29. Mysterion
    Mysterion June 24, 2009 at 2:45 pm |

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. Johnny Coelacanth
    Johnny Coelacanth June 24, 2009 at 3:10 pm |

    Why all the hating on Brad for telling the truth? From the laughable governor to the shambolic state budget to the homophobic politics, there's a lot to dislike.

    Sothern California from LaJolla to Oakland is overrun with awful people. If Orange County fell into the Pacific Ocean tomorrow, we'd have to find replacements for 90% of our shallow douchebags.

    "Go back to Ohio." Hah, good one.

  31. Da Governator
    Da Governator June 24, 2009 at 3:34 pm |

    California will eventually fall into the ocean.

    and my ass is grass

    crossing an LA street, bare feet in grass…

  32. Johnny Coelacanth
    Johnny Coelacanth June 24, 2009 at 4:04 pm |

    "Sothern"

    Also, I English good.

  33. rachel
    rachel June 24, 2009 at 6:36 pm |

    Yep, thats SoCal for ya. I like it better up north [of course i'm bias], but there are people like that all over. And I find it hard to believe that Brad is having trouble finding a date, even in the smogy hopeless hole that is LA.

  34. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 25, 2009 at 5:39 am |

    Yeah, smog sucks, but from
    a distance, it can produce
    sunsets of amazing beauty.

  35. Bubba Freak John
    Bubba Freak John June 25, 2009 at 9:52 am |

    As a postscript, Brad plainly states on this site that he is a monk. Most people think that monks are celibate anyway. But thanks to Japan's little government mandated loophole you get to call yourself a monk when you're not really. Capitalize on the confusion in Cali girls minds and tell em you're a monk as part of the conversation. Or just buy a cooler shirt.

  36. zenleo
    zenleo June 25, 2009 at 2:02 pm |

    You know as a bystander my only thoughts are:

    If you stare at a wall or the floor for hours or days and years and you still have all this baggage you are dragging around or feeling the need to air-out… what's the point? A simple No-Drama sticker where you will see it all the time probably would be just as helpful… or a good game of chess? Someone throw me a bone here.

  37. Mysterion
    Mysterion June 25, 2009 at 3:30 pm |

    Bubba said:
    "But thanks to Japan's little government mandated loophole you get to call yourself a monk when you're not really."

    It's not Japan that decides. It is YOU that decide.

    Try reading this.

  38. Jinzang
    Jinzang June 25, 2009 at 4:36 pm |

    If you stare at a wall or the floor for hours or days and years and you still have all this baggage you are dragging around or feeling the need to air-out… what's the point?

    It's difficult to explain what meditation does for you, except that it helps you see things as they are. It doesn't get rid of your emotions, but you don't get caught up in them as much. To really see the benefits you have to hang around some long time meditators for a while.

  39. Mysterion
    Mysterion June 25, 2009 at 5:02 pm |

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. z
    z June 25, 2009 at 7:18 pm |

    "Someone throw me a bone here."

    It helps you to recognize that your baggage is just baggage. It doesn't seem as heavy to cart around, then.

  41. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 25, 2009 at 9:28 pm |

    Forgive my ignorance, but,what the hell is AMMA?

  42. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 25, 2009 at 10:10 pm |

    Dude, there's this thing called "Google" that
    you really should check out:

    go there
    type "Amma"
    click "I'm Feeling Lucky"
    ta-da!

    Do you need someone to wipe your ass for you
    as well?

  43. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 25, 2009 at 10:25 pm |

    zenleo is right.
    all the years i've spent sitting
    have been a complete waste of time.

    if i had done anything else,
    i coulda been a contender.

    zen flesh, zen bone

  44. Zenleo
    Zenleo June 26, 2009 at 8:26 am |

    Thanks for all the bones, I should probably go burry them now; but does a dog have the Buddha nature?

    …but seriously folks

    I have that Zen Flesh Zen Bones book here somewhere.

  45. plaudertasche
    plaudertasche June 26, 2009 at 3:22 pm |

    This is the funnest, nonsense blog in a long time. And I want to add to it 🙂
    To be fair, I think stereotypes exist on both sides. What goes for women (not only in LA) is actually true for men as well. My experience (being in my 40ds and available)is, if you are not young and "hot" and preferably a bit ignorant, you will have a hard time meeting anybody. Men always say they want a strong, independent, smart women….NOT. Actually let's say most don't want it, I am sure there are many men who want…but their are in the minority I think. A strong woman it's to much work perhaps?! Brain work that is…
    Good luck all of you dating!
    Hey Brad I would LOVE to pick you brain on a date.

  46. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 27, 2009 at 5:54 pm |

    46

  47. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 29, 2009 at 5:11 am |

    Hey Brad, you said that you're "too old" for the LA women. That leads me to think you are focusing on younger women. Are women your own age "too old" for you???

  48. Brad Fallon
    Brad Fallon March 19, 2011 at 5:24 am |

    How many hollywood playwrights,screenwriters&other; artist were blacklisted during McCarthyism?

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    muebles en rivas vaciamadrid December 6, 2011 at 7:04 am |

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