Lights Out in LA – The Event

So having caught that one poster at a bus stop advertising Earth Hour, I saw that it was to be celebrated at LA Live, less than a mile from my place. Sure, I thought, I’ll go and take a looky-loo.

More importantly, I was wondering what the event could offer, if the main point was to not use electricity, and yet it was to take place at night time, what exactly would the hour be filled with to entertain the convening masses? That was all I really wanted to know.

There were plenty of people coming and going, a lot were teen aged. I had forgotten this was the night that Prince, the Man in Purple, would be performing three different shows in three different venues in the same vicinity. I followed the crowds and discovered a new way to get to the plaza. There’s even a Starbucks tucked behind the Yardhouse, I discovered. Good to know. There are still barricades preventing access in all directions, but that’s because the construction on the super tall Marriott Hotel is still taking place right next door, the anchor destination of the whole place.

New Marriott Next to Nokia Live

New Marriott Next to Nokia Live

So I get there, scout about, spot the phalanx of television cameramen, the close proximity of multiple police vehicles, and wait through the speakers. And finally, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa takes the stage. And as everyone in LA knows, it ain’t a party until the Mayor shows. Personally, I would not be surprised if he had clones or body doubles, the number of public appearances he makes. The joke is, when does he actually find time to do any politicking or administrating, or whatever the mayor actually does besides the PR things? When his affair with a local newscaster was publicized, we found he had more time available than we thought. (I’m still thinking there are clones or robots involved. This would explain much.)

Anyway, I shot video, people were excitedly waving glow sticks (no one told me to bring a glow stick!), people asked me what the heck was the occasion, and in their being out and not home, determined they too (unbeknownst) were participating, as there were no lights left on at their homes! More an economic decision than anything else, but really, isn’t that what motivates most of us to make changes?

But here’s the scoop on someone meant to be a role model on the intent of the evening:

Mr. Al Gore and his home in Tennessee. Not actively participating. For shame, whistleblower on the Global Warming front.

But before we totally give him the cold shoulder, there were these posts about the lack of knowledge that the event was even taking place. Here and here, in Los Angeles, there was a general lack of knowing about it. I certainly didn’t, not until the night before and that only because of the one poster I saw. Maybe if I got out of the house more often, read some actual newspapers? Still doubtful. Once I knew where to look, I found this.

So, what did happen, if the less than four minute vertigo-inducing clip I posted was too much to wade through? Speeches, lots of lights and a bright big screen behind the speakers, 10 second count down, and then the LA Live Plaza turned off the lights. The annoying trees with the flowing icicle lights finally stopped flowing (annoying because it is usually neither icey, snowy nor rainy here in SoCal, so why are we emulating it? That’s why people move here because of those lack of weather encumbrances!), the overly bright big screens all around the plaza, that I have always felt sorry for anyone living in the neighborhood, they are so bright, they went dark and the noise volume hushed finally. But the lights of the surrounding businesses and buildings remained on, including the searchlights atop the structure, which have been on every night for nearly a year, and the screen behind the speakers came back up again, and there was to be entertainment, of course projected on the big screen behind the easily seen performers on the stage. It was then that I left, knowing that really, only the trees and 2nd floor advertising screens were to remain off for the hour.

At least it got me out of the house for an hour, so I too could claim to be participating.

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