some dreamers of the golden dream

This is the California where it is possible to live and die without ever eating an artichoke, without ever meeting a Catholic or a Jew. This is the California where it is easy to Dial-A-Devotion, but hard to buy a book. This is the country in which a belief in the literal interpretation of Genesis has slipped imperceptibly into a belief in the literal interpretation of Double Indemnity, the country of the teased hair and the Capris and the girls for whom all life’s promise comes down to a waltz-length white wedding dress and the birth of a Kimberly or a Sherry or a Debbi and a Tijuana divorce and return to hairdressers’ school. “We were just crazy kids” they say without regret, and look to the future. The future always looks good in the golden land, because no one remembers the past.

Joan Didion, Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream, 1966

Aviary Photo_130301753491543841

Don Draper’s California is Joan Didion’s California.

Discuss.

Author: Ashleigh Kay

I divide my time between a variety of poverty-inducing ventures: writing for fun and writing for torture; watching far too many movies and reading far too few books. I have lived previous incarnations as bookseller, bureaucrat, filmmaker, zinester, student, and wayward traveller. I studied Film at Langara after seven years at Simon Fraser entrenched in English, Archaeology and about every other Liberal Arts and social science topic you can imagine. I am very good at Trivial Pursuit. I am related to Dr. Samuel Johnson, writer of the first English dictionary, which explains my perfect spelling and penchant for black cats. I once lived in a house in the South Hill neighbourhood of Vancouver with six people, four cats, one goldfish, and a vegetable garden for a front yard. We called it The Commune. It was where I lived with my husband before he was Husband, before he was Fiance, before he was Boyfriend, back when he was just Boy Roommate. Life was a sitcom and we were the “will they/won’t they.” We did. Once we ran away to England because we like having adventures. But we didn’t like it that much, so we came home again. I have the personality of a superhero’s alter-ego. Only I don’t fight crime. At least not yet. I am currently obsessing over romantic comedies and hosting murder mystery dinner parties (online these days, of course!).

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