“I don’t want to create a New York-L.A. dichotomy, because both cities are progressive and wonderful,” wrote singer-songwriter/DJ/photographer Moby in an op-ed for Creative Time Reports. Well, dear Moby, perhaps you should’ve thought about that before rhapsodizing Los Angeles as an artist’s mecca (and subsequently maligning New York as a city where people are “happily observing and talking about culture, but not necessarily contributing to it”).
Not that we’re mad about the proclamation; in fact, we fully support the claim, particularly because of its brutal honesty. After all, the piece is no sappy love letter—consider Moby’s referral to us as a “fantastically confused petri dish of an anti-city” (thanks?) as well as “always seemingly an inch away from some sort of benign collapse.” In fact, he is comparing the Big Apple to the City of Angels on the basis of their respective inhabitants’ capacity to endure rejection, especially when it comes to creative pursuits. L.A., he argues, is akin to an artist’s paradise if only because it—we—are more apt to deal with, learn from, and grow out of defeat, where as New Yorkers are ill-prepared for the fallout of foundering. “When [failure is] shared, it can be emancipating and even create solidarity,” he writes. “Young artists in L.A. can really experiment, and if their efforts fall short, it’s not that bad because their rent is relatively cheap and almost everyone else they know is trying new things and failing, too. There’s also the exciting, and not unprecedented, prospect of succeeding at a global level. You can make something out of nothing here.”
Not that we’re keeping score or anything, but we think it’s safe to say: chalk one up for Los Angeles.