Thursday, October 11, 2007

Locust - Hodge's Saddlery

Smack-dab in the middle of Hollywood sits a saddlery store, in front of which Earle Shoop and his cowboy pals spend most of their time. It's no coincidence that a store that presumably caters to outdoorsy needs would locate itself in a busy urban neighborhood—Hodge's seems to exist primarily to give its cowboy-actors some context. When Earle isn't working in a "horse-opera" (a clichéd Western movie, according to Wikipedia), he's simply standing in front of the saddlery store with his fellow faux cowboys. He isn't looking in the store, he's just placing himself in front of the the "enormous Mexican saddle" and other accoutrements in the window, as though an influential passerby might see him, think he looks awfully good among the trappings of the Old West, and hire him on the spot. Once again, we have Los Angeles existing only for show, as it clings desperately to an image of itself as the frontier, through a shop (which is essentially only a facade) in a neighborhood of fictions.

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