chapter  1
32 Pages

“The Greatest Blonde of Them All” 1

In effect, Los Angeles had to go fictional to become real, its very promotion fore shadowing its claim to be the entertainment capital of the world. Los Angeles did not just happen out of existing circumstances, a river, a railroad terminus. A thing simultaneously as actual as a corner lot in a Culver City development and as illusory as the vampy gaze of a Gloria Swanson suspended fleetingly on silver screens across the world were combined into an image of Los Angeles which was so seductive even the most jaded could not resist the come-on. At the outset of the twentieth century, Los Angeles entertained a set of racialized fantasies that depicted the region as a southwestern outpost of white supremacy. One of the other primary means by which Los Angeles has been sold is as business-friendly to an excessive degree, with plenty of available land and a plethora of cheap labor bolstered by a staunch open shop policy.