It’s Not The Size Of The Tree It’s How You Abuse It

I broke a vow last night never ever ever to set foot on the sculpted slab of pre-fab that is Glendale’s Americana at Bland. Not that I went there directly or on purpose. Hell no. My wife and I were across the boulevard at the decidedly not-bland repertory theater A Noise Within for its marvelous production of Richard Nash’s The Rainmaker, and on our way in the door we heard another patron wonder about the ridiculous traffic crush in the vicinity — a minor mystery solved by the ticket taker who told us that the mall was having its official Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

Other than something along the humbuggy lines of “It’s too dang early for that shit,”  I didn’t give it a second thought until midway through the play’s first act when I thought the theater’s sound system had gone bonkers with a thunderstorm effect only to realize what was breaking the fourth wall the wrong way was a monstrocity of a fireworks display going off at Carusoville. And off. And off. It was pretty much at some point during that seemingly endless aural intrusion that A) I thought what better time for a fireworks show than on a day when pretty much all of Southern California is on fire, and B) I decided afterwards we needed to go see what all the pyrotechnic fuss was about.

What we found was an awesome spectacle of a huge skyscraping conifer festooned with a brazillion ornaments and an equivalent number of lights (click image to biggify).

“In this fake place, that can’t possibly be real,” I thought. I hoped — especially in a new era when even Disneyland, for the first time in its 53-year history, has installed an artificial arbor on its Main Street.

But sure enough, a signpost up ahead showed me the truth: Rick Caruso had signed off on the order to take a chainsaw to a previously perfectly living 106-feet-tall white fir from Northern Califonia, that no doubt then was cosmetically enhanced it to absolute conical-icious perfection.

The information even goes so far to boast that Americana’s conifer kicks 36-feet of cross-country ass over the Rockefeller Center’s relatively puny 70-footer. Boo-yah! You just know the tree-selection committee over there south of Black Rock in the Big Apple has to reeeeally be pissed off!

Holiday spirit, indeed.

12 Replies to “It’s Not The Size Of The Tree It’s How You Abuse It”

  1. what an impressive holiday display of collective douchebaggery and penile metaphors. I too can’t believe the gall in lighting fireworks on such a windy night, and there’s also the carbon footprint of hauling that monstrous tree from wherever it was unceremoniously ripped.

  2. No shit. Fireworks? What were they thinking? Palm trees go up like huge torches and with this wind and ultra-dry air we were collectively lucky last night.

    AND I will bitch about cutting down a real live tree. I do it every year. I understand the concept of tree farms, friends do just that back east. I even understand that most of our municipal garbage services sort of recycle the unflocked trees for mulch. However it is still a stupid waste of resources to grow it, haul it and mulch it for barely a month of use. Seems like we could put all of that tree farm to better use….grow big enough to be lumber and help cleanse the air in the process.

    I do a wicked…artificial tree myself every year. I learned how to “do” a tree properly back in the day when I was a Christmas Dept Manager at Bullock’s. You can do a gorgeous tree without all that waste.

  3. Oh, jeesh. Fireworks may have been annoying for the show, but to suggest they were a fire risk is to question the competency of the Glendale Fire Marshalls who oversaw the whole thing.

    I’m also not terribly concerned with the cutting down live Christmas trees. Tree sellers grow the trees expressly for the purpose… they aren’t razing rain forests, or depleting the Redwoods, of evergreens or any other type of trees to sell. These things are farmed like other crops, and like other farmers, people who raise trees are probably more concerned about the environment than most people.

    The drive from NorCal to Carusoville was likely the most enviornmentally damaging part of all.

  4. David, not that I suggested any fire risk involved with the display, but what’s exactly wrong with questioning the competencies of our public servants?

    And there seems to be the implication either that I’m unaware of tree farms or that I think the Lumberjack Division of Caruso Incorporated callously tromped out into the High Sierra with direct orders to chop down a long-standing resident in some old-growth section. Nah. I’m pretty sure you’re right, this tree was grown with the intent of being killed for this shiny vapid purpose. There’s just something disappointing about felling such a tall fella — and for an end result that can most certainly be achieved artificially and without the long haul involved.

  5. Will, I was mostly just excited to find a post where I didn’t agree with you!

    I know, you speak for the trees, but until Christmas tree felling threatens California’s forests, I’m going to worry as much about single trees, however old, as much as I do the cows that taste so meaty.

  6. Not only is the use of fireworks during such a massive fire outbreak irresponsible, it’s downright insensitive. Hundreds of homes lost, thousands of citizens evacuated….

    Oh, but wait… let’s celebrate the early lighting of a tree in an outdoor mall to usher in the holiday retail season.

    That’s outrageous.

  7. David, I’m totally cool with you disagreeing with me, even gleefully. But when you disagree with points I didn’t make it fills me with a desire to go find a 106-foot tall cow somewhere up in Shasta County, slaughter it, then haul its carcass down here for a big ol’ barbecue.

  8. “The information even goes so far to boast that Americana’s conifer kicks 36-feet of cross-country ass over the Rockefeller Center’s relatively puny 70-footer. Boo-yah! You just know the tree-selection committee over there at Black Rock in the Big Apple has to reeeeally be pissed off!”

    Black Rock refers to CBS’ corporate headquarters, not NBC’s at Rockefeller Center.

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