Like a cactus in WeHo

On a sweltering September afternoon, on a shady stretch of a sprawling West Hollywood (WeHo) boulevard, Emma and I stumbled across something rather peculiar…

It was a big cactus.


Emma stands in front of the cactus to give perspective of the cactus’ height and green-ness.

The cactus grew adjacent a Vivienne Westwood and opposite a Vera Wang. The setting was ripe with symbolism. The contrast between succulent and concrete, nature and non-nature, was stark. Embracing my inner Amateur, I’ll now use my rudimentary grasp of abstract undergrad social and economic theory to blog a contrived “analysis” of this scene:

The juxtaposition of plant (as nature) and the retail chain stores (as capitalism) engenders a striking metaphorical tableau, which forms a representation of commercialism’s now passively maintained siege campaign against the environment. To wit, this siege has endured so long that capitalism’s Perpetual Motion—a term describing capitalism’s final phase of development and a systematic “point of no return” that commenced in the early 21st Century—acts upon, and is itself acted upon, by the system’s ignorant footsoldiers, consumers. Pausing this cynical interpretation for just a moment: it is encouraging to see that even such an established bastion of urban capitalism, such as West Hollywood, is not immune to the creeping resurgence of the righteous natural order. Furtherm—

Ugh. Nope, fuck it. Writing that shit is simply too much effort. I’m going to write a poem instead. To save more time I’m not even going to make it rhyme. Besides, only day-tripper poets still bother to build rhyming schemes.

Beautiful cactus

No one cares about your perfect thorns

They just want Vera Wang dresses

Because they are greedy capitalists

CAPITALISM versus cactus?

It’s no contest;

Capitalism wins every time

Because it has lawyers that can

sue anyone for anything…and vice versa, buddy

They can sue the thorns off a cactus and

make it a bald cactus

But at least the cactus knows

its inner beauty is greater

than 1 billion lawyers

When will you see?


Labelled a primordial “weed” by the establishment, the cactus is seen by many as a pest to be eradicated; a throwback to a time before the Industrial Revolution when nature still seemed relevant to people’s lives; an aberrant, alien antiquity! The irony is the cactus actually has the purest, most historically natural mandate to exist and assert its influence. More so than Vivienne Westwood.

Contemplating the recent Australian election, one finds the cactus’ analogous counterpart: Adam Bandt.

Bandt is thriving and surviving in a morally vacuous landscape.

Adam Bandt is like a cactus in WeHo…


Well there is it, guys! I’ve turned a dumb observation into topical political commentary. And that’s how you write an op-ed.

EDIT: The author would like to make an unreserved apology to both Vivienne Westwood and capitalism. In hindsight, he realises his indignation was misdirected. It’s not consumerism he loathes, but the retail clerk in the Vivienne Westwood store; the one with the asymmetrical rat’s tail which sat like a tuft of trendy pubic hair at the back of his spindly neck. (It was permed for fuck’s sake!) After asking Emma about what she was doing in the US, he condescendingly opined that it would be a shame if Emma and Dan were to become sick of each other during the road trip. Dan knew what the clerk was up to. He was hoping that they would become sick of each other and, when that happened, that Emma would rush back to WeHo to be with the man who knew, all along, that’s what would happen (what’s sexier than a rat-tailed sage?). Clearly, he has underestimated Emma and Dan’s lovea love of two brains.


4 Responses to Like a cactus in WeHo

  1. Libby says:

    I am so happy you are writing a blog (you two). looking forward to updates and political/social/economic analysis from the back and front roads of USA. hope the towel is lurverly. x

  2. Sam Morris says:

    Oh cactus thorny horny ornery
    …thats all for now

  3. Jackie Wood says:

    Good point! (However I am kinda stuck between Adam Bandt being a cactus and something about a rat-tailed sage plotting to steal Emma…)

  4. Paul Wood says:

    I would like it noted that I have not responded. I have not responded because I do not know what to say.

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