Hollywood, like Washington exists primarily in the minds of believers. Both take on an almost mythical significance for those who are unfamiliar with the day to day machinations of both scenes. That is not so say both places don’t exist. They do. But what is meant is that while both places exist in physical form, there is a great difference between what they are and what they mean.
So different are the images of these places from the reality, that people who’ve never spent a day in either place often spend a lifetime trying to get there. In the case of Hollywood, every year a few thousand young, ambitious boys and girls alight from greyhound buses or small cars packed with belongings, hailing from all across America. The prototypical small towner who arrives in Hollywood with a suitcase and dream is not far off the mark, and in fact living testaments to unrealized ambitions are strewn across skid row in downtown Los Angeles.
In Washington, dreams die too. But it occurs in much, much different ways. There are not as many homeless cast-offs in Washington as there may be in Hollywood – probable due to the harshness of the climate in D.C., but there are plenty of people living their lives in cubicles, wasting away at some bureaucratic minutiae or other, and forget about the real reason they came in the first place – to change the world. Of course the world changes, as it always does, but often without their influence.