31 March 2012


Locus Focus: Take Sixty-Seven


When I did the "last desert of the month" last Saturday, it completely slipped my mind that I had an extra Saturday for March.That's just as well, though, because something else I forgot to do was to tell everyone what the next theme is.

I was going to hold out until May because taking Holy Week off will mean getting only three Saturdays in April--and I want at least four for each Locus Focus challenge. Giving it some more thought, though, I realised I could give this Saturday to it, too, and get my desired total anyway. So here I present a setting that blends both this month's desert theme and next month's Settings in Song challenge.

Hotel California 
Hotel California 
by The Eagles 

"We are all just prisoners here of our own device . . ."

Where I grew up, most radio stations would play only "Oldies" on Sundays--and when I was growing up, "Oldies" included a lot of Classic Rock, like The Eagles' Hotel California. While I wouldn't say I have the lyrics properly memorised, I can sing every word whenever the song comes on the radio . . . usually on a Sunday. =P So it was easy to run through some of them in my mind when my high school Music teacher, a "first generation" Eagles fan, told my class about the freaky 1970s legend that the famous hotel in the song was a metaphor for hell.

"You can check out any time you like/ But you can never leave . . ."

This must be our first really negative desert setting. Until this point, we've seen deserts as places where boys become men, where men become heroes, where civilisations are judged, and where legends are tested. And now we hear about a man driving down a dark desert highway, a little high on colitas, when he comes to a hotel in the middle of nowhere . . . a suspiciously convenient place for a tired traveler to bed down for the night.

And what he finds inside just gets freakier and freakier, the imagery peaking with a live animal served up at table. Yes, that would make me run for the door, too. But by the time he realises that the Hotel California isn't a place he would like to be, he is told that he may never leave.

It seems like a cruel trap, but there were warning signs enough. You see, unless a dry, barren, cactusey middle of nowhere has been legitimately developed into the middle of somewhere, deserts just aren't supposed to have hotels. Occasional oases, yes, but anything else would be as out of place as a house made of gingerbread in the middle of a forest . . . or an island full of enchantingly beautiful women singing to sailors in the middle of the sea. Indeed, every setting will have its own tantalising "hellmouth"--and (if you will forgive a mixed metaphor) each hellmouth, its own tell-tale cloven hooves. And I think that in the back of our minds, we all know this.


Lesa said...

I've heard of the 'hell' metaphor too-- very interesting-- and very 'Twilight Zone'. All those Eagles guys are very clever-- together and apart.

Hmm, what about Las Vegas? Legitimately developed BUT..

Off Topic: I'm really liking the Goodreads-- can't believe it took me 2 yrs to see the value in it. Fun chatting with you over there too-- I like chatting with you everywhere!

SO what about Pinterest? It only took me one year after signing up to start using it. Have you checked it out? I didn't really need another distraction from blogging but it is really fun and useful for keeping track of online recipes, beauty, fashion ideas ect from all sources. If you sign up, let me know.

Ooo, I just had a prickly eerie feeling! The net is like 'Hotel California'-- you can log in but you can never leave! You should write a song about it!!

Enbrethiliel said...


And now both of us are feeling prickly and eerie! =P I think you're on to something there, Lesa! The Internet is a "place" we can check out of any time we like, but can never leave!

*cue eerie music*

I like chatting with you everywhere, too! =) But it might take me a while to get into Pinterest. I got into Goodreads because I saw it as a great way to catalogue my books--and now I'm glad I did, because it's also a new way to talk to old friends. ;-) But until I find the "hidden purpose" of Pinterest, I'll probably keep watching from the sidelines. (Now this is your cue to let me know why it's so amazing. I await your pitch!)

Lesa said...

I'm on Pinterest-- What more could be more compelling than that? *sheesh*

Pinterest isn't just eye candy. Oh no! It is the only social media in which participation encourages one to do/try new things in real life.

How is that for hidden purpose?

And it has the potential to drive traffic to blogs because the original source is always linked to the photo no matter how many times it gets repinned. I know it has driven me to some lovely food blogs that I didn't know existed.

Just sign up and try it for a month-- if you don't like it, stop using it. I can see you now with pin boards for guitar lick tutorials, dream guitars, teaching ideas, swoon worthy bookshelves, recipes to try, fashion ideas, beauty ideas...

Enbrethiliel said...


Okay, okay, I've requested an invitation! LOL! Let's see what happens . . .