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(or: Urbanism killed Grease, the Mythos of the 1970s)

Makeout Point is dead, dead, dead.

You all know the place that I'm talking about; some little spot somewhere where nobody ever goes; it's secluded, it's somewhat dark, and it has a hell of a view. In every production from Pleasantville to The Simpsons to That 70s Show to Grease to Codename: Kids Next Door, there's a place that every teenager knows about where they can drive up to try to score with their girlfriends. Usually they fail. It's charming.

The cities have spread across the landscape now, though, and there just aren't any places like that anymore. Pick a city. Do you know what overlooks it? The highway. There's no scenic cliff overlooking any particular metropolis anymore. Perhaps, on some particularly boring day in 1982, the denizens of every city in the world quietly picked up and moved to a less attractive location in order to better keep their youth at bay.

Do you know where kids go now? Hell, nobody does. Most of the kids don't, although we'd just love it if somebody would tell us. Makeout Point has been replaced by the drug hangout that gets busted by the cops every couple of weeks. It's a gathering of dozens of kids, and it's much more illegal. It doesn't have the spirit of the grand old original. There needs to be somewhere that accommodates a whole lot of cars, in privacy.

And there just isn't, anymore. Makeout Point was bulldozed to make way for more city, and the best spot has got to be somewhere like on top of a tall building, or a state forest, or something equally crazy. What are the kids to do without a nice mountain?

Anyone who has ever lived in Los Angeles knows that "makeout point" is not dead. It's called Mulholland Drive and it overlooks the San Fernando Valley and it's not going anywhere.

Where do you think most American movies and television shows are made? In the San Fernando Valley, at studios like Warner Bros., Universal, NBC, and Disney Buena Vista, all of which are located a few miles away from Mullholland.

I myself have kissed my girlfriend in my car at a lovely spot on Mullholland Drive above Encino (of Encino Man fame). At night it's beautiful, with the hills and the twinkling lights, just like in the movies. Why? Because those selfsame movies were either filmed there or just down the road.

I hate to shatter your pseudo-nostalgic delusions, but if other cities don't have a "makeout point" anymore, its because they never had one to begin with. So before you start spouting some sacharine treacle about not bulldozing the small towns to make way for the drug dealers, stop and wonder for a moment if you haven't been suckered by the very movies you believe you are critiquing.

I'm sorry your town never had a "makeout point," but don't come crying to me about it. Mine is quite nice, thank you.

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