Fires to the south of us, outages to the north of us
Read in August, Joan Didion’s 1965 essay on the Santa Ana Winds seems a bit melodramatic. Now it is October and fires are blazing just a few miles away — and Didion seems right on the mark:
“There is something uneasy in the Los Angeles air this afternoon, some unnatural stillness, some tension. What it means is that tonight a Santa Ana will begin to blow, a hot wind from the northeast whining down through the Cajon and San Gorgonio Passes, blowing up sandstorms out along Route 66, drying the hills and the nerves to flash point. For a few days now we will see smoke back in the canyons and hear sirens in the night.”
It appears Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris was ahead of his time, as he often is, when a decade or so ago he advocated offering homeless people a one-way ticket out of town.
Critics howled, but the tickets were voluntary, offered only for people who wanted to leave, specifically to reunite with family in another city or state.
Now several cities, including San Francisco, have adopted the “Homeward Bound” program, giving one-way bus tickets to homeless to go wherever they wish.
Seattle is debating adopting the program, but, surprise, it is opposed by many politicians there, who say it sends the message to homeless people that they are not welcome in Seattle.
Speaking of homeless, I had yet another unfortunate encounter on my morning walk Friday.
A young woman was walking around Jane Reynolds Park in a screaming match — with someone who was nowhere to be seen.
I altered my route to avoid her, but she cut across the park and walked straight toward me and started screaming at me, something about books and churches.
I walked past, but then a young woman in a house across the street started screaming her to shut the (blank) up because people were trying to sleep.
The homeless woman screamed at the resident, telling her to shut the (blank) up and I cut short my walk and went home.
That is Lancaster, 2019. And it is getting old.
Fires to the south of us, power outages to the north of us, $4 gas making it too expensive to go east or west.
At least (knock wood) July’s earthquakes have not paid us a return visit.
Political columnist Michael Barone called Elizabeth Warren the Democrats’ “faute de mieux” frontrunner, a French term meaning “for lack of a better alternative.”
Seems like we’ve had a lot of those candidates from both parties the last few years. “I may be awful, but look at the other side!”
Definition of “firstworld problems” — A story in USA Today examines the question of whether we should say “please” and “thank you” to Alexa and the Google Assistant.