Los Angeles is interesting. I think that it has probably changed dramatically since you were living out there. It feels now like the city of forgotten promises. The infrastructure is falling apart and the state has no money to fix it. There is a strong sense that the city itself -like so many of the nubile bodies, which have flocked to its glittering edifice over the years- is aging, and after so much reconstruction, the ravages of time continue to wear away at what once was. The city seems despondent and dejected now (like many other cities in America) as the growing tide of this latest economic down turn sweeps away the dreams and promises of the past. The unemployment rate in California is currently at 10.1 percent. Homes (even in this neighborhood) have been abandoned, standing alone among the perfectly manicured lawns, weeds growing up to the window sills, as if nature could reclaim them. There seems a certain incongruity in the number of empty homes and homeless people, which illustrates the disparity of wealth in this county.
After I arrived in Los Angeles my father took me to downtown Pasadena, which has become one of those self-aggrandizing to displaces of commercialism, which has become its self the the hallmark of capitalism. The juxtaposition of wealth and abject poverty is striking against the back drop of store fronts, selling body cream, designer jeans, manicures, and five dollar coffees. The economic chasm which has begun to consume families and individuals caught between “the American dream” and a new form of debit compelled, capitalistic serfdom, has created a growing divide within America, which many refuse to acknowledge. Passing down the street people give the needy a wide berth as if they can create not only physical but psychological distance between themselves and the intruding reality represented by this person. They wear there blindness like a weapon. They cast they’re eyes down or continue on as if the individual does not exist. As if in not acknowledging them they might sink back into the pavement and disappear. There is a sense in they’re eyes that they know that they are disappearing, that they have become yet a another statistic locked away from the public in a filing drawer, unequal and unattended. They look up pleadingly as if in the acknowledgement of they’re presence they might become human again, but as the mob (not yet damned) passes them they take away yet a little more of their humanity.
There exists an unspeakable cruelty in the bosom of a society which refuses to feed and cloth its own.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
I was musing the other day about the reliquary of lost dreams in this country. I am at the age where many of my friends are putting a side their ambitions and aspirations for families and blue collar work, and I have to wonder where does all that hope, passion and youthful idealism of these souls go? Do these childish fancies simply fade away? Do our dreams go to rest like wrecked ships at the bottom of the ocean? Do we recycle them like used car parts? Do we quietly give them up like old shoes? Do we grow news ones like a lizard, or do we simply go through life incomplete? It is my belief in watching all this pass that some people give there dreams for someone else's and thus they live in constant fear that the Red King will awake. What will we give up our dreams for my friend? For family? For country? For fame? Or for God? Everyone takes away a little piece of you, and our dreams become like relics of the faithless within time. It's just an idea I'm toying with.