Well aren’t we just soooo Californian. We’re all marrying our gay lovers now and solving the budget mess by betting on the lottery. How utterly Left Coast.
We’re all eating organic sushi with our pedicured toes as we lounge on tofu-skin rugs in the feng shuied great rooms of our foreclosed homes. You’ll never see New Yorkers doing that. Or Texans. Or anyone else in this country, for that matter.
And ’round here we’re worried about the environmental impact of solar power plants, the plants that make the power that’s pretty much without environmental impact.
And we’re worried about whether the skate parks are good enough and where we’ll put the medical marijuana dispensaries and the invisible death rays that’ll be shot out by new cell phone towers and whether the big, fancy, new downtown buildings will be too big and too fancy and whether we’ll build here or there and whether $20 per credit is an undue burden on college kids who blow that much on Red Bull and …
I’ve been reading the news from China and Myanmar.
Here are the latest numbers from China: 40,000 confirmed dead and 32,000 missing. They’re burying people in pits.
Five million are homeless in China.
Here are the latest numbers from Myanmar: 78,000 dead, with 56,000 more missing. The government won’t accept aid without taking a cut.
The UN leaders think that maybe a quarter of the people in need have been reached, and this is after the cyclone that caused the destruction hit more than two weeks ago.
And the sorts of people who worry about international things are saying that global aid is down, that giving has dropped in this country, because of “disaster fatigue.” Earthquakes and tidal waves and hurricanes are going to keep coming, people are saying, so why try to help now?
I’ve been reading that news this week.
So this week I don’t much give a crap which person you vote for in the Board of Supes race or who’s backing their campaigns or trying to buy their votes or trying to make you question who’s backing their campaigns or trying to buy their votes.
I don’t care whether the sheriff is going to be indicted. I don’t care if the guy helping out all those homeless and addicted folks has the proper building code or whether or not you liked the exact wording of the free ad you got in the New Times “Best Of” edition a couple of weeks back.
I don’t care that education bureaucrats don’t want their budgets cut or that Sen. Abel Maldonado has come up with yet another gimmicky idea for legislation, saying that legislators and the governor shouldn’t be getting raises while the rest of California watches as parks close and kids fall behind in their studies because they’re crammed like creamed peas into crumbling classrooms. (Didn’t he used to seem smarter, more real? For that matter, didn’t we all? Never mind, I don’t care right now.)
This week I don’t care that the real estate speculators are going broke or that the people who loaned money to the real estate speculators are going broke or that anyone’s going broke for pretty much any reason. I don’t care about water rates or sewers or big piles of sand in the county that people fight about and sue over.
Next week I’ll care about it all again, plus many more freshly minted miniscule tragedies and comedies and outrages and dramas in our precious crescent of the Golden State.
In the meantime, here’s one story I read: A man was pinned under the rubble of a collapsed office building in Mianyang and his cell phone was buried somewhere near him. It was set to go off as an alarm clock, so at 8 a.m. every day it would ring. It rang three times. His throat was burning from thirst. Finally he was hauled out, alive, to the cheers of the state media, but his wife was dead, as were most of his coworkers.
They called him lucky.
Another woman was freed, alive, after 195 hours.
People are wandering around, clutching pictures of their family members and waving them at anyone who’ll look.
Here we worry about whether the animal shelter director is respectful enough to his volunteers and whether there should or shouldn’t be a Wal-Mart 12 miles away from the other Wal-Mart and whether a Target store next to the Costco would be a tad too much shopping or just enough shopping. We’re so Californian.
It’s not that it’s all not important, in a sense. We live here, after all. Not there. It is important. Just not now.
So next week I’ll bitch again.
But maybe not about earthquake retrofits.