By CHARLES ANDREWS
THE SANTA MONICA SYMPHONY

Bless them, gave us another excellent performance Sunday night.

Sibelius #1, Rossini, and Korngold with violin notes so high service dogs howled their approval. Barnum Hall was packed, and they didn’t even need Dennis Prager to fill the seats.

Having parked on Lincoln, I walked down Michigan toward Samohi and passed two Santa Monica “residents,” potential patrons of the arts, who I was pretty sure wouldn’t be attending the evening’s free concert because at 6:30 they looked settled in for the night, and sure enough they were still there when I returned.

“Wear a jacket!” my family had cautioned me as I went out the door.

“Nah, not that cold,” I replied.

And it wasn’t, going in, nor in the concert hall. Coming out, I was glad I had only a couple of blocks to walk.

But the elation of good live music was punctured by the reality of again seeing those two people sleeping on the cold sidewalk.

Both had obviously tried to cover every bit of skin against the cold, though one had no socks and exposed ankles. No blankets, no jackets, no layers of shirts or pants.

I was walking briskly to get to my warm car.

They had no such option.

It’s colder now than when I went in, I thought — how much colder will it get, hour by hour?
Neither looked like they had moved a muscle, and maybe that’s the only strategy.

Cover
up as best you can, lay your head down, don’t move and pray you don’t freeze or get mugged before morning. You are used to the cold, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t sting.

If you can fall asleep, maybe you can stay asleep, and not feel… anything. Cold, pain, fear, remorse, desperation, loneliness, hopelessness, shame, anger. Sleep, if it comes, must be welcome relief.

BUT WHY MENTION DENNIS PRAGER?

“The news media in the West pose a far greater danger to Western civilization than Russia does,” he wrote, and “American troops around the globe are the greatest preservers of liberty and peace in the world.” Also, liberalism is “a cancer.”

According to National Public Radio, Prager “often targets multiculturalism, Muslims and LGBTQ people.

” He strongly supports Trump, even though previously denouncing most of what he embodies.

“We hold that defeating Hillary Clinton, the Democrats, and the Left is also a principle.

And that it is the greater principle.” (The Roy Moore/pedophile principle, I guess.)

These and other things the conservative icon has said, and stands for, came to mind in a dark tornado of my thoughts rising up from the sidewalk.

The Symphony called on Prager to conduct at their fundraiser last August, in Disney Hall. A bit of a gamble, it paid off big, in fundraising that evening. But at what cost?

What has happened to us? Are we powerless to prevent the destruction of our form of government, and perhaps our very nation? I say it’s greed, unmitigated greed, at the root of it all.

That’s why the GOP supports all this treason and will not act against Trump until they have their rapacious hands on everything of value.

We are screwed.

And soon a lot more folks will be joining my two faceless neighbors on the sidewalk at night.

The Great Depression will look like a cakewalk.

Very conservative estimates of the effect of gutting Obamacare and eliminating the Individual Mandate: 10,000 deaths per year.

That’s what happens when you take away people’s healthcare.

Or, just figure Rocket Man will render it all moot.

There is a lethal, fast-spreading cancer, and we have to fight it fiercely.

It’s here too, in Santa Monica. Some would scoff. For starters, let’s see what comes out of the district voting lawsuit, the depositions, our new City Attorney, the next election. I think it’s possible the tales of corruption we’ve heard so far are only the tip.

We have to pay more attention to the “little things” and not let them slip by and normalize.

They may not be on a footing with oil drilling in the pristine Arctic or coal mining among Utah buttes, but they can quickly add up to a culture of dishonesty and cheating, resulting in oligarchy.

I WAS E-MAULED

For my remarks last week about City Council item 13-D, placed on the agenda by members Kevin McKeown and Sue Himmelrich.

I wrote that they “want to spend staff’s time and our money investigating campaign wrongdoing by the Huntley Hotel, that has already been investigated and punished to the tune of $300,000.” That was perhaps not accurately stated.

But union Unite Here Local 11, Forward, and the League of Women Voters wrote the Council a letter asking for exactly that, and that was the impetus for the agenda item, with Himmelrich and McKeown stipulating they did not recommend further investigating the Huntley.

I think that’s a needed general investigation for facts and recommendations, if it’s done right.

What I stand by is my disappointment that it took such a letter, from such blatantly pro-development groups, still wanting more blood from the Huntley. If this is a good idea now, it was a good idea last year, and five years and 10 years ago.

I resent resurrecting
the Huntley’s sins, pointing out anew that “see, the other side (against overdevelopment) does it too.

” In fact, while there were plenty of reasons to have investigated the campaign finances and dirty tricks of the anti-LV side last year, Council, staunchly anti-LV, did nothing.

Now, with renewed finger-wagging at the Huntley, they investigate.

They had at least a dozen years to get a parking study done for the promised playing field across from Samohi, but somehow the total rip-off ECEC and the nine-figure extravaganza city offices annex got done but the field is still waiting.

I could go on and on. There are always “good reasons” for the way things happen, but many of us are tired of smelling a rat in well-crafted, agenda-serving strategies.

Lying and dishonesty are just that, and dodging, obfuscating, covering up and just plain BS are pretty close.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Now that we finally know who took over the LA Weekly, where will the Daily Press wind up? This could be really impactful.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.” — Jim Morrison

Charles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for 31 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else
in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at therealmrmusic@gmail.com

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