Our City, The World – Explained


Why not try?

Humans are naturally driven to make sense of things. And even when their conclusions are incomplete or even wrong, it seems to help.

When you’re in the middle of a raging inferno, or a fierce hurricane or tornado, or the earth is shaking under your feet, gravity upended, when all that you know and love is being consumed and destroyed in nature’s inexorable path, once you reach a place of safety, some part of your civilized brain is bombarded with seemingly unanswerable questions.

How does this happen? Why does it happen? What next? Why is this all coming at once? Help!! What can I do, what can the world, my nation, my state, my city, my neighborhood, my family, myself, do to change this? The path back to sanity and normalcy begins with the hope that steps you can take will prevent an encore.

But you may never find answers that satisfy you. Finding that those answers seem out of reach may be crushing to the spirit. But most people, at least for a moment, ask.

Nature can be unforgiving. I have cousins who lost their home in Santa Rosa a few days ago. Burned to the ground. I’ve stayed with them, in that house. I remember the park across the street, surrounded by homes.

Now all that’s left is some of the park and a few

Their parents, in their 90s, had to flee literally for their lives. I have a niece
who bought a home recently in that area, saw the flames come within two miles and fled to Oregon.

So far it looks like her home was spared.


No one could have predicted this.

It’s never happened before. Santa Rosa seemed like a safe place to live. The fire raged through wine country too;

As I write this the count is 41 dead, more than double that number missing, nearly 6,000 structures destroyed or heavily damaged, almost 1500 homes gone, and all the emotional devastation that accompanies that.

That’s one part of northern California. We’ve had the Anaheim fires here in the southland too, and so many more all over the Western states.

Then there are the people who live near some river and get flooded out again and again, then shrug and say they will rebuild, on the same spot. Florida and the Gulf Coast get pounded over and over.

Maybe that’s some people’s way of coping with those unanswerable questions.


That’s what it feels like these days; both natural and manmade, and for me, a devastating personal disaster. Ultimately we all know you can’t push the river (Van Morrison), but doesn’t it seem like nature is punishing us in an “unpresidented” way lately? And don’t more than a few of us, who believe in science, fear that we are already reaping the harvest of ignored climate change, only to become exponentially worse, because of the money politics of some U.S. political leaders?

It’s one thing to be beaten down by nature, but when you think that we have politicians
who might have prevented it, it takes on a different feeling.

And what about all the purely
human disasters now looming?

Millions are about to lose their “health insurance” (by Executive Order) and millions more, when injury or illness strikes, as it will, will find that cheaper insurance the Republicans gifted them with will not cover their expenses, and we will see our ranks of homeless swell disastrously as so many more will be financially broken by a serious illness in the family.

Better plan for that, you homeless advocates.

The Lone Deranger appointed a man to head the Environmental Protection Agency who had sued them 14 times. Whose interests do you think he’ll be looking out for? We’ll all be Flint, Michigan. How about Texas good ol’ boy Dancing with the Stars Rick Perry, appointed Secretary of Energy, who was surprised to find out the job included overseeing our nuclear arsenal.

No worries there. Some say Betsy DeVos, who admitted to never stepping inside a public school until BLOTUS45 made her Secretary of Education, may have been appointed, maybe partly, maybe, because her family contributions to Republicans over the years totaled some $200 million. Now she is making it easier for women on campuses to be raped without consequence, and for predatory student loan companies to get even more predatory.

Health & Human Services Secretary Tom Price, on a tear to reduce costs drastically in his department, still took five private jet flights in three days in Sept. at a cost to the taxpayers of more than $60,000 — even from DC to Philly, 135 miles away.

Which of course is chicken feed compared to the millions Komrade Kombover and his family have cost us with their NYC residency and golf jaunts to Trump resorts.


Besides nature kicking our ass, from nuclear war to civil rights pushed back
half a century to GOP tax cuts for the wealthy taken away from the poorest (look for new
deficits in the trillions) to looming health disasters like you’ve never seen, really big, the biggest, I’m feeling continually assaulted by bad news from the U.N. to Sacramento to Santa Monica.

I’m distraught that our elected national representatives, both GOP and Dems, are not doing something to stop the Chaos President. It’s a nightmare.

Locally, we have “representatives” who can’t get a report together in 12 years on a lousy flat playing field they promised, to submit to the Coastal Commission, but can for a complex state-of-the-art City Services Building costing $100 million (if we’re lucky), then rent a bus to take their overpaid experts to go fight for that and the multi-tens-of-millions of our dollars giveaway ECLS building, leaving locals to drive there, if they can, at their own expense and time off.

I’m surprised they didn’t outfit the bus with a long banner reading, “LET THEM EAT CAKE!” Crime is through the roof and lovely locals are responding, Shoot them all, dead! Concealed carry! Stand your ground!!
Sorry I didn’t really give you answers. I thought they would come by the time I finished the column. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with a sense of separation we all feel from each other, so I’m going to ponder that.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Will the last person to leave Santa Monica please shut off the lights?

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul.” — Plato
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