I finished my column yesterday, by my self-imposed day-early deadline. All my life I’ve been a procrastinator so I finally learned a few ways to trick myself.

Besides finishing on time, and dodging my stress, panic and guilt, and my editor’s — actually, he has no stress, he’ll just run something else in its place (which prospect gives me more stress, panic and guilt) — it also gives me some time to sit with what I’ve written, evaluate it, maybe make some small changes.

And maybe, realize I have to throw the whole thing out.



This time, a mere three hours before the real deadline.

The few times I have realized I just can’t live with what I wrote, it wasn’t clear as I typed merrily along, but usually there was some undercurrent of doubt. Maybe I need to up my radar on that.

But usually some part of what I was cogitating turned out to be the path I should have taken. In this case, while I now know that what I wrote is not what I needed to write, I also know that whatever should be written is beyond me.



Maybe even, lost. But of all the issues and emotions swirling, what do I pick out, and what can I possibly say? I know I am sad, to the depth of my soul, perhaps in a way I’ve never been before about something that wasn’t personal, despite all the years of horror that have preceded this past weekend. Anger, can tear you up, but I’m not feeling that, as I have in the past. Despondency, flirting with hopelessness.

Dark frustration, and incredulity are there, from knowing there are things that can be done, but there are people and groups blocking that. How in the name of all that is sacred, can they?

And, dare I say it? — no, really, dare I even think it? That this, this unspeakable horror, is finally the tipping point. But how many times have I thought that before? And never been right. There is a fear that even thinking it guarantees it will not change.

But, as an eternal optimist, believing that all people are good (but some are buried in ignorance, delusion and a false feeling of separation), as a believer in miracles, that anything can happen in the next moment that we never thought possible, I have hope. Not joyous hope but the hope that comes from being shoved way down into the mud and wrenching your head free, gasping, knowing there must be a place to breathe, a way out.



It was mostly about Donald J. Trump, a name I believe history will write large on the wall of infamy, especially if his several critical years of stimulating rather than fighting climate change results in the end of human life on our planet. Yup, entirely possible, and that would be a pretty big one, probably put him in the same league as Pol Pot, Stalin, Hitler and King Leopold II of Belgium.

There are those who want to blame him for everything bad, and his apologists who insist he’s blameless. He is responsible, he is culpable, come on, get serious, enough of this laughable nonsense otherwise. And his equal partner is the Republican Party. But…



I posited in that dead column. At the top. So yeah, I had to sacrifice the shock value there. To make that long story short: Trump is a narcissist, and that explains him completely. I listed the 11 signs of a narcissist and it would be hard to deny that every one fits him. A narcissist cares not a whit for anyone but himself. Not anyone. I doubt he has any real emotion even for his own family.

To hate, you have to care, and he doesn’t. All his racist, xenophobic homophobic, misogynist, white nationalist words and deeds exist solely for his base, the ones who got him elected and that he feels will do so again. It’s all about Donald, only Donald.

But if it wiggles, snorts and eats like a pig, is pink with a curly tail, folks, it’s a pig, no matter how much lipstick you smear on it, and whether or not the pig intends to be a pig or not. Intent seems necessary for love or hate but never mind that. If you say racist things, if you do racist things, you’re a racist. In his mind and heart Trump probably is convinced he’s not a racist. Completely convinced. And, OJ is convinced he didn’t kill his wife. I was making that point to say that to solve a problem you must understand it. Trump is just the point man, for himself, and what everyone makes of it is not his concern.

Mary McNamara writes about television for the LA Times and does so brilliantly and expansively. I was told to read her latest, “Do Not Accept This Way of Life,” and it was very good, but inadequate. That gave me some comfort for my own dilemma. This is so hard, but great good can come of it, I’m certain.


Charles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for 33 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at


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