A new dawn for the Earth? How will things change when we come out of this.

I WROTE LAST WEEK

About the possibility, the golden opportunity, for the human race to mend its sinful ways once and for all, in the wake of the lessons forced on us in the most terrible way by this deadly virus.

Look at the clear blue skies, and probably much cleaner oceans. The drop in crime. The federal government sending out checks to people who suddenly have nothing. Empty streets and freeways, trains and buses. The homeless into shelters. People caring for the elderly and infirm, whom they don’t even know. The time people are spending with their families, or in solitary contemplation. The books read, films watched. Poetry written, songs composed, art created, imagination unleashed.

The valuable time on our hands with nothing to do but whatever we choose to do. No obligation to trudge to work, come home, collapse, eat, watch TV, sleep and start all over again. (Nothing at all wrong with work, if it fulfills you.) Maybe Andrew Yang was right, the advance of technology has changed everything.

The horrible plague has shown us all this is possible. We’ve been forced into it. But we can choose it too, going forward.

When you go outside for exercise, a walk, run, skate or bike ride, the amazing sight of empty streets and beaches before you are testament to an ongoing act of love and brotherhood by so many thousands. Almost everyone has complied, without the threat of enforcement. How about that?

EXISTENTIAL DILEMMAS

Of course, there are some major down sides. Freedom from drudge work but also from income, and that’s very scary. For some, 100 percent time with family is about 50 percent too much. 100 percent time alone can be unnerving too. There is so much we all miss now in home sequester, per our habits and desires: getting together with friends, playing sports, watching sports, travel, dining out, dancing, concerts, the beach and ocean. It’s been said we will come out of this either gourmet cooks or alcoholics.

We are experiencing some really good things we never have before, and hopefully we will see the great value in these alternatives forced upon us, and want to continue them no matter what.

IMAGINE

All the people, living for today.

Imagine there’s no countries, and no religion too, nothing to kill or die for.

Imagine all the people living life in peace.

Imagine no possessions, no need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man.

Imagine all the people sharing all the world.

You may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.

It’s a well-worn utopian concept, and John Lennon captured it poignantly in his song. But it always failed, after a time, I think because people were trying to create that space in the midst of a world that wasn’t thinking that way, and even hostile to the idea.

NO QUESTION THERE IS RESISTANCE AND DOUBT

But, here it is, right in front of us. All the irrefutable demonstration that we are all in this together. And, for the big picture, it looks hopeful. Especially in a world facing imminent threat to human existence through climate change.

Maybe you wouldn’t choose to eliminate all trains and planes, boats and cars, but maybe there’s a way to get along with a lot fewer of them. Maybe we can see the homeless now as full blown human beings, just like us, but some with special needs. I have a good friend whose brother has emotional problems; when, out of nowhere, he gets the call that his brother is flipping out, he drops everything to take care of him. Hasn’t this crisis demonstrated beyond doubt that we are all brothers and sisters? If we don’t care for everyone, we will all suffer and die with the spread of this disease. The poor, the sick, the homeless, the incarcerated — they are us.

BUT… BUT…

We’re not all on the same page. Greed is a powerful human component and there are those who even in the most dire straits will seek to exploit it to their advantage.

The first draft of the $2T aid package from DC was an absolute giveaway to fat cats. Corporate socialism. The Dems stepped in and demanded more for those really in need, and got it, to some degree.

In Santa Monica, same thing. Have you noticed that construction has not abated? Do you really think you can erect a building with no one getting closer than six feet? And why are we continuing to build, build, build in SM? Density spreads disease! This is insane. Call a halt!

Our City Council continues to consolidate their power by limiting input from residents. They have moved to diminish the role of commissions, staffed by volunteer residents to advise the Council, and even reduce the two minutes of comment we get at Council meetings. Huge projects, demonstrably opposed by many residents, are now able to move forward without any comment or input allowed.

While the entire planet is moving in one direction, our city government is trying to hold on by their fingernails, resisting community good for their own personal power. Really?

Charles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for 34 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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1 Comment

  1. Alas, I fear ’tis but a dream, in the era of Trump, his family, McConnell, Nunes and company.

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