MY WIFE SAID I SHOULD BE NICE
But why should I start listening to her now?
Ha! I wouldn’t have had half the fun in my life if I hadn’t listened to her. In fact I do listen to her at least twice a week because, like Mark Twain (sadly, it’s the only thing we have in common, I can’t even grow a great thick ‘stash like his, no lip for it), I let my wife edit my precious, very personal copy. So now that you know that, anything you don’t like in any of my columns, any mistakes — her fault.
I try not to bring my family into my columns too much — what could go wrong, right? — but since I have, and you’re reading this on April 8th…
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DIAN!!!
I’m really glad you were born, and that I found you. In a bar. In North Hollywood. (The Palomino.) On stage singing like the star you are.
And glad that’s out of the way. Now I don’t have to buy her that Tesla she’s been whining about.
I AM NICE
She knows that, and will tell you so. When pressed.
No, really sweetie, she said, I know how incredibly loving and kind and thoughtful you are, that’s why I married you… well, there’s the money too, but sometimes, in your columns, and in your social media posts, you come across as… well, a little snarky.
Of course, I thought. Snarky is my badge of honor. But she was saying it like, maybe, it wasn’t always a good thing. Hmmm.
I think she was mostly reacting to a note I got from City Councilmember Ted Winterer, who had some… disagreements with my previous column. I acknowledged him for writing to me — I believe in communication and accountability, for politicians and journalists — and for the very reasonable tone of his disagreements.
We did agree on one thing. “Maybe in these troubled times it would be preferable to offer some support for all the hard work being done at City Hall to keep us safe?“ Absolutely, Ted.
“These are unique times, and you didn’t sign up for this,” I pointed out, “and like our medical and other heroes you guys are stepping up to a job that is absolutely needed but certainly not wanted by you. So — thank you.” Big time.
IT’S A TRICKY LINE I ALWAYS WALK
As a columnist and political observer. Yes, I see the good that’s done by our City Council. Maybe, conceivably, the Trump administration has even done some little something somewhere that was good, and/or right. By accident, probably. (– nah.)
Being a negative person is too much work, and stress. I’m an optimist and idealist, but also a realist. I believe it is good to have a sense of righteous anger for things that are unfair, and when I see that, and write about it, yeah, I might sound angry. Some people don’t hear you until you take a tone of urgency. I quickly learned in Army boot camp that I wouldn’t be understood unless every other word began with an F. (Fortunately, the Daily Press doesn’t require that.)
I feel anyone fortunate to have a platform has an obligation to speak for those who don’t have a voice. To try to persuade, to make things better. That pursuit doesn’t pay much. Hate speech does. Rush Limbaugh made almost $90M last year. And that’s after he lost advertisers.
AM I ANGRY?
Part of me is. I’m angry about race, gender and income inequality. I’m angry about City Councils and their abetters who want to strip the heart and soul of this unique beach town for their vision of a high rise Miami Beach-dense future. I’m angry about the way veterans and the military, and immigrants, the history and lifeblood of this nation, are being treated. I’m angry about the way this City Council has spent our tax dollars like Monopoly money, bankrupting our future for their shiny resumes and hold on power. I’m angry that any kid in America goes hungry, and millions do, one in six, or that anyone has to worry about getting sick because it will break them. I’m angry that just barely enough misinformed fools voted for a failed, corrupt businessman so clearly unqualified and inept that now hundreds of thousands of Americans will die because our preparation and response to this pandemic was so terribly mishandled.
I hope everyone becomes angry about things like this, or at least fed up enough to change them, with their vote.
Some say now is not the time. Be positive, we all must pull together — true. I will. But it is still the time, maybe the most important time, to keep an eye on things. If there were no one trying to take advantage of this situation for their own political or personal gain, at the expense, even the health and very lives, of others, I would be all sweetness and light, all the time. But until we’re there, there is a need for a loving snark in our warm, friendly waters.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org