"All we want are the facts, ma'am."

1 + 1 = 3 …or, 1? …or, 10,000?

Yes it does seem like this country has lost its mind lately, and Santa Monica too. As I write this some local Neanderthal on Nextdoor social media assured/lectured a person concerned over the lack of precautions being taken at a SM-adjacent supermarket — “You do know that Covid is not as threatening as they thought, right? It’s literally milder than a flu. The flu kills more people. Look into it…”

Apparently our lovable Neanderthal Nextdoor did not look into it, or he’s a troll and doesn’t care, just trying to infect with disinformation, thank you.

Good God. 85,000 dead in two months and it’s likely to get worse. COVID-19 quickly zoomed past cancer and heart disease to become the number one killer in the U.S. Influenza barely made the Top 10. But, take heart. His Nextdoor neighbors, including a nurse, jumped all over him. But if you don’t see any blowback on stuff like this, don’t fret. I think a lot of people, like me, have just given up responding to stuff like this. It’s a losing proposition.

I used to think wrong information, especially if it was dangerous, had to be set straight. But now I have more confidence in my fellow humans. Sure, we’ve all been seeing a lot of the most ridiculously ignorant pronouncements since the Salem witch trials. But we have to remind ourselves that it’s still a small band of very vocal know-nothings.

And then there are those who seem to have found a new hobby, a new way to amuse themselves. Well, that’s fine until it starts to kill people, right, Gen. Bone Spurs Draft Dodger? Pop those hydroxychloroquine tabs and wash ‘em down with a good disinfectant. A week ago some simian was delivering a similar message on FB as the nextdoor nincompoop but trotted out impressive medical credentials, including as a research immunologist currently at USC. I did a quick check and found out he was indeed a doctor — a Beverly Hills ophthalmologist. So please, if it sounds like baloney, just make yourself a sandwich, lots of mayo, and go about your business. I can’t for the life of me explain all this, it’s pathetic and indeed dangerous, but I’m done stressing or participating.

BYE BYE RESIDOCRACY

And speaking of such: I’m also done with the Residocracy page, as of right now. It has changed, just steaming now with conspiracy, hatred, lies and misinformation, voodoo, vile name calling, bubonic plague, alt right’s alright, gun lovers, bozos, bullies, Trumpers and like-minded libertarians, spiders and snakes, disease and desolation, and the lovely please catch a virus and drop dead old sick people, I need my freedom and a haircut crowd.

I’m not proud to admit I’ve been thinking about this for quite a while but was seduced by the more than 3,300 sets of eyes on that page for my columns, which I posted there each week. But you can be judged by the company you keep, so I’m bailing. I was a member at the very beginning. Gave money. A promise has just been made there to limit discussions to local issues only. If that does really happen, and those discussions have a far more civil tenor than they have had, I might go back. Not holding my breath, though.

SOCIAL MEDIA AMPLIFIES INSANITY

Spreads it and gives it some credence where there is none. So does a 24-hour news cycle. When you say all the “lamestream” media are the same, everybody lies, you’re wrong and you have to learn two new concepts: degree, and false equivalency.

Who can you trust? Well, not some dude on youtube, that’s for sure. But how many will take that and run with it? These are annoying times.

These folks will vote, though, many of them. Four more years of baby cakes and we could lose our 250-year-old democracy. Seriously. But I’m optimistic because beyond all the noise is that majority that’s smarter than that. Thing is, they have to vote, not stay home as usual. They will. And they have to start speaking up now, especially here in Santa Monica.

As I pointed out last week, a lot of decisions are being made today, directions chosen, for the future of this broken little city. You can be part of it, you have the best opportunity in history to make a big difference. Or you can stay silent, but I don’t want to hear from you when you hate the future you let others choose for you.

Here’s a very good start. Ask to be appointed to the Economic Recovery Task Force, by writing to our Deputy City Manager Anuj Gupta. Find out a little more about it and then tell him why you should be on it. Saving the historic Carnegie Ocean Park Library by cutting an extra 10-20 percent off some top City salaries would be good enough for me. But he may want to know a little more.

ONE LAST NOTE: MASKS

I was so proud of Santa Monicans six weeks ago. I observed that 80-90 percent of people out for exercise were wearing masks. Now? Under 20 per cent, I’d say, and dropping every day. You’re not being cavalier with your life, you do know that? You’re risking my life, and anyone else and their family who are also out for exercise. But I understand, because some dude on youtube said you don’t need to.

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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2 Comments

  1. I read that the Ocean Park Association was the only one of the Santa Monica Associations that did not send a plan to the City Council for future planning. Who are the members, and do they really represent the Ocean Park demographics — a mix of ethnicities not included in the Ocean Park Assn elected officers. What issues are the Ocean Park Association following, now that rent control is part of SM law? If the OCA membership was really interested in more than once or twice a year beach cleaning and spent serious time preparing an agenda for the City Council, maybe the Ocean Park Library would not be listed for closure!

  2. Great article. I started NextDoor almost 20 years ago in Malibu, having learned of it in a newspaper in London. ND has since spread to every corner of the US. Originally created to take place of the bulletin board at your local grocery store. You know where you shared babysitters, housekeepers, sold your kids bikes.
    Fast forward ND of today. It is free for all, nothing held back. A haven for the sweet mild mannered person who gets behind the wheel of their car and flips everyone off.
    Each neighborhood has a “Lead” who has magical powers to dump posts, privately warn posters and magically dump the offending posters if necessary.
    This pandemic, lockdown appears to be altering Brain function, or even their dog ignores their tirate by this time. So where better to vent than on ND. So in my ND neighborhood my delegate finger gets lots of exercise, my wrist lots of exercise with Zoom, the rest of the body not much. When will this be over.

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