BULLDOZING THE SANTA MONICA CIVIC?
No, that’s not what I was thinking of when I chose the headline. In fact – hold on to yer hats – I believe the fate of the Civic is something reasonable people could disagree about. Some could have good reasons to choose selling it, disposing of it.
But they would be wrong. And history would condemn them.
But I will get to that later. What, then, is the insanity I was referencing?
CALLING CLIMATE CHANGE A HOAX
In 2023, as the world burns, glaciers melt, the Amazon chokes, the seas rise and are clogged with island-sized flotillas of plastic waste, and a hurricane hits LA. That hoax claim was put forth recently, not in an insane “asylum” but on a stage clogged with the ship of fools vying for the Republican party nomination for president of the United States. And the audience cheered.
And the craziest one wasn’t even there. Trump of course is a lock on the GOP nomination for president, even, according to a poll of Republican voters, if he has been convicted of a federal crime. Even…. if he is in prison on 1/20/25.
But wait, there’s more.
The ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation, who has buttressed Trump’s every crazy move with “academic” justifications, is now putting together a coalition of many conservative groups to support (with a march on Washington) and activate his avowed concentration of all power in the executive branch, taking centuries-long Constitutional powers away from Congress, the courts, the Justice Department. His/their plan would strip the status of 50,000 pesky, law enforcing federal employees, so they could be fired.
He is no longer tiptoeing around his drive to be the dictator of the United States – if successful there is no doubt he will declare himself President for Life, a notion he blessed some years ago. And then (unless we have top military leaders who are able to follow their oath to the Constitution), all bets are off.
JUST IMAGINE A KING TRUMP AND ALL THAT WOULD MEAN
If you have been paying attention, you know I am not being nuts about this. It is nuts. And the audience cheered. Insane. And – possible. Look how close his win was over Hillary.
I don’t think it will happen. I don’t think he will be elected again because I believe enough frightened, sane voters will rise up, wait all day in the rain to vote, and maybe then we can relax a little.
But – all those tens of millions who would vote for him again, and for the McConnells and Cruzes and DeSanti, Boberts and MTGs, the cheering lunatics, are still with us. We will not be out of these woods for a long time. But is it insanity? By definition, yes. But there is a lot behind where we have come to today, that I will not go into. Let’s just say it takes only a handful of ruthless, heartless, savvy individuals to create an insanity that makes them billionaires.
IS THERE HOPE?
I think so. Lately I have been listening less to CNN and more to Marianne Williamson, whose ideas on how to govern this nation are more sane and even more practical than you probably think, and to Rev. Michael Beckwith, who started his Agape congregation in his living room before moving it to a couple of locations in Santa Monica, and now he is in demand worldwide.
What appears to be hopeless ignorance and evil intent just might be the dying screams of an old order.
The crazies get the attention, but the vast majority of people have good will toward all, and just want to live their lives in peace and harmony. We do have to be careful, because the forces of intentional chaos are well-funded and organized. But how many wise teachers throughout time have told us, if you want to change the world, change yourself. Add that to the message of the most popular and influential band ever, All You Need is Love, and there just might be another, hopeful way to view this spiraling madness.
You need a pulpit, Charles, not a newspaper column. Nope, I’m a practical guy, just trying to give voice to the fears and hopes I hear from my friends and neighbors. If I thought I was the only one who thought this way, I’d keep my mouth shut. But whenever I’m hesitant about putting some idea into print, sure as shootin’ I get a note saying, that’s exactly how I feel about it, but I thought I was the only one. So, don’t worry, be happy, every little thing is gonna be alright. (As long as you VOTE!)
SO, YEAH, THAT CIVIC AUDITORIUM
It hasn’t made money for years, it’s in need of expensive renovation, Santa Monica is broke (because we had to pay out $220,000,000 to victims of a pedophile in our government), and we would get a quick and large infusion of cash if we let it go. If this was just a building, it’s a compelling argument.
This small auditorium has a richer history for Santa Monica than you can probably imagine.
You’ve hopefully seen one of the lists before. Dylan, Pink Floyd, the Stones, MLK Jr., the Dead, Pete Seeger, the Dalai Lama, Streisand getting her Oscar for “Funny Girl,” and on and on. This building is oozing more momentous history than any its size, in any city our size. This is unique and it is precious and it should not be for sale. In a couple of years, if we just let it be until we can figure out a way to bring it back to life, Santa Monica will be back on its fiscal feet again. If that is just impossible we can consider again selling it for the valuable land it sits on, and it would probably be worth even more. But once it’s gone… no one wants to point to an empty lot or apartment building or hotel and say, the world-famous Santa Monica Civic used to be there…
We have stood helpless while so much of our Santa Monica history and character has been thrown on the trash heap for a few bucks, gone forever. Where does that leave us? We are NOT just another faceless beach city. We are Santa Monica. And those of us fortunate enough to live here now have an obligation, to our history and to our future, to protect it. We do not belong to the developers and their politicians and we must stand up for that, now, with this building, this issue. Yes, it is important.
Charles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for 37 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at firstname.lastname@example.org