The Militant picked this up weeks ago, but decided to hold off on it until he got a few events out of the way. On LA's Homeless Blog earlier this month there was an entry referring to a Daily News article on how Los Angeles residents are less inclined to volunteer. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, only 22% of Angelenos (likely of the non-militant ilk) were likely to volunteer in their community, compared to 29% of San Franciscans and San Diegans and 27% in the state capital and the former state capital (San Jose). The Golden State gave an average of 25%. There were no comparisons mentioned to NY, Illinois, Texas or even the Volunteer State itself, Tennessee. The article questioned why volunteerism among Angelenos was so low, citing traffic, the cost of living or even general apathy to the point where people have given up because they haven't seen any results or change.
Though not debating the blog entry, this Militant, who was raised with a volunteer ethic, and the majority of his circle of friends as well as operatives, have been known to volunteer for various causes or activities.
The Militant will give the real reason.
In short, people come to California, or most specifically Los Angeles, to take, not to give. This is a place where people come "out here" to "reinvent themselves" (run away from their past) and "make it big" or "be a star" (eyes rolling). Most of them have no interest in improving the quality of life "out here" (that seemingly innocuous phrase immediately communicates disownership), since it's not their hometown anyway?
The Militant will throw out the big analogy here. Los Angeles is like a tree. No, not a palm tree, but an orange tree, if you will. People have come from all over the country and all over the world to this tree to pick and savor the sweet fruit it bears, for its fruit is unlike that of any other tree. But after picking its fruit, the people soon discovered the fruit had become bitter, malformed, and the tree was no longer healthy. Seeing this, they left the tree alone and went for another tree to pick at its fruit.
What the people failed to realize was that the tree had started to deteriorate -- because no one bothered to care for it. No one watered it, no one helped make the soil fertile, no one helped clear the tree of pests and parasites.
What you get out of the tree is what you put into it. What you get out of Los Angeles is what you give to it. Ask not what your city can do for you, oh you know the rest.
The Militant knows many out there are laughing and will continue to whine and complain, only to move to where life will be more convenient for them. Good riddance, I say. Revitalization begins from within. In the meantime, I'll be training some more militants for our revolution...