Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

The Militant is not one who easily jumps on the bandwagon, nor follows the crowd. In fact, his very existence on the Los Angeles Blogosphere is specifically because there are perspectives, views, events, people and places that are largely ignored, if not misunderstood, so the Militant naturally goes against the grain to bring those things to you on this here blog.

The Militant didn't want to write about these fires mainly because not only do the mainstream news sources already have it covered, but the local Blogosphere seems to have it covered as well.

But when the Militant started to feel somewhat lethargic this afternoon and almost felt a shortness of breath, that's all he can stands and he can't stands no more...
...okay, other than spending the next few days in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, there's nothing more he can do, except...

BLOG!!! (cough, cough, cough)

Damn, that didn't turn out so good.

But yeah, even though the Militant isn't exactly the only blogger feeling the weird-ass effects of inhaling cremated homes, trees and dry brush from our suburbs and exurbs, perhaps ranting on a Create Post window can be cathartic. After all, he can't ride his bike (well, technically, the Militant still can, it's just that his lungs would protest), take long walks around the vicinity of his compound, or the like. For some reason, this was much worse than the Griffith Park Fire, which was much more closer in proximity, but the smoke and ash didn't linger for as long.

Speaking of proximity, we all know that, aside from the environmental and visual impact, us city folks are largely spared from the effects of this fire (count yer blessings). But the constant media bombardment of "CALIFORNIA FIRE!!!" (cough, cough, cough) on newscasts and headlines, would probably make people Out East think the entire Golden State - all 158, 302 square miles of it - is conflagrated (to either their delight or chagrin). Yesterday evening, the Militant got a call from his cousin in Queens, NY who was wondering if all her Los Angeles-based relatives were okay. The Militant assured her that all the fires were burning miles away in outlying areas and that the only effects were the aforementioned smoke-related ones.

Of course, the Militant wasn't immune from the hype either; a few hours earlier, after learning that SD's Jack Murph, er, Qualcomm Stadium was being used as an evacuation center, the Militant called his Daygo-based operatives, who likewise assured them that they were just fine, and in fact people who fled the fire-ravaged areas sought refuge in their part of town. After all, they had already suffered their own inferno four years ago.

This all started with some wild Santa Anas, right? As a great native Angeleno songwriter once expressed in song, the blow hot from the north. The Militant considers the winds themselves to be a stunningly beautiful thing, almost romantic even. At least to this Militant, they bring back fond memories of a time years ago in his college days when he was dating someone who went to an unspecified California State University and had to trek through the parking lot, hand in hand with her, as the winds seemingly beat the two young lovers like a raging storm while they sought refuge in her dorm.

But that was then. These days, the Santa Anas are weather pr0n that give arsonists hard-ons, and now these domestic ter'rists are public enemy #1. Can America try to allocate more money into institutionalizing and taking care of its mentally ill so they aren't out there playing with fire in dry brush, resulting in people losing their homes and lives? Oh yeah, the US government has priorities (cough, cough, cough). Uh-huh.

Some have likened the fires to be "Our Katrina." Uh, not even close. Maybe when The Big One comes. But perhaps events like these test the resilience of people - transplants and natives alike - and weed out the ones who only come here for "The Weather" (that makes about 95.3% of all East Coast and Midwestern transplants, right?) - perhaps certainly a semiarid Mediterranean climate with a relatively low annual rainfall has its downsides, after all, so run along), and make for a stronger, thicker-skinned populace.

In the meantime, GO AWAY SMOKE (cough, cough, hack, hack, cough)!!!! The Militant wants his normal smog back.


Miles said...

I'm glad you mentioned Katrina, MA. I'm pissed at the comparisons that are happening between Qualcomm and the Superdome. As my mother said to me tonight when I told her it was unfair, "It's like comparing an apple to a zebra." The fires did not destroy infrasture, did not make unpassable an entire metropolitan area, did not etc. etc. etc.

Any attempt to compare how great things are at Qualcomm to how miserable they were at the Superdoem really does two things:

1. It is a barely veiled racist attack against the people of New Orleans.

2. It discounts the fact that the people at Qualcomm are actually going through a tough time.

So, stop it. Thanks.

Militant Angeleno said...

Miles: Yup. The comparisons really end at "The evacuees sought refuge in an NFL stadium."

darleene said...

Was local news coverage so bad that you would not link to it? :(

Raven said...

Don't underestimate the number of us horrible transplants who came out here to work in Hollywood!

Militant Angeleno said...

Raven: Underestimate? The Militant already knows there's too many already, and they think they run the place, that's why the Militant has to claim his voice.

But the Militant actually admires transplants that relocate here for reasons other than the entertainment industry, simply because they're not cliches.

philpalm said...

I was reading that mercury is also a part of the smoke. Back in the old days, cooking and heating smoke was very common, hey maybe that's why smoked meats are so popular?

When people are forced to evacuate, some have no place to go to. Well the temporaryness of Qualcomm is that the football games returned quickly to that stadium, but the superdome in NewOrleans took a while.

I think in Katrina's case even the insurance companies dragged their feet on compensation, while in San Diego we might not hear of many who are not compensated...