Saturday, September 25, 2021

The Dark Reality of Los Angeles


Redneck Texan said...

What to you think about this Pasto?

I cant even pretend to comprehend the situation.

I do give it alot of thought though, just cant put it together.

One the one hand, like everyone else, I try to assign blame.

I personally feel some responsibility. Based primarily on the period of my adolescence, where my values were shaped. I used to strive hard to be "cool". That ultimately led down a destructive path.

But in hindsight I can see that my perceived concepts of cool were a media produced form of conditioning. My heroes were just successful losers who had found a way to profit from this destructive societal conditioning. They were the highly publicized exceptions to the hidden normal outcomes.

A lot of these people remind me of where I could be today if I hadn't grown out of my conditioning. It seems to me they cant follow down my path. Obviously partly due to too much of the wrong drugs, mental issues, etc.

But when you play the blame game ...... and this documentary, and its subjects, want to place the blame for these people's plight on many other factors. Corruption, income equality, complacency among the general public ..... but none on the inhabitants of these communities. It always seems to be someone else's fault and someone else's problem to be fixed.

I think laziness is also a root cause that is never fully explored.

I know that when I get up at 4:30 AM every morning and drive 3 counties away to be at work by dawn, in order to sustain my middle class rural lifestyle ..... when I really just want to stay home and fuck off all day like these folks do ..... my sympathy for their plight wanes.

..... I also try to step back at look at the situation from some historical perspective. There's never been a society with less poverty and misery than ours. In fact if you look at societies much older than ours they are much more poverty stricken than our relatively new one. There's a definite pattern of universal societal decay. And migration from failing older societies to relatively prosperous newer ones.

I just think in any society there's gonna be the have nots. The people who for whatever reason are going to fall below the economic norm in that society. And there's nothing that can really be done about that. Even in the most hard core communist environments there are winners and losers, and it usually boils down to personal gumption.

There homelessness in every urban area of America, but SoCal's weather makes it a particularly more pleasant place to live a homeless lifestyle. And the Hollywood produced self-narrative also makes it a magnet for losers from other, less tolerant, climates.

Redneck Texan said...

As an aside, I am currently immersed in back to back Harry Bosch novels and TV seasons. They give me a feel for Los Angeles and Hollywood streets. The good and the bad. Its contributed to my recent Jazz west coast cool jazz obsession. On many levels its the greatest place on earth to live .... if the throngs of crazy people didn't also make it so uninhabitable. I can certainly see why some commercial interests would forego the opportunities there due to the increasing risks of doing business in such a caustic environment.

At any rate .... I dont see the situation ever getting any better there. It appears to be snowballing down the gutter. Shrinking of neighborhoods to economically segregate yourself and your family from the dangerous side of SoCal. Demographic shifts that continue to make any form of personal success a larger target for redistribution of your hard earned wealth. You've crossed the electoral rubicon to the point that reason is politically impossible, and prosperity is both frowned upon and targeted. Reasonable and prosperous residents are either going to die off in their protected enclaves or move away from the threats. Leaving behind a shrinking tax base to support the increasing hordes that depend on it.

It seems unsustainable to me. Of course all I know about it is what I read in the media. I'm sure that not an entirely accurate representation of the real overall situation on the ground. They just show us what they want us to see. What they want us to feel responsibility for.

Pastorius said...

When I was young there was not much homelessness.

Now there is a tremendous amount.

I see it as a lagging outcome of the breakdown of Judeo-Christian civilization and the family.

Earlier this year I found that my wife, myself, and my mother-in-law all were reading the books of Chronicles in the Bible. The books basically tell you, in short shrift, what happens when a society follows God, and what happens when a society does not follow God.

I am not one of God's better followers, but the more I have seen of life - especially of my own life - the more I have become convinced that any good in me, or in others, is only in accordance with the extent to which they follow Biblical ideas.

I met a Christian lady from Syria a few years back, and she was telling me how beautiful her homeland was. The circumstances under which I met her had to do with the death of her only child. This lady was around 60 or so, and still somewhat vibrant, but the death of her only daughter had really hurt her (as you can imagine). She kept waxing nostalgic about Syria, so I asked her, "Do you think you might go back to your homeland?"

She said, "No, never."

I asked her why, and she said this so simply: "Let me put it this way. In a Muslim country, no one waits in line. That is because it is all about power. The biggest or most wealthy person goes to the front of the line, and all the weak people wait at the back. There is no real line, like there is here, where no one cuts ahead. This is because this is a Christian country."

Think about that a bit. Is she right? I have come to the conclusion that she is.

And to the extent that the Christian beliefs (whether people believe in God or not) die, line-waiting, and family, and all other decency will also break down, and we will get more drugs, more despair, and more homelessness.

Always On Watch said...

An insightful comment on your part. And accurate, too, IMO.

Thanks for sharing this video. I haven't been to Hollywood Boulevard or Venice Beach since 2006. Oh, the changes! Hideous changes! Makes me sad.

Pastorius said...

It is sad. As the guy in the video says towards the beginning, we all pretty much accept it as a matter of course, and we are numb.

Personally, I have actually spent time with homeless people, asking them questions and hanging out. I see why they are homeless. I have met some who have drug problems, some who have mental disease, some both, and most perplexingly, one, who is an old friend of mine, who is simply unhappy, and refuses to follow any rules. He is not mentally ill, he does not have a drug problem. He just doesn't want to follow rules.

Always On Watch said...

I personally knew only a few homeless people in Northern Virginia. One was an illiterate black man named Leonard; as a student, he was passed on through grade after grade, because doing otherwise was considered racist. Leonard graduated with so few literate skills that it was scary. He lived with Dave and me for a while and did all our yard work and landscaping in trade for room and board. I don't know what's become of Leonard now.

Another homeless man was Lloyd, a black man who was very literate. But he had severe epilepsy and couldn't seem to acquire the medication regularly. Again, I don't know what's become of Lloyd.

The third I knew was Vernon, an uncle by marriage. His problem was alcoholism. His sister took him in until cancer forced him into the VA Hospital. Vernon didn't last long there; we buried him in my family's cemetery plot.

Pastorius said...

The life of a homeless person is pretty sad, in almost all cases.