Burning Bright

Burning bright, but not precisely right. And not in the forests of the night.

Part of my somewhat unusual job is managing some industrial properties in the city. The property backs up to the train line that runs north and south through California. Due to some federal law that probably didn’t game out the unanticipated consequences when it was being written, city and county jurisdictions cannot enter the train line right-of-way unless for serious crimes (such as murder, rape, etc). Or, of course, if Union Pacific gives them authorization (which it is somewhat stingy with).

The unanticipated consequence? Homeless encampments. Full of garbage, used syringes, open-air lavatories, you name it. Homelessness in California is mostly a mental health issue. Sadly, the authorities do next to nothing about it.

Several days ago, at our neighboring homeless encampment, they decided to light a fire. They often do this, sometimes courtesy of small propane cookers that local do-gooders hand out, and sometimes courtesy of their own devices.

And the fire got out of control, as fires are often inclined to do. Fires are the ultimate bureaucracy. They want everything. They want to devour information, ideas, lives, property. You name it, they want it.

Here’s a video of the fire if you’re interested: Fire!

Fire, fire, burning bright, in the homeless encampment in our sight–who has framed thy fearful symmetry? Well, pretty much decades of California leftist regulations and enablements that have weakened the ability to deal with mental health and drug addiction in our society.

Sad!

The Mystery of Masks

The culture of masks, here in California, truly has been a mystery. On again, off again, on again, off again. Masks are like a psychotic high school girlfriend.

You have to wear a mask when you’re walking into a restaurant. But, as soon as you sit down, you can take the mask off. Does that mean the little covid virus particles only exist at higher altitudes of 54 inches or above? But what if you sit at a bar on a stool and your head is equivalent in height to the average standing head? Should extremely short people and small children be allowed to walk into the restaurant without a mask, as their standing head height is equivalent to the average sitting-at-a-table head height?

Fairly obvious insanity.

We’re all painfully aware of the blatant hypocrisy of the elites swanning about their soirees (I would love to work the word “sauna” into this sentence but I can’t figure out how [other than this parenthetical]), sans masks. Garcetti at the ballgame, Newsome at the French Laundry, Pelosi staggering through her salon, various stars (what a strange use of the word star) at their sparkly galas, wait-staff obsequious and objectified in their muzzles, hovering around the fringes with platters of champagne in hand.

More insanity, but so tedious and grating.

Children in schools, anonymized and de-individualized, transformed into pairs of eyes blinking above fabric. The treatment of children in schools is a painful one to watch. I remember quite well the loneliness and uneven isolation of public school. Eddies of cliques washing around you like a cold North Sea tide. Uncertainty of self, uncertainty of purpose, uncertainty of meaning. The psychology of most children is delicate enough as it is. But to add in daily masks and the ensuing separation?

Insanity and abuse, wrapped up in a teachers union-approved recyclable bow.

In moments of sanity, why do we ever wear masks? When you’re out at night asking strangers for candy. When you’re Batman. When you’re in a burning building. When you’re demoing walls full of asbestos. When you’re touring Chernobyl. When you’re the Phantom of the Opera. When you’re welding. When you’re deep-sea diving. When  you are a dead pharaoh. When you’re robbing a bank.

Brief interactions of sanity and masks, all of them. Except for the Phantom of the Opera. He was clearly a sad nut.

Which brings me to story (of course). The lunacy of the whole thing (complete with shrieking harridans in grocery stores “Put on your &*#$ed mask! Do you want your grandma to die?!”) begs for an explanation. A perspective from 30 miles up that makes sense of all the idiots in government, the sheep-like people, the liars in the media, and all the rest of the poor, huddled masses, yearning for uninhibited breathing.

Perhaps an invasion of the body snatchers style infiltration of certain people’s brains? Aliens exerting mind control over society for some nefarious, future purpose? A witches coven in the highest levels of government and business, grooming the world for mass child sacrifices that will enable the opening of a door between dimensions? Nothing good ever comes through those kinds of doors. Or perhaps a secret society of Malthusians bent on turning the masses into mindless slaves with forced sterilizations and drastic population reductions as the next steps?

There could be some interesting stories here.

The View From My Office Window

The view from my office window this morning. Rain, rain, come again. California needs more rain. California needs a lot of things. But not too much rain, or we’ll start flooding.

Rain and mist on the mountains always reminds me of Susan Cooper’s The Grey King. That’s a great book, if you haven’t read it. Part of a series of modern Arthurian fantasy. She creates a powerful sense of place in that book, the mountains of Wales, almost permanently enshrouded in mists and storms, the tops often hidden and giving one the odd sensation that there are new and higher mountains behind the storm clouds, unseen on sunny days and only manifest in dark weather.