A Postcard from Sorosville

So here’s a small data point in our current disintegration.  I ordered an item from Lululemon, a feminine wife-flattering thing.

Given the supply chain constraints, there was suspense as to whether it would arrive in time for Christmas, a tiny leaf floating in the River Ganges of holiday commerce from Groveport, Ohio to Hardin, MO to Mayfield, KS to Canyon, TX to Topock, AZ…dots on the railroad map, clocking in every 12 hours, before disappearing the night of Dec. 23rd at an undisclosed location on the outskirts of Los Angeles.

The shipping container, or its contents, never made it to the distribution hub. For eleven days, radio silence. Then an alert from FedEx the item was at long last on a delivery truck in Sun Valley.

Eleven days sounds to me like they sent a new package across the country. Theoretically, the shipping container itself could have been misrouted in the intermodal transport system.  I find this explanation on a low order of probability.

A differential diagnosis suggests it was waylaid by package pirates in Lincoln Heights. Or the other banditry choke point, outside Pomona.

Ninety containers are compromised (read: broken into) per day.

Union Pacific has made “over 100 arrests of active criminals vandalizing trains” in L.A. County. Per a special directive from D.A. George Gascon all were released within 24 hours. Of the arrests, none to date have resulted in court proceedings.

Add train robbery to the growing list of unenforced felonies in Sorosville.  A pry bar, bolt cutters and a willingness to climb a slow moving flat car and you too can be Butch Cassidy.

It’s baked into the price of everything we do now.  So let us break out the world’s tiniest violin for Mrs. UpintheValley’s late arriving gift.  As I said, a small thing, a mere data point in a sea of annoyance. There are families with real grief this week.

Sandra Shells, ER nurse, attacked without provocation at a bus stop at Union Station, succumbed to a brain bleed after her head struck the pavement.

Brianna, unrequited martyr?

Brianna Kupfer, an architecture grad student knifed to death in Croft House, an upscale boutique on La Brea Avenue, mid-afternoon.

Money was not a motive in either attack. Straight murder, nasty, brutish and pointless.

The killer, masked, backpack and hoodie, anonymous and indistinguishable from the army of shambling street people is as of this writing still at large. I will go on record now and predict he has been in custody and released without sentencing for other crimes in the past two years, probably more than once.

Brianna calls to mind Polly Klaas, all grown up. If ever there was a designated victim tailor-made to galvanize the public into a ferocious response it is she. If ever there was a face to push Westside liberals off the sidelines, to make them stakeholders in the unfolding tragedy they helped to set in motion, this is it.

I’m not sure it’s going to happen. Los Angeles of the 90s had the moral sense to boo Robert Shapiro at the Laker game during the O.J. trial, to vote for broken windows policing and three strikes laws.  It had a very different media. It didn’t have out of town billionaires writing checks to install our carpetbagging fashionista D.A.

The man in the tailored suit who swore an oath uphold the law had this to say: “The reality is that we go through these cycles, and we go through the cycles for a variety of reasons … In many ways we cannot prosecute our way out of social inequalities, income inequalities, the unhoused, the desperation that we have.” 

Prosecution is exactly how we rid ourselves of this scourge. Inequality, however defined, and housing status will be with us always.

Being right is of no use at the moment.  It has little persuasive value. It has no name in the street. Persuasion is in the hands of an ever smaller coterie of people who own/curate our media feed. They simply cannot afford to let Brianna become Polly.

Counterintuitively, working class strongholds like Van Nuys might be at an advantage right now. We’re not a soft target. We see you coming.