Here Comes The Firecracker


“I feel like I’m having a civil war inside my head,” said my Wise Artist pal. “I’m so divided.”  She had a secret she wished to share. Only the day before, she crossed the Rubicon. She re-registered as a Republican so she could cast her ballot for Trump in the upcoming primary.

“I want to light a firecracker under this country.”


On Sunday morning I was in Watts, at the CicLAvia. In liberal, cosmopolitan Los Angeles, very few white people joined us on the trek.  As a veteran CicLAvian, I found the low attendance disloyal and unpatriotic.


If one wanted to see the full measure of the economic hollowing out of America, here was the place the Bernie people and the Trump people could agree upon.


Along the way, I encountered a white man with a broken arm and his hand on a bible, sitting at a table in front of a closed church, nodding significantly at the riders as they went past as though beckoning them toward something.  Of what, I could only guess.

Later that night we were in Pasadena at an awards dinner for Mrs. UpintheValley, hosted by a lovely, gracious woman who lives in the kind of house which ignites bonfires of envy in the hearts of working-class guests from Van Nuys.  And everyone at the table was lovely and gracious and prosperous. And the host mentioned a former student who is now Digital Media Director for Elizabeth Warren, and this elicited giddy approval, for what higher calling could there be? Practically an appointment to the secular Vatican itself.  And wouldn’t it be delightful if Hillary picked Warren as a running mate? Trump has zero chance of winning, after all. For the moment we were all two degrees of separation from the Good People Who Really Matter and didn’t that make the demi-glace on the hanger steak all the tastier?

Then on Monday I am at an industry workshop at AFI, where an actress/writer I’ve known for years, tough and talented, a woman you’ve seen on TV plenty of times, is staging a work-in-progress which included a Donald Trump-esque speech about immigrants.  Afterward, in the notes, people argued whether it was Sarah Palin or Trump himself speaking, then someone said it couldn’t possibly be Palin, because the character was utilizing multi-syllabic words, and thus beyond Palin’s speaking ability. In Los Feliz, people found this observation clever and uproarious. Mirth owned the room.

The next morning I drove to Home Depot in Panorama City to buy a tape measure and there were dozens of men crowding cars in the parking lot, leaning into windows, pleading for day work.


Later, I took Trixie for her evening constitutional and we passed an Ayn Rand-ian tableau of trucks in my neighborhood filled with scrap metal.


Around the corner, we encountered this gorgeous example of late post-war American industry, preserved in amber, right down to the whitewalls.  It felt like another signpost. We are nearing the end of something.

The firecrackers are coming.

9 thoughts on “Here Comes The Firecracker”

  1. Trump will, in fact, ignite firecrackers under the country. You know what happens when things explode and burst in to flames, right?

    Hillary, in contrast, will hold a death grip on the steering wheel and floor the accelerator as the national vehicle charges toward the cliff Wile E. Coyote style.

    Big fun either way. But a crash is probably required to reset the country. What things will look like on the other side… Who knows?

    1. Here’s hoping the constitutional structure holds fast. That the congress, the old media, the digital media and the judiciary will check each other, constructively, in a way which affirms our nation’s founding principles. Too much to hope for?

  2. I observed the sixties as a child. I remember Chicago ’68, MLK Memphis, Bobby at the Ambassador. We don’t seem to be at that level yet as a country. Is the anger now channeled through the instanet instead of the street?

    Is the majority still silent? Or is the giant awakening with a terrible resolve.

    1. I think the giant is awake, on his feet, and having a power breakfast before setting out for the village…

  3. This election heralds a fundamental realignment and reset of politics. Both parties are doddering, clueless, with serious factional fights.

    I came of age in the 1960’s when cities burned and leaders were murdered. Things almost seem more polarized now.

    Because in the 60’s at least the economy was booming. Not so much anymore. And the net just amplifies and distorts everything, as well as providing info 24/7.

  4. Fantastic post. I lived in S. Cal for approximately 8 years before relocating to the Research Triangle region of North Carolina. Your blog reminds me that things haven’t changed since leaving the area (this was in 2001.) The photography is great as well.

    In this area, Trump is viewed as a “Messiah V2.0” figure. If there was any indication that the country has become a patchwork of self-interested tribes, Trump is it. People are tired of political correctness, inclusion for the sake of it, and making excuses for failure. I’m a Democrat, but like you said, 4 years of Hillary would put the country over the cliff Thelma and Louise style.

    1. Thank you, Marcus, for your kind words. Should we take from your comment Trump will win NC?

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