by John Walters

Manifest Density

“She-eee had to lea-eeve….Los Angeles!”

X, “Los Angeles”, 1980

For the first time since before the gold rush of 1849, California (statehood: 1850), experienced a population decrease last year. More than 180,000 residents, net, departed, with nearly one-third of them making an exodus from L.A. Where are they headed? Arizona, Idaho, Montana.

Places where life is cheaper and, to be honest, redder. They’re gassing up their private jets in their hangars and flying to Sedona.

Good News From The Apocalypse (And You’re Not Invited)

Took a trip north out of the Valley of the Sun last week, which at first depressed me. Later, though, I was filled with hope.

See, I was raised in the Phoenix area 40 or so years ago when there was no route 51 or 101 or 202 or even 303. The last three are essentially concentric circles ringing the Valley as development mushrooms out of control (where do they think they’re going to get enough water to sustain life, much less golf courses and plush, gated communities with amenity lakes?

And, yes, a lot of the new residents (as my family once was; I’m part of the problem, too) are just seeking better weather. While a shiteload are from California. Anyway, it was depressing to see that there’s really no break in civilization between Phoenix and New River anymore, as you travel up the I-17. And depressing to see haze as I gazed over toward Oak Creek Canyon.

But then, when I reached the Grand Canyon, I peered out across a timeless backdrop that literally took billions of years to take shape. Then, embedded on a rim path, I saw a plaque that gave me hope (also, if this blog’s favorite copy editor happens to reading, one that directly contests what those who follow the Old Testament verbatim would say is the correct age of the planet).

And here it is:

That’s right. The Earth is 4.56 billion years old. Phoenix has only been growing recklessly for about 75 years (post-WW II boom). Civilization as we appreciate it has only been around less than 3,000 years. To give you an approximation of what man’s contribution to this planet has been, in terms of time, it’s about 1/1,500,000th.

In other words if the Earth had been around 1.5 million years, we’ve been around one year. Or, if it had been around 126,000 years, we’ve been around one month. Or if it had been around for 30,000 years, we’ve been around one day.

Think of how long one day is. Then think that man has been around, in civilized form, 3,000 years. So multiply that denominator by 10 without moving the numerator.

That’s our footprint on this massive rock.

It will be around long, long, long after we’re gone. And we will be gone. Because it’s wired within us to have a fatal flaw or two: 1) we are unable to live in peace with one another 2) we don’t come by conservation naturally, 3) we succumb to our appetites and beliefs over rational arguments.

We’re doomed. The planet is not. I feel better.

Still Not Over The Rainbow

In three minutes Randy Rainbow can conjure a more trenchant political Op-Ed piece than all of the minds at The New York Times and Washington Post combined. Well done, sir. I’m tossing garlands your way.

So What Is Dogecoin?

It must be satisfying to be Michael Che. To speak to the world’s second-wealthiest man on live television and point out that his latest money-making scheme is no more valid than a three-card monte game on the corner of 44th an Broadway.

We Just Disagree

A very happy 75th birthday to musician Dave Mason, who in the midst of the disco boom of 1977 released a song that defies genre (adult contemporary, I guess) and was one of the best of its, or any, generation. Mason, from England, was also a founding member of Traffic with Steve Winwood.

A couple more notes on “We Just Disagree”: Mason’s top-charting song, it rose to No. 12 at a time when the Bee Gees ruled the charts. Also, it was not actually penned by Mason. It was written by Jim Krueger, a guitarist in Mason’s band from Wisconsin. Krueger was only 24 or 25 when he wrote the song, whose themes of breakup and loss sound to have come from a much more grizzled and aged soul. Krueger died in 1993 at age 43 of pancreatitis.

2 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. We Just Disagree – a song so good I wish Krueger would have penned a couple more verses so it would last longer.

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