Literal and figurative purge tonight. Nearly one million people have been driven from Southern California homes that stretch across an area 150 times larger than that fire they're still talking about in Chicago. A good friend of Anna's lost his house, which means a good friend of mine who lives in the neighborhood probably did too, and odds are, with a million and counting driven from their homes by a billion and counting dollars worth of damage, that you too know someone affected by a disaster officials are now saying is "days away at the earliest." It's hard not to be awed at the magnitude of it, or that there have thus far been so few human casualties, or that, not that I feel like getting meta- on you at a time like this or quite frankly ever again, Michael Brown is offering himself up to be interviewed as to how to begin to answer these questions.
"It was nuclear winter. It was like Armageddon. It looked like the end of the world... I lost count" of how many homes burned, one firefighter said, while an evacuee remarked about her husband's not-exactly-attractive trailer: "I'll never complain about this trailer again."
Not that means shit about shit, but I never thought I had to worry about Southern California. They always seemed to have it all: dirt cheap wine, Trader Joe's, beaches, weather free of rain and humidity and cold and really anything else that might cause a citizen stress or discomfort; cheap rents compared with what I'm paying; In-N-Out; awesome drives. When I moved east from LA I would spend a few nights a week lying fully-clothed in a tanning bed all winter long just to keep from falling into crippling depression; that's the sort of motivation and irrepressible positivity I was missing out on just waking up there every morning and maybe that's why it's harder to fathom the tragedy capable of occurring there.
The research is telling us we'd better get used to it, and Michael Brown would probably say the same thing, because they said the same thing about Katrina, but Jesus Christ it's hard to know how to react to that except to say, "Shut up, fuckshit, there's nothing for you to say right now just sit back and don't be afraid to be service-y for once in your life...
Inside Qualcomm Stadium [Wonkette]
Bush will show up despite all that ish Dana Perino said, don't have it in me to make fun of him right now guys [Washington Post]
LA Times columnist Steve Lopez wonders why the military isn't helping out right now to relieve the burden of the firefighters and various other things as he moves around the area dumbfounded [LA Times}
Weather is still the biggest variable [LA Times]
A USA Today commenter smells "terrorism" [USA Today]
The WSJ's Interactive Map
The San Diego Union-Tribune's Interactive Map
The LA Times' Interactive Map
Oh and by the way Condi Rice wants Blackwater guys to start taking cultural awareness classes [MSNBC]
And Rudy Giuliani hired a pedophile priest [Wonkette]
And I bet you were wondering what the second most-viewed article on the LA Times website was throughout all of this [LA Times]