Dear folks, I have spent a lot of time in San Diego and am pretty familiar not only with its economic and ethnic and political diversity, but with many of its residents, to whom I must now apologize for saying something so insensitive at a time of such urgency and horror. Look, I hate tragedy and destruction too. When I wrote that I didn't feel bad about the fires engulfing "the Hills" right now I was trying to make a point about how the presence of Heidi and Spencer and Britney and the Terminator and assorted other tabliverse regulars had inured me to the tragedy in much the way the presence of impoverished black people inured a lot of people to the tragedy of Katrina. In part, I blame watching The O'Reilly Factor last night.

You should have seen it; he had a body language expert analyze whether Ellen Degeneres was "faking" her on-screen breakdown and assorted other treasures. Anyway so my insensitivity was sort of preemptive to the insensitivity I anticipated from him and Hannity and friends, which upon reflection was a bad call; I mean obviously, fuck what those guys think. I really hate people who think the answer to the Right's lack of human empathy is to pretend anyone on the Right is not human, so why did I just almost become one of them?

Frankly, San Diego, I do not give a shit if you voted for Bush or Kerry in the last election: I ache for your losses either way. I am also impressed by your heroism and resourcefulness. It still saddens me to say I have more confidence that, when it all blows over, most of you will rebuild your houses and lives quicker and more successfully than the victims of disaster in most other corners of the world; I think that's just how liberals are. It reminds me of the time, during Katrina, that I met a Kerry campaigner in Ohio who mused that he wished the death toll would go higher and reach that of 9/11.... well, fuck if that's not a warped way to have to think about things!

Anyway, so: I am really, really thankful for every Californian whose life was spared in this, including those of all the celebrities whose photos = my livelihood, and from now on I hope we can all just drop all the schadenfreude and learn to be inspired by our fellow humans for once.


Ha ha ha, that last part was a joke.