On Not Feeling Bad That "The Hills" Are Burning

Illustration for article titled On Not Feeling Bad That "The Hills" Are Burning

UPDATE: Upon further reflection I deemed the post that follows to be a victim of premature-meta oversnark and apologized to California here, because we are all about good vibes at Jezebel.
Whoever told that poet the world might end in fire never watched Heidi Montag valiantly wielding Spencer Pratt's hose. Did you know there are wildfires laying waste to the houses of Jennifer Aniston and Sean Penn, the Cox-Arquettes and Tori Spelling? Nobu, too! And Britney Spears' new mansion, which in the one sound decision she has made in the past five centuries, she only purchased the option to buy; maybe that's why she's leisurely shopping right now! The fabulous people losing their homes will have to have their people find other people to coordinate the insurance and the general contractors and accountants, etc. And the mere mortals crowding into Qualcomm Stadium — hey, at least they're getting free gourmet food and massages right now, compliments of the Governator. Don't get me wrong: I'm not trying to make light of the irreplacable collection of Elvis Presley memorabilia was forever lost, except that it goes without saying that I am.


The fact that the fires have focused their efforts on what was a year ago the country's most overheated real estate market reminded me of a few things. Number one, San Diego is rich. Sure, it is not universally rich. But it is not fucking New Orleans, though its relative lack of black people is surely going to make for a great week of ratings for Sean Hannity, and I should add here that it is not only rich but vastly Republican, and not coincidentally unforgivably stupid, as well as a breeding ground for Al Qaeda cells. But anyway, thanks to the once-overheated real estate market begat by shady condo developers in desirable markets like San Diego, people all across America are losing their homes — and in many cases, huge stacks of personal information which will be used by identity thieves to fuck up their lives — in cases a lot less dramatic, but no less migraine-inducing, and much more common, than whatever Heidi and Spencer are putting up with right now. So yeah, my heart goes out to the one San Diegan that has lost his life in this tragedy, but otherwise they seem to have things under control.



WRONG. As a teacher in San Diego's largest school district, I can tell you not everyone is San Diego is rich. We have a low income population whose plight is made even worse by the incredible cost of living in California. We also have a population of migrant workers and their families who are struggling daily to surivive. Did you forget that part of our *easy* life in San Diego?

As a person who is living in a middle class to lower middle class area of San Diego and who has spent the past two days awake, waiting for the reverse 911 call or knock on the door from the police tell me to evacuate, I can tell you that this tragedy may not be as bad as Katrina, but it is just as frightening and stressful. Some people have lost their homes twice in the past four years-once in the fires happening right now and once four years ago. It may be less dramatic to you, but I am living it. I am the one waiting to be forced to evacuate my home and hope it doesn't burn down in firestorms that firefighters can't control.

And seriously, people are having a good time at Qualcomm stadium? These people are waiting out the firestorms, hoping their houses didn't fucking burn down. Use google maps to check how many people fled to the Q after the Harris fires went crazy last night. People living in Spring Valley and Lemon Grove are not rich.