Thursday, May 17, 2007

Natural Disaster, the Relativity of Perspective, and a Girl in Hot Pants

That's the gist of a short piece I wrote for the Weekly in the current issue about watching the Griffith Park fire from Los Feliz. I take the reader on a stroll around the neighborhood and describe the mixture of hellfire above and nonchalance below that created such an odd, dissonant night.

In a sense, the piece is about the relativity of perspective. Watching the fire on TV from thousands of miles away, one might assume the areas surrounding the fire were chaotic -- while, on the scene, lots of people were more worried about getting a second glass of wine while at the cafe. Further, in Michigan, we think people living in disaster-prone L.A. are nuts; in L.A., we think people living in economically depressed Michigan are nuts. Funny how the whole thing works.

6 comments:

Drake said...

that's interesting. it's also really funny to see it works on a even more macro-level between the US and other places around the world. In most cases, people will find a way to justify their respective homes and vilify that of foreign lands.

Craig said...

Lemme ask you this, Paulie: Do you find people living abroad start to adopt the local attitude toward their old home countries?

The City Desk said...

Yeah, whenever I look into the news from Michigan, I feel a mixture of sadness that my home state is in really bad straits these days and a bit of "Man, I cleared out at the right time."

And this is coming from someone who now lives in Philadelphia.

Drake said...

Depends how connected the person is to their home country/state. A 50 year old expat will probably retain impressions of his/her home country, while a college-aged student may be more accepting to differing points of view. In either case: whether moving across the country or the globe, the trick is to "get out young" before you become too cemented in pre-convienced notions of what a place really is about;) like they say, experience is everything!

hudddddd said...

what the hell would you know about it, paul?

Craig said...

Right. Like, where has THAT guy been in his life?