Monday, January 27, 2014

Some Apologies

First, and I would like never to be quoted on this, I would like to apologize to Los Angeles and all of the people in Los Angeles that I like. I'm not prepared to all people of Los Angeles, just relatives and the few other people I know there. I have long been a critic of Southern California in general and Los Angeles in particular, as most self-respecting Oakland residents are. One of my main criticisms, and the one I'd like to apologize for, is the air quality. "I can see the air even before my plane lands!" I would say. "I can't see next door the air is so brown," I would whine! "How can you live here when the air is thick?" I would question. Well, my dear friends in LA, I'm sorry. Oakland is just as bad. For the last two months now that the drought is here (again), the air is brown. The fog is not fog, it's smog. I can't see the hills, the bridge is covered in a thick layer of haze, and basically it's disgusting. It's the LA of the north. I feel a little sick when I leave the house, both because of the air quality and because of my part in it. I'm sorry, friends in LA.

Second, I would like to apologize to Elizabeth Kolbert who writes for the New Yorker. Kolbert is an excellent author and about 5-10 years ago I realized that I absolutely could not read her excellent pieces on the environment because they were too fucking depressing. I can read about wars, I can read about people killing each other and rape and torture and I can work in animal welfare (until I can't) but I cannot read Kolbert's amazing pieces about the horrible things people do to the earth. I'm sorry, Kolbert, you deserve better. Maybe I would do more for the environment if I could stomach your writing on the awful depraved indifference of my kind.

Finally, I would like to apologize to those who do things about the awful depraved indifference of my kind, environmental activists. I would especially like to apologize to the elders of the movement, those grey hairs that we sometimes mock in our heads, the ones from the 60s and 70s who make us think, internally at least, that activism is for the youth. I was one of those active youth in high school and college and I grew out of it, or something. I got busy, I got adult, I don't know- but I should have stayed involved. Because the smog and this nasty environment and all the shit we do without thinking- buying plastic everything, driving everywhere, watering sidewalks, well- it's disgusting and unconscionable. I should have stayed involved like those elders of the movement.

This is not self-flagellation. This is is true, heartfelt contrition. Accept my apology.


thb said...

Not that it is any consolation, we collectively owe ourselves a big apology. And, that's about it, there's no going back to the "good old days" now...