there’s an important election going on in los angeles right now, and while i hope for the best possible outcomes, i also understand that in no way is a tidal shift possible in american politics. at this point, it looks like the country will implode into fascism before a democratic government—at any level—will functionally exist.

i do love la as a place, as an idea. the art commune of the united states. a refuge for the imagination. everything about southern california offers a respite of sorts—every day the sunshine can act as a refresher to the self. perhaps not forgiveness, but a path to not living in the past. (this has yet to be true for me, but i think it’s possible nonetheless.)

yet la still does exist in the united states, and one way or another, the consequences of this country will certainly fall upon this city. though there are many ways the future could play out here, i can’t imagine any that are halfway-decent. i’d bet the 2024 election, regardless of the outcome, will mark the beginning of the end. questioning the legitimacy of elections has long been sowed into the american psyche, and i’ll be surprised if the results of the next presidency don’t result in all-out war.

with a broken social safety net, a health-care system with no signs of improving, and a complete lack of action on climate change to look forward to if the country can actually stay together, it’s difficult to care much about the future in this city or another.

an excerpt from an e-mail received unexpectedly today from a long-lost friend—

There is rarely anything noble in suffering. There is no shame in removing yourself from an environment that does not suit you. America is cancer and you are not a doctor. You have one life on this planet. Go live it somewhere where there is less injustice, insanity and bullets in the air. You deserve to breathe fully.

I am glad you are taking steps for your health, but I worry it will forever be an uphill battle doing so in America … Now allow yourself the kindness of focusing on the good in the world, as there is plenty. Just probably somewhere else.

this is a sentiment i think about constantly. i look at the past & see the time, effort, and dedication it took to build something i saw a future in. to do that here & now almost doesn’t make sense when i consider the potential for imminent collapse.

it won’t be called ‘martial law’ even though the police will be in charge, supported by the national guard if necessary. on their side will be militias, white supremacists, and any of the ‘blue lives matter’ crowd that isn’t actually a cop. on the other side will be minorities, the poor, and the anti-fascist left. liberals will take the side of the police, but publish op-eds in the new york times, talking about shit like will america ever be united again? & drawing up comparisons to the first civil war.

even if this potential full-scale war never comes to pass, it is almost insane to consider living in this country as having a life. there are still good places in the world where the claws of capitalism have yet to squeeze every last drop of humanity from society. for as forgiving as the morning sun here can be, the nights all shine floodlights on celebrities & promotional events as the houseless & addicted are pushed further into the shadows.

they say there’s always two ways to look at things, but at a point that sentiment just seems irresponsible. it’s declaring a decision to be ignorant toward any problems society may face. it’s a refusal to answer the question, what do we owe each other? while still demanding the rewards only the many can produce. there’s a reason capitalism pushes us all toward individualism. it’s the same reason this future is so fucked.