Raison d’etre

First off, this is a very Pasadena-specific post. Dear reader that does not live in Pasadena, my apologies. Might I suggest you visit Susan’s site and watch the splendid Food Fight – a history of wars told by food. I laughed out loud and felt guilty because, well, war isn’t funny!

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Breaking news: Miss Havisham has a (written) chat with Interim CM Melekian. He reads her blog! Awwww…

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Last night, I had a dream. In the dream, Miss Havisham and I were hanging out and talking. We had been on the train together (it looked more like London’s tube than the Gold Line).

On the train with us was a mom with a lot of kids. The youngest kid (looked to be around 2 years old) had been playing around us on the train, so when we got off, that kid tagged along. We went to a living-room-like space and continued chatting. I was aware that the kid’s mom was close by (in the next room), but it was clear that Miss Havisham and I were keeping an eye on the kid.

(Gross out alert.) The kid wasn’t wearing a diaper, and sure enough—poop happens. At first it was a little, and then it got to be a lot. Then the kid had a vacuum in his hand and was ‘vacuuming’ the room but had no awareness of the poop that needed to be cleaned up. The dream ended with me thinking, “One of us is going to have to hose this kid down.”

I’ll leave you to your own interpretation.

There were several troubling posts in the Pasa-blogosphere this week, listed here in the order I read them:

First—Little Quits Underbelly, Charges Off On His OwnPaul Little gives Dormitas back the keys to the blog, says this “avenue of discourse has devolved into a forum for anonymous smears of people…many of whom are friends of mine.” Does he mean the Underbelly site only? The Pasa-blogosphere in general? With a name like Underbelly…

I countered in the comments that the site is featherweight compared to what happens in private conversations around town. Jill and Miss Havisham agree with Paul that the vibe has gotten weird. What am I missing?

Second—AP’s rant about Larry Wilson. Clearly, no love lost between the two of them. Fine. Our civic elasticity can handle this, can’t it?

Finally—(related to the AP rant) The Foothill Cities Blog post about Larry Wilson. Writing about Katie Nack, Wilson suggests that, “It’s that people don’t live the kinds of lives that create hundreds of good reasons to write general-interest news and feature stories about them.” He goes on to say that even if they did, the printed newspaper of today wouldn’t have room. And blogs? Well, we wouldn’t have anything to say about Katie because we’re “snarky” and have a “short attention span.”

I shot my mouth off in the comments and said I was going to shoot a pit bull in the balls (referencing the push to make spaying/neutering mandatory) in honor of Mr. Wilson. That may be snarky, but it is also ironic. Sarcastic. Whatever. Someone else commented that I should leave the dogs out of it. Sheesh. Does one have to issue a disclaimer with every comment?

Am I part of the problem or part of the solution?

RANT ALERT – RANT ALERT – RANT ALERT – I did not set out to blog about Pasadena. This is my personal blog. I write about Pasadena because 25 years ago, I made a conscious choice to live in Pasadena’s District 1. I made a conscious choice to send my kids to public school. I volunteered in a lot of classrooms to keep an eye on things. I’ve worked with third graders who couldn’t read, mopped up the mess when the PTA president ran off with the candy money (she moved to Pomona and used the dough as down payment on a van).

The experiences that I have had through the years have led me to believe that Pasadena is a very divided city. We are racially divided. We are economically divided. The majority of large family for whom I have acted as an ad hoc social worker ended up leaving Pasadena for more affordable climes–Highland Park, Glassell Park, Utah and North Carolina to be exact.

Pasadena’s blogsphere certainly runs the political gamut. Still, most people in Pasadena really do care about the problems we have (gangs, violence, need for more sources of mental health care, need for better public schools, etc.). I hope the local blogs provide a foundation not just for civic discussion, but for action.

Let’s not pine for the good old days. In the case of Pasadena, our best days are yet to come.

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4 Responses to “Raison d’etre”

  1. Miss Havisham Says:

    Why do we have to watch the kid poop?

  2. Kelly Says:

    That’s a good question. I guess the kid represents some out-of-control element. We’re witnessing the ‘display’ – so why don’t we go get the mom to clean it up? Does the kid represent a single person, a group of people, the whole city? I don’t know.

  3. AP Says:

    Me blogging about Larry Wilson being a jerk is like dedicating a new blog to the discovery of sliced bread.

    I just say what others have been saying before I even arrived on the Dena scene.

    Great blog and very odd dream, btw.

  4. AP Says:

    P.S. I love Pasadena.

    Sometimes when you love something so passionately, you have to get a little angry about things.

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