Rockcrit and A-Mama Ann Powers thinks way too hard sometimes

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


I can't believe what happened here last night. Griffith Park was one of my three most treasured places in L.A., along with my own neighborhood and the Lower Arroyo Seco.

Walking those mountainous trails has been the main thing that's saved me from deep depression after leaving my beloved friends and family in Seattle and starting a tumultuous new life here. Up there, I pondered the days when movie cowboys would ride on the bridle paths, and felt the glow of Hollywood history. I gazed (through smog, but still) at the expanse of L.A. and marveled at the chance to be in nature right in the center of all that. I got stung by a bee while listening on headphones to John Legend's new album, high high above Dante's View. Now all of that is gone. Well, I know it's not gone, but the park will be scarred for years, all (possibly, they don't know yet) because of a carelessly handled cigarette.

Well, not all because. This piece in my newspaper gives pause to consider the conditions that led to the Griffith Park fire. The park has burned before, but this is the works in decades, and it doesn't seem like a coincidence that it happened now.

It's funny, because just two days ago, I was pondering what disaster would befall SoCal, given the horrors that have hit the Midwest and the South, and the disturbing weather patterns giving my loved ones serious power-outage problems last winter in the Northwest and Northeast. We've had heat, but that's about it, until now. But now I see so clearly that our globally-warmed region is really just a pile of tinder. Horrifying.

I guess it's time to get active on the environmentalist front, for real. Going to Live Earth this July is just not enough. At the very least, I hope to roll up my sleeves, put on a surgical mask and get out and help clear some of my favorite L.A. trails, so that Bebe will someday get to find her own Kantian sublime up there in the dusty sun.