Life: What is Los Angeles? edition

“One day the whole world was going to look like Los Angeles, he decided, not a city, nor the absence of a city, just ruined countryside, with houses squeezed between highways which never tired of whispering the lie that it was more interesting to go somewhere than to be here. The entire westward drive of American history seemed to have piled up on the beach, and the descendants of wagon-crazed pioneers, refusing to accept completely the restraint of the world’s widest ocean, frantically patrolled the edge of the West, like lemmings in therapy.”

—Edward St. Aubyn, On the Edge, which is good but still only a lead up to Bad News.

As for Los Angeles in specific and the California temperament in general, “Refusing to accept restraint” is a good thing: it drives technology, progress, and the whole human enterprise. No wonder Silicon Valley is in Silicon Valley and not somewhere else, somewhere where restraints are accepted rather than challenged.

Unfortunately in many domains California is now quite willing to accept restraint, to the detriment of everyone.

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