Observing Los Angeles

Bruce Wagner weighs in

From the author's Op-Ed in the New York Times:

The fires have come to Los Angeles again and there is only one thing certain, and it is an obscene horror: there will be a spike in the sales of books by Joan Didion.

Dante’s “Inferno” will also register upticks, as will first-season DVDs of the drama “Rescue Me” and, one would hope, of James Baldwin’s long-forgotten “The Fire Next Time.” The newish movie “Things That Got Lost in the Fire” is being anxiously watched by its distributors, who fear box office receipts will be nothing but embers.

Urban folklore also holds that the only true sign of fire containment here — the “groundhog indicator” — is an annual onslaught of October Netflix requests for the tear-jerker “Like Water for Chocolate.” When online queues for “Water” reach, oh, the 150,000-waitlist point, it is safe to return to charred residential areas.

They call the piece Slouching Toward Santa Monica.


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