The stage is set, the actors in place, everyone has rehearsed their lines — and the curtain is up on the drama that will determine the future of LA.
The masses of workers, neighborhood activists, arts lovers, disabled have joined in a chorus with a plaintive song, beating their chests while the princes and princesses of their realm bluster in a cacophony of discordant brays and hoots until they all come together in unison and sing the overture, “Woe is us.”
The shadowy silhouette of the lord of all, King AV, fills the background, breaking his imperious silence from time to time with his lament, “What about me…What about me…”
“Bankruptcy” this Wagnerian opera is called, its opening scene filled with gloom and dread and portents of disasters ahead. Whether it will lead to a new beginning or become the beginning of the end hangs in the balance with the future of LA at stake.
Everyone has offered solutions to the dilemma, all intended to protect what they have, hoping to save themselves from the black plague of bankruptcy.
The unity of the masses dissolves with the Neighborhood Councils singing the aria “We’ve got a right” with other communities of interest offer the counterpoint “We need your help, don’t forget about us.” The workers drown them out with the lively old tune, “We’ve got ideas,
so many ideas, 67 ideas to make our troubles go away, go away.” (Lyrics
Coalition Worker Ideas.pdf}
The princes and princesses then take the front of the stage, each singing a different tune. Prince Alarcon, the absentee lord, screams “Soak the rich” while Prince Bernie offers “We gotta be tough,” Princess Janice “There’s enough for everyone, I love you all” and heir apparent Prince Eric sings his favorite song, “We are all one family, except you and you and you…”
Enter High Priest Miguel, whose calmness is the stuff of saints, his presence bringing stony silence to the assembled players.
“There is an answer to your plaints and prayers,” he sings. “I have it here right in my hand. If only you could read, if only you could read between the lines, you’d see the money lenders will save us this day, they will save the day.”
I could go on but I wouldn’t want to ruin the ending of this great LA drama but I’m not quite sure if it’s grand opera or soap opera.
So I leave it to you to write your own ending.
You can see it through a glass darkly, sliding down a slippery slope of phony solutions, reduced basic services, unending
conflict and unhappiness, in bankruptcy.
Or you can look on the bright side of things, and see this opening act as nothing more than the start of elaborate negotiations that will lead the cast to simplifying their world by going back to basics and each side giving up something, reductions
in salaries/benefits, higher taxes and fees.
Then, everyone would take a seat at the table of power for the grand finale: “We are one, one city, one people, all in this together…”
You decide, it’s your drama.