Sunshine peeks through the clouds, the cynics with all their money and power vanish to their private enclaves, double-dipping Dennis Zine roars off on his Harley to his posh desert hideaway never to be seen again — the costliest, most tediously painful, anti-climactic city election is finally over.
Happy days are here again in this wonderland called L.A.
Enjoy it while you can because come July 1 order will have been restored, Garcetti will be BFF with everyone from Bill Clinton to Brian D’Arcy, Galperin will have his marching orders from labor and the party, and Feuer will posture and preen to the same political pretenses without even being told.
All’s well that ends well. Nothing really changes.
L.A. — you got to love it, the light and dark, the creative genius of it so visible in a new generation of artists, chefs, entrepreneurs and gangsters, so fading in an old guard that sees itself as so much better than the millions of minions so far below, the poor, the immigrant, and most of all the bourgeoisie they despise as nothing more than cash cows.
It has always been that way in L.A.
Nothing that happened Tuesday is going to change that unless you believe in miracles, believe that a man who has known privilege all his life, who believes that City Hall is “a temple of democracy,” a man who has trouble keeping his word will “rise to the occasion,” as editorial fantasists put it, and find strength and courage to stand up with love and respect for all for the greater good.
Unknown to world of self service that clothes itself in the noble language of public service, something great and wonderful is happening, mainly among the young in all their diversity filled with hope and mutual respect.
A new culture filled with promise is being born. Like everyone who has ever been drawn to the place where dreams are manufactured and sold, their imaginations are lit by the myths of unlimited freedom and endless possibility.
It is not the discontent of the alienated, apathetic and defeated that needs to be tapped but the dreams of something better of those who seek their destinies without access or control by the world where all that talks is power and money.
It’s the beauty of the existential dilemma of living in L.A. now that the Grand Coalition of business, labor and civic elites that bet on a loser who, like them, was incapable of articulating a single idea, not even a single phrase, that contained a word of truth, of real hope.
Garcetti has barely a month to put an agenda on the table that sends the unions, the developers, the political apparatchiks, the big shots reeling back on their heels and inspires the forgotten and ignored.
We don’t need sound bites and pieties. We need leadership, bold and courageous.
If Garcetti wants to be President like most politicians, he needs to make his mark now or he will find he won’t even be mayor all that long.
Democracy isn’t about voting, especially when the system is so closed that it’s always a choice between the lesser of two evils.
It’s about empowering people to feel they matter and that they can be effective at achieving their goals individually and collectively to create a community that reflects their values, meets their needs and serves their interests.
This is L.A. and nothing can stop any of us in our pursuit of private dreams and personal lives wherever that journey may lead us. It’s our collective lives that are lacking.
Maybe that’s why we have been so indifferent, so myopic and self-absorbed, so disengaged that we let the forces of greed and selfishness in all their forms operate without impunity for the last three decades.
Personally, I set out five years ago this month to do what I could to make a difference.
I posted 1,910 blog items, drafted 161 others and killed 3. I started protests and activists groups, went to hundreds of meetings, created an online citizen journalism project. It was all for nought except to know in my heart that I did what I could.
Now, it’s time to get on my shiny new bike and start riding down the billion-dollar bikeway in the L.A. river channel from Winnetka to Long Beach even if it takes me five more years.