Today’s paragraphs come to us from Scott Johnson and Peter Kiefer’s article for the Hollywood Reporter. They concern the clash of LaLaLand left wing fantasy and RealWorld reality that is currently taking place in Venice Beach, California.
Here are the particulars – and please pay special attention to the parts I have put in bold print:
Los Angeles is grappling with a homeless epidemic. “It’s the worst human catastrophe in America,” says Andy Bales, a pastor who runs the Union Rescue Mission on Skid Row. Faced with a growing crisis, city leaders last year budgeted more than $100 million for affordable housing, addiction treatment, job placement and mental health services. And yet, as L.A.’s real estate prices soar, so does the city’s homeless population. And nowhere have the twin forces of inaccessible housing and inequality created a more explosive mix than in Venice Beach, a hotbed of entertainment executives and talent where the median home price is $1.9 million. Many of these residents are now grappling with a quality-of-life issue that defies their own liberal ideals.
Sleepless in Seattle and Community producer Gary Foster, who moved to the area two years ago from Westwood and works with the homeless advocacy group The People Concern, says he was surprised by the number of residents who expressed exasperation with — if not outright disdain for — the transient population. “They tend to be liberal, they want to do good in the world, but they’re balancing their beliefs with how that might impact the value of their real estate,” says Foster, who began his activism after producing The Soloist, about a journalist who discovers a musical savant living on Skid Row.
“There are actually [residents] advocating driving the homeless out of Venice — shipping them off somewhere, which is such a proto-fascist move,” says television writer Evan Dunsky, a 27-year resident of the area. “And then what? Do we have to build a wall around Venice?“
In other words, left wing (NOT liberal, but left wing) dogma is just fine at public events and cocktail parties. But when the result of that left wing dogma creates a pile of dogma crap – not somewhere out in the distance where it is an abstract talking point, but at your front door – suddenly it’s time to rethink.
You can call it hypocrisy. You can call it self-interest. You can it this a reality wake-up.
But whatever you call it, the fact remains that a lot of supposedly liberal/tolerant folks are finding that it is easier to talk a good game than to live it.
Scott Johnson and Peter Kiefer win Paragraph Of The Day honors for bringing this home so clearly.