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The Sunday Rumination: Homeless Wars; One Bad Guy At Good Guys Car Show, And Californians – The New Unwanted


Hold your ground, Californians! Apparently we’re not wanted anywhere else!

We used to be the “Go To” State – the Land of Milk and Honey and the destination of choice for The Joads, Wannabe Surfers, New Yawkers tired of life in their Apple and seekers of all stripes seeking enlightenment in a land valued for its dramatic landscapes and homegrown mood elevators.

And now, we’re hearing from those who loaded their wagons and trundled North or East in search of lower taxes that telling people where we’re from doesn’t carry the Golden Key it once did.

Where we used to get: “Ohhhh, you’re from California… do you surf?” from Fredricksburg waitresses and Nairobi barmen, now it’s: “Oh, you’re from California… will you be staying long?”

Except in Nairobi, maybe, they’re still interested in us… and any unused watches we can send them. But something has definitely shifted, br’er Californios, have you noticed? The bloom is definitely off our poppy, the border inspectors linger over our pitiable belongings whenever we dare to cross state lines, and people in the most polluted American backwaters feeling perfectly comfortable poking fun at our politics, our choice of cars, the fact we feel compelled to compost for Gawshsakes.

It’s no longer “Tell me about the beaches and Hollywood…”, now it’s “We hear New Zealand is real nice.”

A political candidate in Boise, Idaho actually proposed building a wall around his state, fer crying out loud, not to keep out unwanted asylum seekers from South America – but to keep out the New Peril, us.

We mean. Like, wow, dude… really? We’ve been to your state several times and enjoyed ourselves but, hey, it’s not all that. Making us out to be the enemy seems like just a slight misplacement of blame.

The problem with living in one place most of your whole life is that you see the changes that come to the gauzy vision of perfection you place over the land when you’re born to it. In California, we’re seeing the sprawl of development, beaches we used to camp on sealed off by Sand Valley gazillionaires afraid of the water but wanting the view, chemical warfare waged between homeowners and homeless people pitching bags of well, shit, over their fences that divide them in the dead of night.

Apparently, oddly, and with appropriate CaliQuirkiness, we’re seeing arrow attacks on a homeless camp in Richmond, a bad guy making off with a treasured ’63 Impala from the Good Guys Auto Show in Pleasanton, and people with tenuous grips on reality arriving here to take advantage of our weather and hospitality – all within the last 24 hours.

We’re seeing shows about life in California filmed in Toronto, our infrastructure sinking faster than a November sunset, neighbors who told us “That’s it, we’re leaving” write to tell us they’ve found all the problems they were hoping to escape waiting for them in Boise or Portland or Houston or Phoenix – and asking if they can come back.

What’s it all mean, Binky? We wish we knew. Right now we’re hardening our toehold in the Fools Gold State and digging in, working to sever our tether to utility companies we have lost faith in and restore our shaky section of real estate to something resembling the Califia of ancient lore.

Is it hard? Yep. Is it expensive? What isn’t? This is California, after all. Will it be worth it? We’ll just have to see, right now we think it may be time to circle the wagons – the arrows are flying again and the natives appear restless.


  1. Fifth largest economy in the world. Wealth and power and extreme income inequality tends to produce a world of anxiety, jealousy, and bewilderment as to who we are and how we got here both within and without the great state of California. If you want to understand what is good about it, move somewhere else for a while. I always hear the noodling is great in Oklahoma, but I just won’t bite.

  2. Efforts to recall Gavin Newsom are alive and well and gaining steam. Are you really surprised that people in other states don’t want the politics that created this mess in California? I love California but don’t consider dense housing environmentally sound and am sure the hell not giving up my car. If Democrats would stop fighting with Republicans and vice versa long enough to see that they’re biting off their noses to spite their faces we could redirect this energy towards demanding sane solutions and routing out corruption.

    • Nobody is ask you to give up your car.

      Condos and apartments walkable to transit and amenities are more environmentally prudent than car dependent “semi-rural” areas. We don’t tell you what to do with your property. Please don’t cast baseless aspersions about what others do with their property.

      • Apartments and condo’s have been around forever and I have no objection to them. I do object to an individual responding with to my comment with “we don’t tell you what to do with…”. Who are you speaking for? The state is definitely telling people what to do with their property. Look at SB50. You can be as nasty as you want to others but it doesn’t change the truth.

  3. Just a quick note, folks: No personal shots or hitting below the belt, okay? We’re getting some interesting commentary, and we’re here to hear what you have to say. Feel free to make a point, defend it if called upon to do so without calling the other guy a poopoo head or worse… Not calling anyone out for it, but we’d rather see what’s on your mind than have to delete your post. Ed.

  4. Along with our veterans today I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to the police and paramedic crews increasingly called upon to handle some of societys most troubled individuals. It is no easy thing and they are doing a great job – they are owed a debt of gratitude by a nation only interested in quick fixes. There are all kinds of front lines and it takes all kinds of people to suit up and fight the fight.

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