DECAY IN L.A.

       
 

REBELLION

 
       
   
It is 1992, a warm Thursday afternoon in April and the verdict has just come in. The cops involved in the Rodney King beating have been acquitted.
     
The air is thick with smoke and danger, punctuated by the crackling of automatic weapons.
 
Panic sweeps over me and I have to fight the urge to flee the city for the suburbs.
 

Is this the beginning of the Revolution? Will a new world finally rise from the ashes? Or is it the Apocalypse?
 

 Rubble in L.A.
 
 

MY CITY

 
     
In Los Angeles destitution is everywhere, and spreading.
In this broken city do seeds lie somewhere, hidden and dormant, that might someday provide the blossoming of human potential at long last?
   
   
Or is everything dead and dying, crushed beneath decades of poverty, oppression and neglect?
       
 

MY NEIGHBORHOOD

 
This is no Brentwood, no gated, guarded, hermetically sealed island of privileged whiteness.
     
 
My neighborhood is well armed. This is evidenced by the noisy firefight my neighbors have with the sky every New Year's eve, blasting away with everything from handguns to heavy machine guns.
       
 
Fear has overwhelmed what is most human in us, so we arm and armor ourselves to protect against anticipated horrors yet to come.
 
       
 

MY APARTMENT

 
       
   
My cubicle consists of one room roughly the size of a shoe box, with no heat and lots of roaches.
 
       
 
We live like caged animals, frightened and well trained, timidly prowling the tiny territory of freedom we are allotted.
 
       
 

MY LIFE

 
Why I am living in the belly of this sprawling, wounded beast?
     
 
Am I destined to live among the ruins like the walking dead, permanently numbed by alienation, oppression and fear?
 
       

COMPLETE TEXT OF "DECAY IN L.A."