The November Editor's Letter: The Wasteland
This past weekend, after more than seventeen days of flames blazing through 153,000 acres of land, the Camp Fire in Butte County was officially declared as contained.
Down South, more than 100,000 acres were burned in the Woolsey and Hill Fires raging through Malibu, Ventura, and surrounding areas. With each year bringing greater wildfire and drought, more fear and frenzy, the Golden State can, at times, appear to have lost an insuperable amount of luster. If paradise burns, does it then cease to be paradise? Perhaps we have been kidding ourselves with this notion of westward perfection; how long before it’s just wasteland?
I’d argue, however, that any dream worth its salt should be put up for review every once in a while. Lay the cards on the table and decide, is it worth it? Generations of Californians have had to ask themselves this same question. They asked after the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Then Loma Prieta in 1989. The mudslides of 2005. Not to mention the unnatural disasters we’ve self-inflicted: political riots, social uprisings, counterculture radicalism.
// Feature photo by Marcus Kauffman.