Hate and Hope

The Canyon ChronicleBy The Canyon Chronicle

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Hate and Hope
Photo by Elisabeth Behrman When the helicopter landed in Bonnell Park, the air was swirling with leaves, dust and chaos.
It seems that the best and worst of America, is right here, in our face, so close we can’t turn away from staring at the carnage. If your equilibrium feels a bit shaky right now, it’s not without good reason. HATE We received a call from a resident (who asked not to be named), who shared a chilling account of being assaulted by loiterers who hang out near the entrance to the Topanga Creek General Store. On October 8, 2020, one of them was ready for a fight should anyone suggest he wear a mask, as happened with the resident. He told the Canyon Chronicle that he was followed into the store to complain that he was being threatened, when the man came up behind him and put him in a headlock. Three other men, who were already in the store, beat him and tried to drag him out of the store, ostensibly to “beat the s—t out of him.” The victim resisted and said that Simon, the store owner, broke up the melee and the men left. The victim walked away with bruises and a mild concussion, later confirmed by his doctor. HOPE We suggested that the assault victim bring the incident to the attention of the Lost Hills Sheriff’s deputy at the January Town Council meeting, which he did. The Town Council is following up with Lost Hills Sheriff who are investigating the incident further. We are reporting it here because it happened and people looked the other way while a man was beaten in front of them. It is the responsibility of the store to protect its customers and seek solutions that will ensure public safety. The Topanga community can surely support them in that effort and so will we. HATE Almost three weeks ago, we experienced the insurrection at the Capitol Building in Washington, DC, instigated by a sitting president, who may never be held accountable. I don’t think I’ve ever hated anyone so much as Donald Trump. Four years is a long time to carry that burden and I still can’t find forgiveness. HOPE Finally, Joe Biden is President with Kamala Harris at his side. As usual, the Republican party have left a mess for the Democrats to clean up. Thank goodness, our new president has lined up a dynamic cabinet of people who know the importance of governing and how to do it. HATE It took 40 years or so for the Republicans to get to the logical conclusion that is Trump and his dream of being “President for Life.” Is that really what they want? Power is an irresistible seductress and she’ll turn on you in a second. That’s what happens when the most important goal on your political platform is to win, at any cost. HOPE “The price of peace is eternal vigiliance” is a quote that comes to mind. It’s attributed to Leonard Henry Courtney, 1st Baron Courtney (July 6, 1832-May 11, 1918), a British politician. The full quote is worth putting in context because it has to do with absolute power: “There is an imperialism that deserves all honor and respect—an imperialism of service in the discharge of great duties. But with too many it is the sense of domination and aggrandisement, the glorification of power. The price of peace is eternal vigilance.” (From “The Life of Lord Courtney (1920) by G. P. Gooch) I have a feeling we’ll all be hypervigilant for a long time. Courtney was also known to have made the first published reference to the phrase, also relevant to today: “Lies—damned lies—and statistics” in 1895. He later became president of the Royal Statistical Society. (wikiquote.org) In this issue, the beauty of hope is that when it manifests, it heals, or at least lightens the heart. We have an example (page 3). A reader, who wishes to be anonymous, wanted to sponsor a full page with examples of “acts of love. “For me,” she wrote, “Love is that secret agent inhabiting all of us…the 007 enabling and urging us to acts of patience and passion and pathos. We want to gobsmack people and renew their hope and courage in each other and the world.” Last weekend, Bonnell Drive wasn’t the sleepy little neighborhood it usually is, what with a rescue helicopter landing in the park. While we wish the victim well, one good thing about a helicopter landing and taking off in the park was that it cleared the ankle-deep sycamore leaves. Of course, the street and neighbors’ yards have yet to be raked. Artist/sculptor Megan Rice is back in the game with a mini-exhibit of drawings and sculptures showing how she coped with the COVID-19 shutdown (pages 10-11). The arts are alive (page 12) with a new song and video by Billy Joseph and his Army of Love; a Zoom performance of Morocco by Topanga Actors Company; and Topanga Gallery’s current show, “New Year, New Dreams,” that goes through January 31. Eric Fitzgerald’s “Rain Report” (page 13) adds the science behind ancient adages to his musings about whether the drought has returned. Finally, Joel Bellman adds his take on the January 6 Capitol Siege with a look back at the 1993 bombing of New York’s World Trade Center and its relevance to today.
The Canyon Chronicle

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January 22, 2021

The arts
Thinking out loud
Covid diary
All things connected
My corner of the canyon