Rose Parade

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

No smoke as far as the eye can see

Back in the terrible days of the 1992 L.A. riots, from which in the safety of my San Dimas apartment 30 some odd miles east of Los Angeles, I could see a significant layer of smoke over L.A., I believed I watched a man - Reginald Denny - a real man, not a TV or movie character - literally being killed on T.V. before my horrified eyes. Denny actually survived and if memory serves me correctly forgave his attackers in court. Which makes him a better man than I, (or stupider or more forgiving or maybe smarter) because I believe that like no good deed, no bad deed should go unpunished. Because I believe that you should get what you deserve, good or bad. I like to think I'm admirably objective that way. As Stanley "Tookie" Williams, convicted murderer and co-founder of the dreaded Crips awaited Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's "mercy" (expected, in my opinion, but ultimately denied, resulting in Williams' demise the other night a quarter century after his sentence was passed) there was much talk of "civil unrest" (that's "riots" in plain English) here in the City of Angles if Williams was actually expected to finally pay for his crimes. And I thought, great, that's just what we Angelenos need. And I expected it. Especially now that I reside in the belly of the beast - HOLLYWOOD - without the comfort and protection and distance of the east San Gabriel Valley. And I never thought of it as overreaction. I reasonably (and sadly, IMO) expected rioting on some level. But it's going on a couple days now and no sign of my neighborhood - or anyone else's - erupting into fiery mayhem. Perhaps it's as they say - "With age comes wisdom". Perhaps the celebrity mayhem of Tookie support didn't reflect the feelings of his older, wiser hood, or any of the rest of us, for that matter. Take that self-absorbed celebrities! The normal people have triumphed again. Better yet, get used to it!

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