Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Voices

GRIPE : Loving Nature, Until the Mud Comes : Individualists who demand to live on the bluff or beach sing a new tune when disaster strikes.

March 31, 1995|ANTHONY GARAVENTE | Anthony Garavente lives in Los Angeles.

Mudslides are again threatening some Southern California homeowners. If it's not rivers of oozing mud, it is raging fire or pounding storm surf that endanger the comfortable domiciles of some holders of "unique" property. Though we flatlanders want to show sympathy, some of these disaster victims make it difficult.

You know who I mean: his house has to be situated in the midst of high chaparral, at the edge of a bare hillside or a few yards from the largest ocean in the world. Only when he can smell the eucalyptus, gaze at the horizon or hear the pounding surf can domestic tranquillity be found. When other people, including geologists, architects and building inspectors, warn him of the dangers, they are waved off as so many wimps who are afraid to stand alone against the elements. They are part of the masses, not real individualists. This "eco-hero" wants to escape the maddening crowd of city and suburb to his own special retreat.

Nobody, especially not a government representative, is going to tell him where to build his private property. Regardless of the risk, this Superman lives where he wants!

Then, one not-so-fine day, disaster strikes and Superman loses his home. Super-individualist quickly remembers he is part of a community after all. He quotes, "No man is an island." He finds a telephone booth and becomes Clark Kent again, that ordinary taxpayer.

While he's in the booth, Clark calls the government--municipal, county, state, federal--to send all the help it can, no matter what the costs are to those of us who have our less expensive homes on safer ground. He won't listen to any talk of tight budgets; the funds must materialize, like a genie from a bottle. If Clark can't find some government functionary to bail him out, he is not shy about asking the Salvation Army, the Girl Scouts or the PTA. I mean, it's not his fault his unique house was destroyed!

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|