This being the last day of the year, the journalistic tradition is to do a wrap with a snappy summary of hi lights, and low lights, of the past 12 months, a sort of print Auld Lang Syne.
The song happens to be an ancient Scottish tune; penned by the poet Robert Burn about two friends remembering, “auld lang syne,“ the English translation being “times long past.” It is unabashedly sentimental.
Well frankly, as I comment on public radio 97.5 KBU and select websites everywhere, I don’t feel particularly sentimental about 2016.
The year for me is clouded by the warped election of Trump, a shameless, narcissistic con man, who given his abominable appointments and dimwitted tweets threatens our precarious world.
Time to become more parochial, lose myself in culture, host the children and grandchildren, indulge the dogs, tend the garden, and try to be hopeful.
Certainly hopeful was the local election in Malibu with a majority of the candidates pledged to a more livable and democratic city. I just trust the new council will not fall, as several past council have, into a self deluding trap set by a servile staff and special interests.
Forgive me this holiday season, but time has made me a skeptic, as well as being an unrepentant liberal. Sing a song of auld lang syne; I quote an article I wrote 38 years ago for the L.A. Times:
“Malibu as a way of life is in danger of becoming extinct, its fabled privacy, proud independence and delicate ecology threatened by inevitable change.”I continued: “Nature, greed and government are seen as the major menaces to Malibu,” which I described as a 27 mile long or so wide strip of sparkling beaches, sinuous mesas and stark hills,”
Loved it then; love it now.
The article was written in the aftermath of the Agoura-Malibu fire of Fall 1978 that raced down Trancas Canyon and jumped the PCH to turn several home on Broad Beach to ash. The only thing certain about Malibu, said a fire chief then, is that it will happen again.
For those of us that have known Malibu for decades, it has, several times. Living here makes one particularly sensitive to the smell of smoke, the wail of fire engines.
The article also reviewed the bane PCH traffic had become, as well as the rising real estate prices that were making Malibu more and more exclusive, a weekend retreat for the very wealthy, and less neighborly. We’re talking 1978, so you know where I come from.
The article continued with a litany of concerns, but also included a passionate resolve by residents to continue the good fight to preserve Malibu. It indeed has been continuing these 38 years, and I expect will continue into next year, I hope.