April 04, 2007


Breaking News!! Breaking News!! OK, I'm not exactly sure what's going on, but I guarantee you that right now somewhere in southern California there is something "captivating" happening. With so many people from so many cultures all thrown together in California, there is always bound to be something unusual happening. And the local news stations are sure to be there to bring us live coverage. Fleets of helicopters are hovering over LA at this very moment just waiting to swarm to the next incident ... a high speed car chase, a raging wild fire, a massive pot bust ... there's sure to be something to warrant a media frenzy. If not, we'll get excited over just about anything. I can't even begin to recount all the bizarre stories that I've seen reported on the local news, including a toe-sucking predator, cell-phone heists, and canine hit men.

Something incredible has happened!

It's unbelievable how often the local news casts cut away to cover live "Breaking News." People are intrigued by real-time misfortune and disaster observed at a safe distance, and I didn't realize how captivating it can be until I moved to California. Once, for example, I sat down for lunch and watched half an hour of live footage of nothing but a helicopter circling a wild fire. The only interruption of this phenomenal coverage was a cut away so that viewers could keep an eye on a fascinating car chase and police standoff in progress. Or how about the time a mysterious man on a motorcycle cruised the streets of LA for hours with the cops following him, waving casually to pedestrians while ignoring the flashing lights and sirens behind him. Yes, this is the Southern California that brought us OJ and the "White Ford Bronco."

Typical Californian driver
(photo as found on Flickr)

Perhaps at this point you may be thinking ... "Is California safe?" My friend, the world is not safe. But I am a rational man of probability and statistics, and with over 37 million people living in California, I estimate my chances of being a victim of something reaching "Breaking News" proportions as being "very slim." And besides, southern California is home to places like Irvine, one of the safest cities in the U.S. You'd better have your game on when you enter this town. With Singaporean like zeal, Irvine cracks down on all things "unsightly" including abandoned shopping carts, jaywalkers, late model cars, and poor people. The appearance of imperfection is outlawed. I roll more cautiously in Irvine as I worry that my '93 Accord may lack the mandatory shine and sparkle leading to heavy fines and possible deportation to Santa Ana. It's always refreshing to arrive back home in the LBC ... sometimes a little color in life is worth the extra risk of bodily harm. Yeah ... that's one thing I love about southern California ... it's certainly a "colorful" place. And so I leave you with a link to a local news station's web page ... dedicated to SoCal car chase footage.

Rolling free in the LBC