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LAIst Rants: Truth, Speculation, and Something in the Air

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I've gotta abandon the royal "we" for this one, it's just too complicated and I don't want to invoke LAist's good name in the service of my paranoid insanity -- if that's what it is. But what follows is entirely true.

It's hard to spend much time plugged into mainstream media these days without catching the Fear. The real pandemic sweeping the country -- the toxic subsoil of our times -- is the sense that the stitches of bourgeois life have come undone, and it's just a matter of months before our comfy clave gets the stuffing humped out of it one way or another. Watching politicians addressing various grave threats facing us, one gets the sense that not only is disaster inevitable, but any government response will inevitably fall short as well.

Thus with so many threats in the air, as it were, it was a little jarring to awaken one morning about a month ago to the heavy chop of a low-flying helicopter that rattled the windows of my Highland Park bungalow. Peering outside, I saw it turning circles, a large orange-and-white bird trailing a sinister plume of yellowish-brown smoke that settled slowly over the neighborhood. I threw on jeans and ventured outside. The chopper had entered a pattern over Mount Washington. Looking East I saw another one, cruising up the Arroyo, spraying the freeway. A few minutes later it came South again, this time directly over Figueroa.

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I was curious and somewhat alarmed. Certainly, there had been no notice of Malathion spraying, or any such thing; in any case, these helicopters didn't look like bug-sprayers. They were bulky, long and military-looking.