Sunday, October 21, 2007

Ultimate guilt trip

"Every time you tell a lie, God burns a church down."

Or, at least, that's what I'm going to start telling all of my theist friends. ;)
In all seriousness, Malibu is, once again, on fire. You know, having lived in SoCal most of my life, I have to say that it's a rare October when Malibu is NOT on fire. Santa Ana winds, plus heat, plus lots of uncleared and unmanaged brush = wildfires. All of that PLUS a few multi-million dollar homes built by people too stupid to realize that fires are the norm equals sobbing celebrities on the news. There are ten or eleven fires burning between Ventura and San Diego. The air quality sucks ass. *cough* Piru is burning down (wonder what they'll do for filming Big Love?). I hate fires.


Chris said...

As a man of God, I feel very saddened by the images of that church on fire.

...Ok, there go two more churches. Wow, that was easy. It's a wonder there are any churches left, even without the religious help.

I've never really lived anywhere that had to deal with fires like this until I moved to Reno this summer. There were fires everywhere, including one that got pretty close to my place of work. I wasn't concerned, but I could tell some of the people there were frantic because their houses were nearby, on the same hill the fire was on. I remember overhearing a coworker call his daughter and ask if she could see the fire yet, and then being told she could see it from the front yard now. Yikes. I guess the only reason I cared was because these people were ordinary people. If it were celebrities, or the disgustingly wealthy, I'd honestly be giggling my head off.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

There were fires everywhere, including one that got pretty close to my place of work.
I remember we talked about that. That was a huge fire!

I know I'm an awful person for not being all that broken-up by celebs losing their homes... if they lived in places where fires were unexpected and rare, I'd probably be a bit more sympathetic. But, you can't build a house on a brush covered, poorly maintained cliff and then act all shocked when the fire rolls through and your house slides into the ocean during the landslide that always comes in spring (after the fire). It's like Operation Extreme Redundancy when they build their houses in the same exact spot.

AlisonM said...

We have something similar here in NJ, where expensive houses are built along the shore, the owners prohibit access to the beaches and refuse to allow public facilities to be built, but expect taxpayer money to replenish the beaches EVERY SINGLE YEAR. Do I feel sorry when insurance companies deny them coverage? Nope. Does it bother me that the Army Corps of Engineers refuse to replenish unless they allow access, which they don't, or when they subsequently suffer storm damage and have to repair it themselves? Not a bit. However, there are still some old-timers living there who suffer - they haven't sold their little bungalows, and now they can't go on the beaches they've enjoyed for generations, their ocean views are blocked by hulking homes, and their stubborn wealthy neighbors won't make the concessions that will allow beach replenishment and repair, so they suffer more when the storms come through, too.

I think it's perfectly OK to feel bad that open spaces are being destroyed, that disaster is destroying a landscape, and that people who live someplace because they can't go anywhere else (or have been there forever) are displaced or hurt. Even if, at the same time, you laugh a tiny bit at the people who have more money than sense being taught a life lesson. Go ahead.

Nicholas said...

I love that line and i am totally going to steal it!

Of course, if God really did burn down a church every time a Christian told a lie there wouldn't be a church left standing anywhere.

Allyson said...

If it were celebrities, or the disgustingly wealthy, I'd honestly be giggling my head off.

I'm not a celebrity, and given my career choices I don't think I'll ever be disgustingly wealthy, but celebrities and the wealthy are people too. Yes, they made a bad decision by choosing to build homes in spots prone to disaster. But to care about "ordinary" people and ridicule celebrities? Just because some have more money than others doesn't mean they're not human. Mock all equally, and respect all equally, regardless of wealth.

steelcobra said...

well, when they keep putting out the little normal fires that manage the brush (and help certain trees open their seed pods, add nutrients to the soil, etc.) these big fires are bound to happen.