Deep-rooted instincts drive me to bury myself in reading in the face of disaster.
Disaster arrived. I began to read. I read books on men and reactionary political movements. It seems in questionable taste to write anything about this, maybe to write about anything. In any event, these seem like the right books to read, at least.
I can’t make any sense out of the any of this.
I live in Santa Barbara. The events of this past weekend took place in Isla Vista, a student community that abuts the campus of UC Santa Barbara.
Isla Vista is an imaginary, unincorporated peninsula, sandwiched between the ordinary and the Pacific Ocean. It is a space both of aggressive enjoyment and chronic abandonment. Every spring: the children of the wealthy throw their couches into the ocean. Everyone looks like the people on television. Walking its streets, I often have the sense: “this is a dangerous place.”
My family lived in Isla Vista when I started graduate school, far enough away from the congested boulevards near the beach to maintain our sanity, close enough to get some sense of the area’s gnarled libidinal trap economies.
Recently, we moved downtown. I work, primarily, from home, writing a dissertation. I was home when I heard the news. I tried to let my friends and family know we were safe.
I would like to be safe.
I would like to help Ron Cohen, President and CEO of Sig Sauer with his insomnia and loss of appetite, with his nervous shakes when Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War” comes on the radio.
“Make something else,” I would tell him. “We don’t need what you make.”