Comet Fragments

Building dense cities was California’s cure for the housing crisis. Then came coronavirus: This perspective that LA’s sprawl and car dependence has protected it from COVID 19 is one that I’m starting to see again and again. Frankly, it is some of the plain dumbest shit I’ve ever seen in my life.

Like, it’s right in the article:

Highly populated cities in Asia, including Seoul, South Korea; Tokyo and Hong Kong, have seen a fraction of New York’s cases. The same is true for America’s next densest big city, San Francisco, which issued a shelter-in-place order nearly a week before the East Coast metropolis. As of Saturday, the Bay Area city had reported only about 1,300 confirmed cases — compared with more than 8,450 in the city of Los Angeles.

It’s just like – hey motherfuckers, obviously density is not the problem. And as for building LA dense, far as I could see, that project largely consisted of putting seven story luxury condos near subways, thus forcing working people to live at greater distance from it, and turning public transit into a fucking amenity. I love LA but the place is fucking bonkers. And I’ll never get why America always believes the solutions are the problems. Ass backwards bullshit.

‘Heads we win, tails you lose’: how America’s rich have turned pandemic into profit: Fuck these people. Seriously.

The Essential Workers America Treats as Disposable:

The system does discriminate. So people working from home now, bored and frustrated that they have to home-school their kids, they have no idea how much death and illness is rampant in the communities that we represent. And that is deeply disgusting.

Therapists Are Teaming up to Give Free Sessions to Essential Workers: This story was shared out by my old union and I’ve got to say . . .

Look, I’m in favor of everyone getting the help they need. But I’m also wary of the role psychology, filtered through HR departments and business productivity courses, plays in propping up some of The Evil Bullshit. It too often confuses health with productivity and locates what can be A REAL FUCKING PROBLEM in the worker’s psychology. As it does so, it removes politics, absolves the bosses of any blame, and pathologizes what might be a totally correct reaction to a completely fucked up situation. It often puts workers on some misguided and trrite project of “self-improvement” rather than direct them towards political action. When cashiers are suffering from PTSD, yes, they need treatment. They probably also need their workplaces re-organized. They need to get rid of the source of the trauma.

Having said that, if you need the help, get it. Some of this stuff is damage control and, god knows, there’s a lot of damage. I’m just saying, the causes of this damage must also be dealt with. And those causes are not in your head. They are real.

Safety: Bosses Want to Fix the Worker, Unions Want to Fix the Job: Along those lines.

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