Remember that episode of Seinfeld where they were going to go see a movie called FIRESTORM? Well, someone should be filming all this so that…wait, wait, they are. It’s pretty hard to figure out what’s going on with the Towering Inferno that is my surroundings because if there’s one thing the news likes to do, it’s have a big spazzy freakout. Speaking of which, here’s the venerable Orange County Register if you want updated info (beware spazzy freakout)!
So, the big news here is that FEMA is coming, to which I say…my God, what have we done?!? FEMA? It’s bad enough here without whatever FEMA will do to create even more of a clusterfuck of infernal (or, as I like to say, "infernic") blazes.
I’ve been pretty upset about this fire, much to the consternation of anyone who has lived in SoCal for more than a few years; they are all totally used to this kind of thing. And I should be too, considering that New York City blew up when I was there–but the thing is, in New York I was legitimately concerned that the capital of the world was on fire. New York is the greatest city in the country (pace St. Louis) and as it devolved into temporary chaos, I thought to myself: well, if I croak, at least it will be here in the middle of everything, in the greatest city ever.
Fast forward six years and Irvine, my new home, is on fire, and I am pissed about it, and I will tell you why: Orange County is the fucking Apocalypse WITHOUT being on fire. It was Hell on Earth already. I often thought to myself while stuck in traffic-de-maroons on the way somewhere I really could have walked if they had built this godforesaken area into a grid: this is the worst place in the country. This place could not get any worse. If it weren’t for the wonderful German department at the University of California-Irvine I would be back in New York begging for my professional-TV-watcher job back in five seconds. Orange County is the most deadening, soul-sucking, miserable dystopia in the country anyway; how can the fire make something that couldn’t be worse worse? And the fire is just burning the last pieces of wilderness here–if wildfires were attracted to strip malls and megachurches, it would be another thing altogether. Because that’s the weird thing. Everyone here is feeling woozy and uncomfortable because the air quality is so terrible, and yet–many of us can’t help but say to ourselves: I would not be heartbroken if Irvine burnt to the ground (with everyone and their pets safely evacuated, of course–and this does NOT mean I condone arson; who are we kidding? I hate fire. I HATE FIRE). It’s a weird feeling.