Issue 155 | Editor's Letter
Lest I must confess, my destiny’s manifest / in some Goretex and sweats / I make treks like I’m homeless
– The Fugees, “Ready or Not,” The Score (1996)
Here in California, we’re under the constant threat of the impending “Big One”, a subterraneous and declarative belch beneath the now more famous than ever – thanks to his highness The Rock – San Andreas Fault, which would rattle the bejesus out of the Angels’ city, sending jiggles and shakes up the West Coast.
A recent animated graph on The Los Angeles Times website demonstrates the prospective course of travel taken by an 8.2 magnitude-level earthquake originating beneath the nearby inland desert – home to the San Andreas’ beefiest artery – and it basically looks like a veritable end of days, a starburst-esque green to yellow to red hellfire tumor pumping into the Los Angeles basin (a bit like a tour stop from The Chainsmokers).
Knowing all this, and true to American form, it’s full speed ahead! O’er collapsing bridges, inside ill-equipped firetrap high-rises, and beneath crumbling schools. We shoulder hubristically onward, assuming the would-be calamity caused by such a belch is for them, not me: a bit like the city’s homelessness epidemic, driving a Chevy Spark, or the shortage of sushi-preferred creatures in our polluted, warming oceans.
Fittingly, we’ve already seen the current presidential administration announce fund-cutting for an early earthquake warning system that could substantially save SoCal lives and trauma – now in development for many years – satisfying the ideal that you’re only as good as your last mixed-purpose, multi-level with security, underground parking, and a rooftop pool: sold and not sustained.
Contrary to the breakneck onward/upward crowd, you’ve got the folks that argue the quake’s already struck our city, first originating in Washington and then fanning globally (who needs to warn of earthquakes when you are the earthquake?). And it’s these shell-shocked folks, and any others who deem themselves well-heeled enough (Bitcoin, exotic shells, cold hard cash, etc.) we’d like to invite to FYSTYVL – a top influencer #sponsored luxury festival on a romantic, private island designed to bitch slap our D1/D2 receptors, pummel our bank accounts, and free our minds from such oppression. Note: you can see a well-positioned advertisement for FYSTYVL in the pages previous, and read about it editorially a few spreads back (page 52).
Following your advertorial manipulation, I invite you to opinions from message makers Riley Keough (page 176), Halsey (page 134), and Jenny Sabin (Page 142), plus “Stop, Drop, and Hold On” – an about-to-pop young Hollywood feature, created in collaboration with Prada. Explore topics like porn addiction, lining eight balls with RATT, or the art of obsolescence to understand where we’re coming from with this Aftershock Issue: New America.
When it all shakes out, perhaps that’s the charm and wonderment of the modern USA. Did it already happen? Is this the end of some sort of Gilded Age? The season finale? Series finale? Or is the real destiny manifest just around the corner? Are we enjoying the Age of the Influencer? Or suffering a digital Influenza? If I blind copy the husband of my CEO onto emails meant for the CEO, is that collusion? And will this pair of twelve thousand dollar tickets I just grabbed for FYSTYVL finally get me laid?
Enjoy the issue and don’t say we didn’t warn you.