Issue 165 | Editor's Letter
![Alt Text]() Dear Readers, Last year it was unprecedented wildfires, followed by unprecedented rain, which yielded a desert “super bloom” that’s since been trampled to nearly nothing by adventurous selfie seekers. All in idyllic “there are no seasons” Southern California. En route to work this morning, I witnessed countless fallen palm fronds lining the city streets, some dried, some healthy, all victims of severe wind gusts that rattled the city and created for me a coffee-less, toast-less breakfast meeting a short while later at the Chateau Marmont, who’d been without power since late the previous evening. The palm trees of course, like much of this city, are non-native. And yes, like much of this city, the non-natives tend to create fame, to export their recognizability to the world. They’re also dying of a fatal fungus disease and the arrival of the South American palm weevil, which reportedly crossed our southern border in 2011, means the future of the iconic city emblems is shaky at best. It would be nice to have causality for other famous LA imports’ decline into obscurity, but that’s a little less scientific. Not to mention, alimony’s a bitch. And so we present the Cause & Effect Issue, because for every high, a low; for every stop, a go; for every twisted public policy induction, a step backward. We live in times where the effects of our every move seem to amplify or impact beyond our wildest imaginations: on the environment, online, and in our personal relationships. It’s unnerving, freaky, and at times, exciting. Accordingly, we dig into earthquake preparedness paranoia (pg 250), a botched hotel project in Cuba (pg 252), an out and proud adventure to Trump’s White House (pg 258), and analyze the multipronged ways in which music creates desired and undesirable effects in our day to day living (pg 140). We’ve got Grimes (pg 170), whose reinventing and shape-shifting on a daily basis to deal with the effects of fame and fan expectation. There’s Valentina (pg 202) who’s actioning on the power of defeat. There’s Jaden Smith (pg 182), whose crusade to bring clean water to the likes of Flint, Michigan seeks to peel back the effects of exploitative and neglectful cause. Gustavo Dudamel (pg 146), conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, continues his mission of social advancement and empowerment for the underserved through his program, YOLA. Finally, there’s Taron Egerton, who plays Elton John in the new panoramic bio-pic, and surely he’ll be singing Honey when you knocked on my door / I gave you my key. Flaunt, if anyone, believes in that liminal zone between action and reaction, but it’s never a bad time to consider the reverberation around us. The origins, if examined closer, may in fact surprise you. Regards, Matthew