Underwater Felton by Wes Modes.
“Pen and ink with ink wash. I created this one particularly rainy winter in my hometown in the coastal California mountains and imagined what would happen if the waters continued to rise and rise. This was the first in a series of paintings that envisioned sea level rise.”
Here’s a link to Here’s the deets.
Are you an illustrator? Want to submit the next cover? Here’s the deets.
Thanks to our generous hosts at this beautiful land in Aptos. We are fortunate to have fine friends who set us up with outdoor furniture, a fridge, and delicious food regularly. We are grateful to the firefighters who are risking their lives to control the CZU Lightning Complex Fire.
This is the climate change evacuee camp from which this issue of Unavoidable Disaster is being edited this month.
[We are now back in our homes and they did not burn down, though it was fucking close with the fire getting within 600 feet of our neighborhood. Others were not so lucky. If you have the means, consider donating to help friends and contacts rebuild or move to Nova Scotia. -Ed]
While evacuated from home in Felton because of the fire I thought of this graphic I made years ago, and it gave me some comfort. Now I’m home again (and home and art left behind isn’t part of an ashy ruin). Other people aren’t so fortunate.
And there’s more to unpack about this moment – the impacts of the calamity that is capitalism – human induced global warming – consequences of colonization and displacement of indigenous people (still here and connecting to land – more about Santa Cruz Fire Overnight Offers/Needsand more…
And something that I also want to acknowledge and celebrate is how so many people have come together during this challenging time to support one another. When the smoke clears more and more (ah, the cliche feels literal) may we continue to prioritize caring for each other and harvest the lessons from this time for more fundamental changes for how we live our lives.
At https://www.instagram.com/santacruzmutualaid/ – in story and posts // also check out https://linktr.ee/scmutualaid – with links to docs for: CZU Fire relief for houseless Santa Cruz residents // Santa Cruz Fire Overnight Offers/Needs // and other support efforts also ongoing in Santa Cruz area.
Deadringer is the debut solo studio album by RJD2. It was released on Definitive Jux on July 23, 2002. It features vocal contributions from Blueprint, Jakki da Motamouth, and Copywrite. It is considered one of five formative sound collage/sampling albums, along with DJ Shadow’s Endroducing, that defined a genre.
Not much, really. But yeah.
We have to pay an impressive staff of interns, web developers, editors (who themselves chalk up a hefty line-item budget of hookers and blow), lawyers, and “research assistants.” Plus our internet service no longer lets us pay for web hosting with sexual services.
If you can, please pony up to help us pay for this fucking Disaster.
We have images of my friend Andreas Dunn from around the world looking miserable. This one is from our trip to Peru. It was just too perfect not to make into his upcoming political campaign that he doesn’t yet know about.
It was impossible to ignore the irony of how many survival supplies were donated and collected those first few days of the wildfire evacuations. Pallets of granola bars, mountains of them, so many fucking granola bars it literally had to be said- please, no more granola bars! At the Emeline warehouse where folks were directed to donate goods, masses of volunteers swarmed the few tired and frustrated people holding clipboards, asking over and over, “What can I do?” only to be met with shrugs, or redirects to another area where they would repeat the same desperate inquiries to more clipboard holders. Some of these volunteers began self assigning arbitrary tasks just to have something to do. Moving boxes of food, or hand sanitizer, or water from one side of the building to another, for no apparent reason or need. Several people approached organizers demanding some kind of essential task, and then stormed off in irritation when they weren’t needed. I had to talk a woman out of opening up individual boxes of *sterile* face masks in order to make smaller “hygiene packages,” another self-appointed task to fulfill her desire to be of use.
I marveled at the sheer volume of aid, the righteous indignation only white women have perfected in their pursuit of performative saviorism. The chaos and unnecessary confusion. The excess of donated things no houseless person could possibly use. The inundation of community and material support that we have never seen in response to the chronic houselessness ever present in Santa Cruz. To survey the surplus, to watch these volunteers hover over one another and overwhelm organizers, it is impossible to make the argument that resources are ever or have ever been too scarce to support houseless community members with their needs on a daily basis.
Doubtless this outpouring of support is the white neoliberal ethos at work- white homeowners and normally resourced/housed people are deserving of aid while poverty and houselessness are routinely not. The urgency many of us are feeling in being temporarily unhoused (anxiety, uncertainty, hunger, and the trauma of displacement) is a constant state of mind for houseless folks who are ALWAYS deserving of the kind of care and aid I saw that day. Where are these people when tent communities are destroyed by clandestine police enforcement on a daily basis? No doubt some of these same volunteers worked to keep formal encampments out of their neighborhoods when they were desperately needed in the winter. The same people who supported the so-called “health and welfare” policies put forth this summer to further criminalize houselessness and poverty.
As I write this, Food Not Bombs is being ticketed for “squatting” while they serve food to houseless community members at their regular distribution spot on Laurel and Front. Meanwhile, nice white families are living in the same tents all over town, eating the same donated food, exempt from harassment or further displacement. Is this a moment for Santa Cruz to reconcile with the supreme contradiction of its classist and racist benevolence? I want to believe this could become more than just another opportunity to center the narratives of white, wealthy, resourced people in a crisis. I want to believe, in the midst of a pandemic, Black liberation uprisings, and a community upended by a wildfire whose genesis can be traced back to the erasure of Indigenous people and their stewardship of this stolen land- that we can recognize that displacement and loss is not new here, and when the fires die down and the volunteers go home, and the donations stop flooding our warehouses, there will still be folks struggling to survive outdoors who are worthy of aid, sovereignty, and protection from violent displacement.
On May 10 2020, a young man was found unresponsive in his Santa Cruz County jail cell. Although correctional officers attempted to perform ‘life-saving measures’, Paramedics were called to the scene and pronounced his death at around 6 P.M. that evening.
At just 21 years old, Tamario Smith is commemorated by his family and community who all know that this young man had the potential to fulfill a successful and bright future. He moved to Santa Cruz in the early 2000’s with his family, where many of us got to know him through his attendance of Live Oak Elementary and Shoreline Middle School. Eventually, the community witnessed him graduate from Louden Nelson High School and grow as a profound member of the World of Life Church. Tamario leaves behind his parents, grandmother, six brothers, and six sisters all of whom loved him deeply and were rooting for the success of his future.
I spent a very productive afternoon as the smoke of the lightening-spawned CZU Lightning Complex Fire drifted over our soon-to-be evacuated house illustrating a rightwing nightmare.
We’re in a pandemic. For most people, it’s safest to stay home. We need medicine and food, so a working postal service is critical. Oh, and it’d be nice to vote absentee like we’ve done in the past. But no. Let’s make major funding cuts in the post office, fire top executives, remove sorting machines, and try to convince gullible people that absentee voting is fraught with fraud. Again, all during a pandemic.
Know what I mean,Vern?
I woke up at 2 this morning, downloaded the stupid phone game I uninstalled last night and played I guess for 2 hours straight because at @ 4 I decided I was up and made a cup of coffee. Then I played my stupid game in silence until I figured out I could play music.
The song Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More by the Allman Brothers came on and I started crying and thinking of the only finite commodity we have on this earth, which is indeed time.
Yesterday I used a picture of Big Basin Visitor Center after our fire had destroyed the structure as my cover photo. I got a lot of crying face emojis, which bugs the shit out of me because I hate it when my thoughts and intentions are misunderstood, even when they’re vague and incoherent.
If you look carefully at what is actually in the photograph,and not at what is NOT in the photograph, you will see what i see. I see the handrails, the stone foundation, the chimney, which endure and probably will for much longer than you or I will be around. I personally find that encouraging, and inspiring.
So now I’m listening to that Allman Brothers tune over and over. It’s hard to do on my Spotify Premium (I’m definitely not doing it right – there’s definitely a way to do it) and pondering the lyrics, which must have been written after one of the bands many, many tragedies. It reminds me of what’s precious to me, which is life and time.
I moved to Santa Cruz in the Fall of 84 and have lived here off and on (stints in Chico and Chicago – my home State is Illinois). ever since. I can say with a little authority that the issues we’re dealing with today, like homelessness and the various attitudes it spawns, political naivete incompetence and corruption, what to do with tourists, etc. are far from new issues around here.
I was 16 years old in 1984, and there was just nothing to do here that was terribly interesting to me, so I sat around Pergolesi’s when it was at the other end of the mall and smoked cigarettes nursing my one cup of coffee along with all the other painfully bored teenagers.
Now kids have cell phones with endless distraction and drama on it like everyone else. It’s a good thing in a place where safety is an issue. Now a kid who needs to be picked up from a sketchy party in Boulder Creek can call someone up and get a ride. It didn’t used to be that way, so cool.
I saw the phones and all this dang social media bring something else though, which was a whole lot of illusory division and misunderstanding. Plus, our little dopamine addictions have led us to tragically waste the most precious resource we will always have to manage and cherish, which is time.
So what’s my point? It’s 5:15 in the morning and I’m declaring I’m not wasting time anymore. I’m not waiting for money to be spent and structures to be rebuilt and for trees to grow back to stand up and say I LOVE Santa Cruz County and each and every living creature in it. but especially the precious humans in it.
People piss me off disappoint and offend me on the daily, and many of them apparently live really close to me (I made the unfortunate mistake once of downloading Nextdoor). They shock me with their hate, their cruelty, their misplaced outrage. But hey, I probably made some people cry yesterday by putting that pic up of this foundation so shame on me if I can judge.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what Mr. Rogers said about looking for helpers after 9/11 (Google it, it’s cool). While I’m annoyed about how super-poor our County is supposed to be according to local politicians, I’m thinking about the past week this morning and realizing that if helpers were money we’d be Lichtenstein.
Anyway, YouTube that Allman Brothers tune if you’ve got the time. It’s one of my favorites. ~Nina
PS: Okay here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Q5FOprjtoI
Signage is critical when you DON’T want something to happen. But, in this case, they are ok with crab boiling and fish cleaning inside after all. Cause “please respect this request.”
Sarge came to us when he was almost a year old, to be a protector for my daughter, then 10 yrs old, if she was home alone. He was the absolute best dog I have ever had, super smart, extremely well trained, well mannered, and no care issues what so ever. Perfect in every way. When I left my abusive husband, he was my protector too. He was my companion and my friend.
He left this world being held by both my daughter and I, letting him know he was a good boy, the very best boy ever. He is buried in a vineyard, surrounded by huge fields and nestled by the side of the river… he loved the water…..
So what’s with all the frogs? I totally get it, frogs are fucking awesome. but why now? why did it take you all so long to realize that frogs are awesome? the frog market is totally overwhelmed. Remember in 2008 when beverly hills chihuahua came out and every child got a shitty chihuahua for their birthday? Remember how that movie was super racist? Have you called your mom recently? How are you really doing?