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Escape From LA

When life imitates art, it can be a beautiful thing. When Los Angeles starts to imitate Mad Max (Fury Road is one of my favorite movies, incidentally), I’m less of a fan.

In the past two weeks there have been creative levels of theft and destruction in the city, and it’s quite depressing to watch unfold.

  1. First, there were two instances of what is cleverly dubbed a “Flash Rob,” a coordinated effort that involved dozens of criminals looting a store and overwhelming any chance of a response in real time.
  1. Then, last week, on one night six taco trucks were robbed at gunpoint by a group of 3-4 criminals. (One arrest so far).
  1. On Shabbat, when people know kosher restaurants are closed, five of them in close proximity were robbed in a smash-and-grab: SushiKo, Shanghai Diamond Garden, Shalom Grill, Nagila, and even the place next door to it that hasn’t opened yet. Please consider ordering food from these small businesses in the upcoming days and weeks if you can; even with insurance, these crimes may hurt those restaurants significantly.

And though the reflexive reaction to this latest crime in my backyard makes people think antisemitism, there’s a high likelihood that this is not the case. While all statistics reflect the large uptick in anti-Jewish incidents in our city and country the past few years, with the context of recent local creative thefts, this would seem more likely to be a clever strategy to get away with theft: go when the stores are closed. Not targeting us for our religion, but rather targeting us because of the vulnerability that our religion creates.

I’m offering no solutions. I still love the many wonderful things about this often-maddening city, and I’m blaming no particular politician over another, as I’m sure there are several ingredients that add up to this societal decay. But can I make a request that we switch the playlist from Mad Max to Pleasantville? Heck, I’d even take The Lord of the Rings; at least then we can be sure to have happy endings.

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