I hear you, B.
The rich areas are so stinking rich, and the poor areas stink for other reasons. There is a lot of apathy out here, but I have to say that I was a part of an anti-Nazi protest about 10 months ago. There were about 40 of us that showed up, all different political stripes (Greens, Libertarians, Communists, anarchists, and others). As bad as things are in OC there are people out here that care to make a difference.
I went to a book signing for Michael Moore about 6 weeks ago. He's a documentary filmmaker and author, and all around rabblerouser, trying to get people to care about what's going on around them, then point them in the direction of the nearest congressperson. He wrote about the evils of OC in his last book, called "Downsize This" (as well as his documentary "The Big One," which covers the book tour for DT).
The booksigning was pretty uplifting, for a couple days, until I got overwhelmed by the seeming hopelessness of trying to change the world. I talked with my brother about the unfairness of all the rich folk taking advantage of the rest of us, and he was of the opinion that we since we can't do anything about it, why worry about it.
That just frustrated me even more. I felt even more hopeless than before, since I had found someone that agreed with me on all the screwed up things going on around us (a rare thing enough in OC... but then, we're both transplanted from West Covina, in LA county, right on the other side of those hills).
The next day, still reeling from hopelessness, I went to see Lord of the Rings again. Man, that made a difference!
The theme of the whole movie (and book) is that even the smallest person can have the biggest impact. Stepping up and doing the right thing, simply because it's the right thing to do. It impresses the hell out of some people, but it's not really that big a deal, if you really think about it.
I still get hopeless every now and again. But when I think about Fellowship of the Ring (and the rest of the Lord of the Rings saga), I get goosebumps, and I feel some hope again. It may be fiction, but it's affecting.
Maybe OC should be renamed Mordor...
We're in this together.
We're in this together. - Nine Inch Nails