california communities at the margin

I think that California always has had this iconic quality of Americanness, capturing the most extreme visions of both this country’s aspirations and its challenging realities.

Collapsed structure near the Salton Sea

This weekend, Greg rented a documentary called Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea about the Salton Sea, an area in California that, in the previous century, due to a strange set of ecological circumstances, saw both incredible development and growth and later, an equally magnificent collapse.  The landscape is now one of flooded and collapsed mobile homes and other structures and a small population of people, many of who moved there to escape conditions in larger California cities, or who moved to the area during the Sea’s boom and now find themselves without the economic resources to leave.

Today, I saw this video from the BBC via BoingBoing about tent cities inhabited by people who have lost their homes in the fallout of the subprime mortgage crisis.