An old schoolhouse, two feed stores, an "84 Lumber" yard, the sheriff's substation and a western wear store were the notable tenants on the main street of Lakeside, California. It was just a half-hour's drive from the beaches of San Diego, but it had the dusty half-abandoned look of a Texas panhandle town. The "lake" was a pond in the small park at the end of the road. State Highway 67 ran parallel to the two-block-long downtown, and in a faded Old West-themed plywood strip mall, a lean middle-aged man in a brown corduroy sports coat was behind his desk with his typewriter and a coffee mug full of Bushmill's, [...]
Dignity, a new book by Ken Layne, is a novel composed of found letters, set in the post-housing crisis California wasteland, when people must learn again how to make food.
My friends in Goleta Meadows,
I think about you always and honor the sacrifices you make for our community.
How is our little group? Are people from the area still showing up for the weekly suppers? Keep your gates open to neighbors, and hide nothing from the honestly curious. We are living without the three poisons by choice, to show the world a new path, in fact a new map of the world. Don’t be weary. [...]
Y2K was the thing that was going to Destroy Earth when this dumb, nameless decade began. It's hard to remember the pre-Muslim threats, but this was a big one: All the planes were going to fall out of the sky, at midnight on January 1, 2000… based on the time zone they were flying over, I guess? It was never very clear, which is why it was such an effective End of the World scenario. Also, your teevees and ATMs would stop working. Because of those rotten computer programmers! Me? I was drunk in Madrid, which had not yet been blown up by Muslims, and also airfare was incredibly cheap [...]
On behalf of all of us here at The Awl, I wanted to ask Ken Layne, proprietor of Wonkette, some questions about how to run a website, and also about the politics, which he supposedly knows about. And about how the world is flat, and how bad that last fake "Star Wars" movie was. Also the hobos in our neighborhood. So we did it on video! (PLEASE NOTE: It takes a second to buffer. PLEASE NOTE: Please don't be horrified by The Awl's offices. ALSO: I am an idiot.) Anyway, it's just like BLOGGING HEADS, but half as long and with slightly more cursing, and with more [...]