So my South African shows have been a hoot. I’ve kicked it in Soweto, The Brooklyn of Jo-burg. I’ve partied. I’ve grocery shopped. I’ve caught a bit of World Cup Fever…Achoo.
I’m not looking at this city through rosy glasses but the danger wrap that Johannesburg gets is over stated. All the dwellings have electric fences around them but don’t many of ours have fences around them too? Every place I’ve lived in LA has had a fence around it and not the white picketed variety.
In a moment of endearment for the city, and science, I decided to prove my point on stage at my show. I told them that I live in an “Adjacent” neighborhood. So all my comings and goings really take place in the neighborhood next to my hood. My hood is quiet but there is a shall we say “element.”
To drive my point home harder than an Alex Rodriguez line drive, I asked the crowd if any of them knew more than 5 people who have been shot. In the crowd of ~50 no one knew over 5 gun shot victims. I proceeded to tell them as I’m telling you that I know well over 20, maybe over 30. I’m not vying for street cred here but I personally know or knew through school, family, my neighborhood over 20 people who have had lead fillings sans anesthesia. Which place is more dangerous again?
I’m not unique in this fact. Everyone in my hood would boast the same stats. So would anyone from The South side of Chicago, Philly, Los Angeles (south of the 10 freeway), Detroit…
So, which place is more dangerous again? I don’t think about it that often when I’m eating scones in my local coffee shop in Eagle Rock, CA playing Spider Solitaire but I shouldn’t know that many victims. And none of the shootings happened during military action. Just around the way gorilla warfare. Ride around your city for a while. You might discover you’re more 3rd World adjacent than you thought.