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Dispatch / June 5, 2010

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For months people had been asking me if I’m still living in Victorville and if so, why I stopped writing about it. Some dumbshit even accused me of running back to live the big city life, as if I was too embarrassed to tell people “da trufe.” Well, I’m still here, still proud, still shooting and perfecting my aim. And I figure it’s about time for me to crack my knuckles and see if I still got what it takes to do a proper Victorville update.

A lot of things have happened in the six months since my last dispatch. For one, the tough economic times have begun to take their toll, forcing me to trade down my dream McTractHome for a doublewide trailer. It overlooks a golf course and is in a quiet neighborhood on the other side of the freeway, filled with pensioners who retired out here in the 80s and have been waiting to die in doublewide trailers such as mine ever since. My only neighbor is a grandma just like that, or at least I think she’s a grandma. Thing is, I haven’t seen her leave her house ever since I moved here six months ago, but I do hear someone who sounds like a frail old woman greeting a male nurse that comes over once a day to change her Depends. Other than that, the flicker of a television set reflected in one of the windows is the only sign of life. Sometimes I get the feeling that she spies on me. I wonder what she thinks about the ghetto bird that constantly hovers above an apartment complex a few blocks away.

In other Victorville news, Ames visited a few months back and got arrested, I ate shit on my motorcycle, someone dumped a few tons of raw sewage—a.k.a. unprocessed human shit—on the edge of the city, someone else found a woman’s head stuffed inside a backpack, the city is out of money and under grand-jury investigation for all sorts of fraud. Oh yeah, and it seems like not a week goes by without a roadside shootout or the cops or the SWAT team being called to take care of a domestic dispute gone wrong.

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Like this lover’ quarrel from last November, which opened up just like a horror movie: with a woman smeared in blood running down a deserted suburban street yelling for help.

The wounded woman ran into the street screaming, “He shot me, he shot me,” according to witness Robert Evans.

Evans was on his way to visit a friend in the 16000 block of Majela Avenue near Village Drive and Clovis Street at about 3:40 p.m. when he spotted the victim.

“She came running across the street right in front of my car and she was bleeding all over the place,” Evans said.

Deputies arrived and ordered the man outside but he did not comply, officials said.
“At that time we set up a perimeter and used the (Sheriff’s) helicopter and units’ (public address) to order him outside,” Capt. Cliff Reynolds said.

According to reports, the unidentified man and 40-year-old victim were arguing when the shooting took place.

The relationship between the two was not established Friday night, although several witnesses stated the couple may have been married.

Several people were evacuated including Vanessa Serrano and her family.

“This is kind of crazy,” she said. “There’s never been anything like this here.”

According to initial reports, the man may have threatened to kill himself before he barricaded himself in the residence.

The SWAT team was in no rush, so by the time they stormed the house that evening, all they found was a corpse. Obviously the cops weren’t paying attention; they didn’t even hear the single tell-tale gunshot. But hey, you can’t blame them for being lazy. Just last week, the FBI announced that Victorville’s crime rate has gone up, while the rest of the country, and even the surrounding Victor Valley, have seen major a drop. These days, Victorville cops have to work overtime just to log all the various murders, shootings, stabbings, fights, armed robberies and botched drug deals.

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Fatigue might have been the cause of this whoopsie daisy, which happened on March 1st, when a patrol car double-teamed a pedestrian in a one-two combo with a civilian vehicle. I’ll let Beatriz Valenzuela, the Daily Press crime beat reporter, take it away:

An unidentified man stepped into the path of a vehicle traveling east on Highway 18 and then was immediately struck again by a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s patrol car, authorities said.

Investigators are now asking for help in identifying the man.

Robert Squire was traveling east on Highway 18 in his 2002 Mitsubishi Gallant Sunday night followed by an Apple Valley station patrol vehicle, according to sheriff’s officials. A man stepped directly in front of Squire’s vehicle and was struck, sending the man flying into the air. He was then struck by the Apple Valley unit.

Both Squire and the deputy stopped immediately to help the man and called for rescuers.

The man was airlifted to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center and his condition was unknown.

The man had no identification with him and is being referred to as John Doe. He is described as an adult Hispanic man.

If a cop wants to do some real policing, all they have to do is pull someone over. Chances are, they’ll find some dope or nab a drunk driver, a car thief or a desperate hood who’d rather shoot it out than allow them to drag him back to jail, like in this routine traffic stop which could’ve been turned into one hell of a COPS segment:

A Victorville sheriff’s deputy pulled over a vehicle near Mojave and Village drives Thursday evening when for unknown reasons, one of the occupants got out and began to argue with the deputy, pulled out a firearm and shot at her but missed. At least one shot hit her patrol vehicle, sheriff’s officials said.

The driver sped away with the deputy in pursuit. The driver then made an abrupt U-turn and once again fired at the deputy again striking her vehicle, authorities said. At that point, the deputy returned fire. The 1993 Mercury Cougar sped off again.

The deputy then called for assistance, according to reports. In total, witnesses reported hearing about five to six shots.

Numerous sheriff’s deputies from neighboring stations and California Highway Patrol Units including a helicopter descended on the scene.

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The guy was caught later that day, but you gotta give credit where credit is due: the hoodlum was one hell of a shot. Just look at the position of that bullet hole: He was able to squeeze off an almost perfect head shot, even while in mid-motion after busting a u-turn. That shows experience, and reminds me of a local who told me that gangbangers go out into the desert to practice their drive-by marksmanship.

All in all, Victorville appears to be developing just as expected. But there is a twist to the story.

Most people automatically assume that isolated subprime suburbs like Victorville will go the way of the Salton Sea, slowly emptying out and inevitably turning into ghost sprawl inhabited by degenerate half-mutant hobos. It’s a nice fantasy, but reality doesn’t provide such neat, poetic endings. As weird as it may sound, the exact opposite is true: Victorville is actually growing. Fast.

A couple of months ago, U-Haul International released its annual “Top 50 U.S. Destination Cities” index, and guess what? For the first time, Victorville made the cut, ranking #49, ahead of Fresno and behind Miami, on the national list and #11 for California. That’s right. Far from disappearing into a sea of dirt and tumble weeds, Victorville is actually adding people faster than any other city in San Bernardino County, growing by 2.5%  from 2008 to 2009. Hell, Victorville grew at more than twice the rate of California, which added only 1.1% in the same period.

Why? Well, it might have something to do with the cost of living and the fact that Victorville’s rents have been in a race to the absolute bottom. The market seems to be flooded with rental properties even more than it was when I moved here a year ago. I was paying $1,200 a month for a 3-bedroom McTractHome. Now you can find a similar rental for under a grand—like this one for $975.

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Whatever else might be making people move,  employment opportunity is definitely not it. If you didn’t have a job before coming here, you might as well not bother looking. But it doesn’t look like people are commuting, either. Three gas stations and a Starbucks in the center of town closed down recently. So where are people getting the money to pay for their rentals? Is the whole city living on welfare?

Stay tuned for more updates…maybe Ames will tell you about his run-in with the law. For now, I’ll leave you with this: a picture of my trailer’s manufacturer tag, which is sorta like the ones sewn into clothes. As you can see, it was made in the U.S.A. and should not be left out in temperatures under 25ºF.

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Yasha Levine is a mobile home inhabitin’ editor of The eXiled. He is currently stationed in Victorville, CA. You can reach him at levine [at] exiledonline.com.

Interested in Victorville? Click here to know more…

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33 Comments

Add your own

  • 1. The Truth  |  June 5th, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    “Is the whole city living on welfare?”

    Don’t look for the answer, Yasha. You may not like what you find:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/american-murder-mystery/6872/

  • 2. Necronomic Justice  |  June 5th, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Dude, I need to get out of the fucking house. I will pay for ammo if you supply the guns.

  • 3. az  |  June 5th, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    How can a city with so much crime be so damn boring?

  • 4. President Brown  |  June 5th, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    “But it doesn’t look like people are commuting”

    If they are commuting to LA or Vegas they are getting up pretty early. I’m gonna guess your a 10:00 riser. So maybe you are just missing the carpoolers.

    So what’s the rent on a trailer?

  • 5. Necronomic Justice  |  June 5th, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    @2, AZ, It could be the chem trails, they are experimenting on us!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnyvbSSJ25E

  • 6. Necronomic Justice  |  June 5th, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    @4 Who the fuck is commuting from the Ville to Vegas, for work? Bunch of folks work out at Ft. Irwin, but Vegas?

    @1, Yes, there is a correlation between section 8, and poverty. And there is a correlation between poverty and crime. That doesn’t mean section 8 causes crime. Just brings the colonizers face to face with our internal colonies.

  • 7. wholelottashakin  |  June 6th, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Victorville has been in a class by itself ever since Roy stuffed Trigger. Makes Lancaster look like the Shining City On The Hill.

  • 8. Klaatu  |  June 6th, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    @7: Not Trigger #1, not Trigger #666, not anything between. Roy stuffed Gort. It’s all in the documentary – http://www.amazon.com/The-Gay-Ranchero/dp/B000YFWX3I/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=digital-video&qid=1275865964&sr=8-3-catcorr

  • 9. seigrfeid  |  June 7th, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Yasha,

    I’m interested in your personal life out there. You seem like a guy who likes to party, drink, meet women, etc. Do you get to do any of that out there? Do you have anyone you hang with? How do you not get lonely or suicidal?

  • 10. Doug  |  June 7th, 2010 at 8:35 am

    @8

    Section8 can still increase crime even if the total supply of criminals is the same. The article mentions how certain studies say a city with well-delineated poor and middle class neighborhoods has lower crime than spreading the poor around the city such that all neighborhoods are at the median.

    The middle and upper classes are used to living in high trust societies, and represent easy victims for the lumpenproletariat. By contrast if we keep all of them in concentrated housing projects they can’t terrify the productive members of society, it’s much harder to rob other gangsters than it is to rob office workers.

    It’s just like in Sweeden, where Somalis are literally 100x more likely to commit violent crimes than Swedes. Their crime rate is even higher than it is in Somalia, because the Swedes have only ever been used to living in a high-trust peaceful Swedish society, and make easy victims. In contrast Somalis have been living around Somalis for thousands of years, so they’re going to have much better countermeasures to the Somali criminal element than the typical Swede.

    Trying to integrate the lumpenproletariat into middle class neighborhoods is leftist folly. Whatever do-gooder impact it might have (and the evidence says it’s next to nil) will only be counterbalanced by a massive reactionary response from the middle class. The middle class is happy to tolerate an expansive welfare state (mostly because it’s basically paid for by the upper class) as long as the cesspools of government dependency stay confined to places than you only hear about on the news, and not places where your kid walks pass to get to school.

    The most conservative demographic today are white people who grew up in the inner cities post-integration and were subject to white flight. The only reason this hasn’t pushed more of a shift to the right is because Section 8′s rental cap has mostly confined the dispersion to relative shitholes like Memphis, Atlanta or Kansas City. If ever it starts affecting elite neighborhoods where influential people (or their kids) live you would see a massive backlash.

    If the lumpenproletariat starts moving into Georgetown, Park Slope, Wrigleyville or the Marina District… well we’re be lucky if we get an American Lee Kuan Yew instead of a Mussolini.

  • 11. wengler  |  June 7th, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    @ Doug

    Jailing someone is the most expensive welfare program there is bar-none. The fact is that police are only there to prosecute and harass a certain type of criminal that comes from a certain type of class.

    So when they put the crimes up on the board, they don’t include the guys from the rich part of town that have been running Ponzi schemes worth billions and killing people in more subtle ways. No, they plot the armed robberies and the cars getting their stereos ripped off and the houses getting ransacked. The type of crime engaged by the poor. I don’t see how people living in slums instead of Section 8 housing will help solve this problem, but I guess your solution is to recreate high density poverty areas so they don’t infect the “betters”.

    Your inference that suburban areas are somehow the most coservative is total crap too. The more rural you get, the more likely some insane rightwing Republican you’re gonna get. The older the person is, the more racist they tend to be regardless where they grew up.

  • 12. RecoverylessRecovery  |  June 7th, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    I’ve actually been to Victorville, CA. If we were playing Word Association the first words to pop into MY mind in reference to it would be DESOLATE and BARREN. Followed quickly by DEPRESSING, CRAPPY and the thought; WHY WOULD ANYONE EVER EVER EVER WANT TO LIVE THERE?

    Unless of course, just like Yasha, you’re a WAR CORRESPONDENT.

  • 13. Zhu Bajie  |  June 7th, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    “we’re be lucky if we get an American Lee Kuan Yew instead of a Mussolini.”

    No, it’ll be some talibangelical mega-church preacher telling his congregation/SA/Blackshirts to “smite the heathen.” Imagine Rod Parsley tithers lynching Muslims and Buddhists. (Who, of course, will fight back.)

  • 14. Zhu Bajie  |  June 7th, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Quite true, RecoverylessRecovery. Some people rob you with a six-gun, some with a fountain pen, as they used to say.

  • 15. Zhu Bajie  |  June 7th, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Re Victorville housing, how many are living in their cars?

  • 16. Necronomic Justice  |  June 7th, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    @10,
    Yes, I did kind of omit that the proximity of poverty to wealth tends to add to the crime rate. So OK, y’all win on that count I guess. But the chickens come home to roost one way or the other. Besides, If the local bro-lateriate weren’t bona fide members of the doucheoise who were more concerned with hanging on to the last threads of what ever privilege they thought they had I would maybe be able to care if section 8 related crimes make them even more reactionary or not.

    @11,
    Good call. I need to broaden my definition of what constitutes crime.

    @12,
    It’s home, fuck it. Major up-side for me is it is still a lot less dense of a population than anywhere in LA I had lived (North Long Beach, Korea Town, Downtown, Venice Beach, Culver City, Little Armenia, Echo Park.) And it’s still less of a war zone then any of that as well. But I would be up to finding an even more desolate and barren homestead sometime in the future. But like I said, this is my home.

    @15,
    I don’t think people living in cars is really happening much here. Not at all at like I have seen in Los Angeles. I think you just have more people squeezing into fewer McMansions that Or setting up camouflaged tents down by the river.

  • 17. tim  |  June 8th, 2010 at 11:56 am

    I have to agree with part of what #10 said, about the effect of putting poor people into rich neighborhoods is do-gooder leftist nonsense.
    I lived in Moscow for three years, and felt like the Swede among Somalis #10 also spoke of. I was one of the high-trust Swedes among the Somalis. Well, it wasn’t that extreme, but scattering a lot of people who were born in the swamp and have its mores on top of the bridge where it’s not actually necessary to fight over money, is the opposite of a guarantee of more peace.
    The solution would be to create a welfare state that provides free, high-quality education, professional training, and medical care, but nothing beyond it. There are always going to be people who prefer crime, especially in a country as large as the US. The Denmarks and the Swedens are exceptions not without reason.

  • 18. adolphhitler  |  June 8th, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    yo yasha! glad to see you back. this site is a bore with out you. yes sir, you are one fine looking kosher piece of manhood with that big rod in your hand. so is it a revolver or an auto. i bet you’re a 357 man. where are you going to shoot? just out anywhere in the boonies i bet. i’m still waiting to hear about the strip club action up there.don’t worry about the mc mansion. hell, if you live long enough you end up in a double wide anyway….welcome back and keep it coming

  • 19. good ol' johnny  |  June 8th, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Hey Yasha, I second the above comment. What is REALLY going on with you out there? This is a somewhat hollow summary of life in the high desert, even though it happens to have a very solid title picture.

  • 20. angela  |  June 9th, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Yasha, you are so sexy. I think I need to move to Victorville..

  • 21. lyle!  |  June 11th, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    thanks for keeping this series alive, i’ll be shoving carts from the food4less into bear valley rd later tonight if any v-town peeps wanna hang out, l8r

  • 22. zhubajie  |  June 13th, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Necronomic Justice “Yes, I did kind of omit that the proximity of poverty to wealth tends to add to the crime rate.”

    Well, back when I was a minimum wage slave, I used to pilfer from my employers. On the other hand, I was very loyal in other ways. I walked to work through knee-deep snow once, crawled part way to work after an ice-storm made the sidewalks too slick for walking another time. Being forced to steal by poverty is humiliating. Working for a wage is honorable.

    Now I live and work and enjoy life in China. If you are flexible and have a can-do personality, I recommend it to you, too. Schools are doing their last-minute hiring of foreign english teachers right now, and you could get lucky, like I did.

  • 23. zhubajie  |  June 13th, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    @17. “I have to agree with part of what #10 said, about the effect of putting poor people into rich neighborhoods is do-gooder leftist nonsense.”

    But rich neighborhoods need poor ones nearby to provide grunt labor. That’s been the case in every city throughout history.

  • 24. zhubajie  |  June 13th, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    @16,

    No one living in shacks of scrap wood, etc.? When I delivered food with the St. Vincent de Paul Society, I went to more than one encampment that looked like the classic third world slum. True, it was southern Ohio, not far from Northern Kentucky.

  • 25. Kat  |  June 15th, 2010 at 6:26 am

    Yasha,
    I know you have bigger fish to fry, but Jesus, you need to start writing a script based on your Victorville experience.
    I find this stuff endlessly fascinating.

  • 26. Necronomic Justice  |  June 15th, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    @zhubajie

    I have the exact opposite of a can do personality. I am usually on ‘fuck it.’

    As far as shacks go, I am going to guess that the weather here is generally nice enough that permanent structures are not needed. I have heard from family members that the few times it does rain hard out here all the homeless vets decide to conveniently go 5150 and get admitted to the hospital psych wards.
    This was before the economic meltdown, so probably mostly ‘Nam vets doing that.

    And then Yasha did that article a few months back about the homeless guy down by the river who was thinking about getting arrested so he could go back into system instead of being homeless. That’s still a lumpen move.

    I have no idea what the newly homeless family people are doing.

  • 27. A Silver Mt. Paektu  |  June 17th, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    A shame you had to move out of the McMansion, but the lumpenized trailor-dweller lifestyle is still an essential part of the exurban experience so the move was in keeping with the goals of your project.

    By the way, any chance I’ll ever actually see the signed copy of “Pleasant Hell” I was supposed to get as a thank you gift for my donation to The Exiled all those months ago before this whole Victorville thing even began?

  • 28. Kat  |  June 20th, 2010 at 4:23 am

    Yeah, why’d you have to move out of the McMansion? Looked at the home listings for Victorville on Trulia and saw that of some 3700+ properties for sale, about 75% were in foreclosure– should be good pickings!

    Especially for those who like to take their design cues from The Hilton Garden Suites.

  • 29. brian  |  June 25th, 2010 at 5:16 am

    Schools Out In Victorville
    Parents setting another good example

    Brawl erupts at Calif. kindergarten graduation – Weird news- msnbc.com
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37916652/ns/us_news-weird_news/from/toolbar

  • 30. rich arp  |  June 27th, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    How can any woman resist the gun AND the boner?

  • 31. deborah  |  July 16th, 2010 at 1:08 am

    so, you sound like my kinda guy, but are you cute?! oh,I also live in a trailer park, not too far from you,,it’s where I get my “kicks” trying to see the big clock while I listen to the trains whistling at area 51,,figure that one out!! oh, and I like your site!

  • 32. Jim  |  August 4th, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Come on Yasha… we want more. Forget the crime stories. Just drive around VV at night and transcribe your thoughts.

  • 33. Chester  |  August 17th, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    Yasha, how the hell did you manage to lose the house out there in Victorville?


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