New Year, Whatever... (I'll believe it when I see it)

2020 turned out to be quite the shit show. From the Wu Flu to riots, back to COVID then to the elections, then back to COVID & everything else shoved in between - we all got knocked around.

The shop got knocked around with shutdown after shutdown after shutdown. I remained calm, holding out hope and remaining faithful in whatever God had in store. That didn't mean, though, I wasn't concerned.

From the outset of these dumb lock-down orders, I immediately witnessed small businesses drop like flies. Each week more "FOR LEASE" signs popped up and I wondered if I was gonna be next. Then there were the riots. Saturday, May 30th was the scariest day for me (and pretty much the week that followed). Riots broke out at the intersection of 3rd & Fairfax. Time stood still as the mob decided which direction it wanted to destroy - west towards Beverly Hills or east towards Koreatown and the shop. As fate would allow, the mob moved west. But each day that followed was nerve wrecking. I couldn't sleep through that week; checking my surveillance cameras throughout the night expecting to see the worst. But by the grace of God we were left untouched.

Things seemed like they were moving in a good direction, but Governor Gavin Newsom along with Mayor Eric Garcetti went out of their way to shut down our economy and our businesses again... AND AGAIN.

I thought, "if the shop can just make it to the new year..." But what does that even mean? 2021 is here and L.A. (California broadly speaking) is still in lock-down. Despite the small victories, politicians find ways to fuck us over. Restaurants won't be allowed to dine-in serve at least through February! It's a safe bet things won't improve for the barber/salon industry either.

So, 2021? So what? Shit hasn't changed. And until we all grow a pair, straighten our limp spines and stand up to these tyrants... we'll just get more of the same - shutdown orders for the little guy (all in the name of public health) while the big corporations reap all the profits and the politicians laugh at the rest of us. Don't get me wrong! I'm a big fan of capitalism. But I don't have any room in my heart for crony-capitalism (that's what we're witnessing right now).

So I'll have something to celebrate when I see things truly change for the better. I'll celebrate when I see Newsom, Garcetti, Ferrar and all those other bureaucratic fucks out of job. Until then, I'll still put my nose to the grind, roll with the punches every single round. Whatever the future holds I'll take it in the chin. And I'll do it all with a smile because I know that pisses them off.

-Carlos T.

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