And Harold Struck Down his Brother Murrill

Colleen, it would seem, is the sacrifice. She somehow represents that which is rejected by God. Harold, as both the younger brother and Cain, has therefore offered the sacrifice to his elder, who conversely is Abel. Murrill embodies Abel, a shepherd in a lean-to, a lazy and pointless taker who favors and is favored by God, a God who is in fact himself, by the void and for his brother. And his brother Cain, history’s first worthwhile man, fountainhead of art and thought, founder of the first city and lifespring of civilization, has a gun.

And one must remember, that in the time of Cain and Abel, murder was not forbidden by God. Blam. Blam. Blam.

And here is where the earth was stained by bloodshed.

Once a Van Nuys lean-to, it is now a house abandoned, sick, wrong. Why? When life was first shed, God said “And now cursed art thou from the ground, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand. When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a wanderer shalt thou be in the earth.”

And where did the fratricidal tiller go? Where is the land of Nod? La Habra?

Where Calvert once cut through the Valley, it has been torn up and replaced by the Civic Center.

Harold’s house was on this spot, now the Van Nuys Branch Library (Glenn Arbogast & Assc., 1963). Fitting, as he was progenitor of Lamech, father of music and meteallurgy. (Note the Van Nuys City Hall, nee Valley Municipal Building [Peter K. Scharborum, 1932] looming in the background like the Tower of Babel.)

Most cities are made up of collected Seth, borne to a chastened and humbled Eve. But LA’s angel is the boastful, prideful mother who gave us Cain, the man who settled in the land of wandering. The man who, sometimes, just has to strike down his brother.