Author: Michael Konik

Farewell, Meltdown. We’ll Miss You.

For 25 years, Meltdown Comics has been a part of our Sunset Square neighborhood. At the end of this week, they’ll close shop, another brick-and-mortar casualty of online commerce. As the largest tenant on the block, Meltdown was the area’s commercial anchor. Its closure will help the landlord, Jack Ilulian, demolish the low-slung retail building(s) consistent...

Owen Broder’s “Heritage

The saxophonist and composer Owen Broder has assembled a band of beautiful musicians for his American Roots Project. On their new recording, “Heritage,” the ARP explores blues, bluegrass, folk, and church hymns, filtered through a light jazz scrim. It’s Appalachia meets Manhattan.  The results are lush, piquant  and altogether addictive. ARP’s music on “Heritage” feels comforting and familiar — and...

Secret Meeting

Thank you, esteemed representatives, for joining us at this historic congregation. I know it wasn’t easy for many of you, especially the flora. We appreciate your commitment to the revolution. Almost all living creatures are represented directly or indirectly here tonight. We understand and appreciate the passionate feelings surrounding our decision to have many crawling insect species be...

The Humorous Concept of President Garcetti

Failing upward. That seems to be the path to political success. You can be a serial fondler, a repeated bankrupter, a fraud — and that won’t disqualify you from positions of power. So long as you’ve got a good story to tell, your failings — both personal and professional — won’t hardly matter. Remember this...

Why Every Man, Woman and Child Needs a Gun

We feel terrible for the children (and parents, and teachers, and everyone else) killed or wounded in the latest mass shooting. We’re not talking about the one at Parkland, in Florida; we mean the four subsequent mass shootings that have happened since, albeit not at schools. Terrible. Just terrible. But instead of crying and wailing...

Grant Clauser, Poet

Many readers dislike poetry because it’s, well, poetic, employing technical maneuvers like alliteration and assonance (and repetition). According to popular wisdom, prose is plainspoken; poetry is fancy. Poems don’t seem to say what they mean; they dance around the simply stated truth, impressed with their sophistication and refinement. The poet Grant Clauser offers a bracing antidote to...

Hairy God

HAIRY GOD A Play in One Act   “West End Blues,” performed by Louis Armstrong, fills the dark theater. Fade-up on a black stage bereft of scenery except for a brilliant white sheet, which hangs from ceiling-to-floor in the middle of the playing space. Standing before the sheet, dressed in a full-length tunic befitting authority...

It Is What It Is

More than “you know what I mean?” and starting sentences with either “Honestly?” or “So…,” the locution on everyone’s lips of late is the quasi-philosophical, quasi-nonsensical phrase “It is what it is.” What do people mean when they say this? Everything is what it is. In rare cases, something isn’t what it seems or appears...

Colin McGourty, Chess Reporter

As the roving reporter for the Website Chess24.com, journalist Colin McGourty follows the best chess players around the globe, filing daily missives from tournaments and competitions, interviewing the best minds in the game, and generally keeping the chess public updated on the latest goings-on. In his colorful articles, McGourty elegantly pulls off the difficult trick...