Author: Michael Konik

Boycott. Divest. Sanction.

We gladly take this (dwindling) opportunity to exercise our constitutionally protected right to free speech. Having reviewed the issue comprehensively, having read journalism, essays, and fiction and poetry authored by people of myriad perspectives, we’ve formed an opinion. We think Israel’s ongoing policies regarding Palestine are immoral. In our view, Israel’s behavior amounts to a...

A Catalogue of The Further Suns

An imaginary “precis of reports compiled by the preliminary survey expeditions,” F.J. Bergmann’s “A Catalogue of the Further Suns” is the most memorable book we’ve read in years. It’s magic, a work of inspired genius, and the less we attempt to describe this singular creation, the better it becomes. Each “report” is a brief prose-poem...

A Place to Live, a Place to Poop

Unless you suffer from Crohn’s disease or chronic incontinence, you probably don’t worry about where you’re going to make your next bowel movement. Unless you work in a coal mine or an outlaw asbestos factory, you probably don’t worry about where you’re going to get your next breath of clean air. If, however, you live...

A Cure for Wellness

The modern horror movie typically involves copious amounts of spilled blood and tortured screaming. The old-fashioned scary movie, on the other hand, involves few on-screen glimpses of violence and loads of tension-producing psychology. Think Hitchcock. “A Cure for Wellness” belongs in this second category. Manned by Gore Verbinski, on vacation from overseeing the “Pirates of...

Elegy for American Values

Every year around this time, as we gather to overeat and watch “bombs bursting in air” — and what better way to symbolize America’s chief national fetish? — our celebrations of liberation from the British Crown offer an opportunity to review some of the reasons why it’s great to be an American. Aside from a ridiculously...

Dealing from the Bottom of the Deck

The latest book from investigative journalist Brian Saady examines America’s hypocritical — and absurdly foolish — gambling laws. In “Dealing from the Bottom of the Deck,” Saady exposes how corrupt politicians, working in cooperation with select casinos and organized crime, enrich themselves and bankrupt (or imprison) others, all the while touting their moral niceties. Meticulously...

What We Intend to Do Whether You Like it Or Not: The 7500 Sunset Boulevard PR Campaign Begins

The Sunset Square community in which we live is an Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) filled with 100-year-old craftsman bungalows and arboreal sidewalks. It’s also home to an elementary school, hundreds of happy dogs, and thousands of residents who appreciate the pedestrian-friendly character of our idyllic, family-oriented district. For more than a year, a coalition of...

NOlympics

The quadrennial Olympic Games are often visually spectacular, emotionally stirring and wonderfully sexy. A civic virtue they are not. In September, Los Angeles will be “awarded” the right to host the Games in either 2024 or 2028. Great, right? A wonderful boon for our city, right? Ask the people of Rio de Janiero what they...

Indiana Review

While the wheels of popular culture churn onward in a cynical race to the bottom, America’s literary journals continue to showcase stirring, innovative, utterly necessary work in the realms of fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, essays and impossible-to-categorize hybrid forms. So multifarious and numerous are these excellent journals, many of them affiliated with universities, you could...

Reefer Gladness in 2017

Despite copious evidence that we may be currently living in a dystopia typically found in richly imagined novels, a Kingdom of Stupidity ruled by an overgrown baby wearing bespoke suits over his diapers, here’s a an important bulletin: Everything isn’t falling apart. At least here in Los Angeles, California, everything hasn’t fallen apart. Yes, we...