Category: Popular Culture

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The National Theatre (UK) production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, now playing at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles, introduces two new stars to area theatergoers. The first is Adam Langdon, a recent Julliard graduate, who plays Christopher, a 15 year-old autistic boy conducting an investigation into the eponymous incident. He’s sensational, from the...

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The Aversive Clause

Subscribers to literary journals and supports of indie presses know that the short story is enjoying a literary renaissance. The form is alive and well — thriving, actually. We could list dozens of writers currently creating masterful, indelible work. One of these bright young lights is B.C. Edwards, whose debut collection “The Aversive Clause” illustrates...

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...

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...

Sausage Party

Until viewing the movie “Sausage Party,” we were unaware that a scathing critique of organized religion could be elegantly disguised as an animated film about grocery store products. We didn’t know that sausages and buns — and bagels and bananas, and everything else in a supermarket — could illuminate the folly of waiting for “a better...

One Genius Departs, Another Arrives

It’s been a terrible year of loss for those of us who consider the weekly collection of New Yorker cartoons one of the best reasons for living. William Hamilton, Michael Crawford, Frank Modell — all these legends died recently. And now Jack Ziegler. Even if you didn’t know the name or the man, you’ve seen his cartoons,...

Evening News Script

Good evening, I’m [insert name]. Welcome to the Evening News. Our top story tonight: [something to fear; followed by expert analysis explaining why viewers should be fearful]. In other news: [something to fear]. In a related story: [something else to possibly fear in the near future]. Commercial break: [insert advertisement for a pharmaceutical product; followed...

Speechless

Imagine giving a PowerPoint presentation to a large roomful of strangers. Imagine that you don’t know the subject of your presentation until you arrive onstage. Now, imagine that the slides in your presentation are random nonsense images that range from inscrutable to scandalous. What do you say? This is the premise of the sensationally entertaining...