Category: Thoughts

Notes on Attending a Phish Concert for the First Time

Beautiful Weirdos. The ethos at a Phish concert is “come as you are.” Before the show, the parking lot of The Forum, in Inglewood, where the Lakers used to play, resembles the set of a Fellini movie grafted onto an ancient Grateful Dead memory. All clothing and barbering choices are acceptable. Smiling at strangers allowed. Dancing...

White House Press Conference

The President’s PRESS SECRETARY stands at a lectern. The  WHITE HOUSE PRESS CORP sits before her.   PRESS SECRETARY I’ll make a brief statement and then take your questions. . .We’re in Day 3,034 of “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” and this administration is, and I quote, “tickled” with the progress that’s been made thus far. While...

Remembering “The Swan”

Satire Alert: This is not a satire. At a dinner party we attended recently, some friends were imagining outlandish premises for so-called “reality TV.” One young man proposed a “Hunger Games”-type show, in which attractive people wearing few clothes would be set loose in an unfamiliar woods, where “hunters” would track and “kill” them with...

An Unfair Birden?

Seems like a good idea. Eliminating automobile trips under two miles in length would be an enormously positive change. Moving people around electrically instead of with fossil fuels would be an enormously positive change. Getting people out of cars and onto their feet would be an enormously positive change. That’s why at first blush so-called...

Confessions of a Luxury Hotel Concierge

For more than 15 years, she’s worked behind the Concierge Desk at several of the finest hotels in Los Angeles. Sabrina [her name has been changed at her request] will get you anything (well, almost anything) you want, because that’s her job, and she does it well. Securing dinner reservations at “fully booked” restaurants, hiring...

A More Exceptionally Perfect America

Experts on matters patriotic, including members of Congress and the corporate oligarchs for whom they toil, believe that those of us who are fortunate enough to live in the greatest country on Earth benefit from a magical phenomenon known as American Exceptionalism. According to those who have made a kind of casual study of our glorious history,...

Our Undemocratic Impulse to Defeat the Waze App

Vista, the little Sunset Square “capillary” street we live on, runs North-South between two major “artery” boulevards, Hollywood and Sunset. Because there’s a school at the end of our block, diverting traffic around the block to the East or West, Vista Street is inconvenient for those in a hurry. Most drivers take a more direct route, one that...

Our Golden Age of Corporate Apologies

Some of the most popular and successful companies in America — Wells Fargo, Facebook, Uber — have suffered a series of highly unfortunate blemishes on their otherwise pristine public images. They did very naughty things. To their customers. Stole from them. Lied to them. Treated every person like a valuable revenue stream instead of an...

The Experience That Changed Your Life

Do you have an experience that, in retrospect, seems to have set you on your life’s journey? A formative moment? An epiphany? Mine came when I was 16, more than 35 years ago. The summer after my sophomore year of high school, I attended (and completed) a 24-day Colorado Outward Bound course in the Rocky...

Further Refinements to the NFL Anthem Policy

The National Football League recently announced a change in their rules regarding the playing of “The Star Spangled Banner,” that great paean to durable fabric. They understand the symbolic importance of standing and pretending to know the words to a song about a symbol. It’s symbolism: Singing a song that pays homage to a symbol...